100% sugar? More like 100 grams of sugar

May 12, 2022 — by Sam Bai
Photo by Andrew Lin
Boba with 100% sugar is bad for your taste buds.

Boba is an elixir for the gods, coming in numerous forms with an array of flavors, toppings, colors and sugar levels. While flavors and toppings are up to personal preference, there is most definitely a right and wrong amount of sugar to have in boba.

Walking into any boba shop, you will first notice a menu containing millions of different drinks you can choose from. After choosing your favorite, the cashier will point at a small laminated sheet of paper with a bar that goes from 0% sugar to 100% — sometimes even 120%,  and ask you: “how much sugar and ice?”

The worst blunder anyone can make is ordering a milk tea with 100% sugar. They will not be getting milk tea; instead, it’ll essentially be 99.9% sugar and 0.1% tea. At 100%, the sugar overpowers any actual flavor the tea is supposed to have. 

It’s like buying tea with 100% ice on a hot day: After all the ice melts, the diluted drink will taste like melted ice combined with plain old water — if you’re lucky, maybe it’ll be the slightest bit reminiscent of tea. 

At 100% sugar, the amount can exceed double that of a Coca-Cola can, nearly reaching 100 grams of sugar. 100%? More like 100 grams. (Roasted)

However, when a boba milk tea has 0% sugar, its flavors explode in your mouth. The mildly bitter, highly addictive taste of the milk tea will make you crave for more. Eventually, you’ll taste some chewy tapioca pearls; the syrup absorbed by the boba will give off sweetness that perfectly contrasts that of the unsweetened tea, creating the perfect balance.

If you are the type of person who orders 100% sugar and ice with your milk tea, do yourself a favor and try a different combination. After experiencing the out-of-body experience of boba milk tea with 0 or 25% sugar, you will never want to go back.


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