We may not be from Asia, but it doesn’t mean we’re not obsessed with boba tea like everyone across the Asian continent and around the world! Whether you call it boba, bubble or pearl milk tea, we can’t get enough of this sweet, creamy and refreshing drink, which is why we went to the Happy Way lab and created our very own, HEALTHY version—introducing Happy Way’s Boba Tea Protein Powders!

But what is boba tea exactly, where does it come from, and what makes our Boba Tea Protein Powders so good? Read on to find out!

*To enjoy an authentic boba tea, grab yourself a pack of pre-made tapioca pearls from your local Asian supermarket and scroll down to find a recipe below with cooking instructions.



What is boba tea?

Originating in Taiwan in the late 80s, boba tea has since become a sensation around the world. Made with black tea, milk, tapioca pearls and ice, this beverage is so popular in Asia, that people actually stop for a boba break rather than a coffee break! In Asian countries it’s such a part of everyday life, that the must-have accessory is the boba tea cupholder—think fabric bag, slung over your shoulder for your boba tea! 

Boba tea, bubble tea and pearl milk tea are basically different names for the same thing, and, fun fact, the term boba is actually slang for ‘breasts’ in Chinese, referring to the round shape of the tapioca pearls! The pearls, or boba, are essentially what makes boba tea what it is, and they should be bouncy, with a rubbery and chewy texture. Over time the flavours of boba tea have developed—now anything from fruits, jelly and beans are included, and teas can be made creamy with milk, or more like iced tea. 


Our Boba Tea Protein Powders taste like the real thing, but they’re wayyyy better for you—which means you can enjoy the boba tea flavour on the daily, without all the guilts and high sugar content. All-natural and packed with vitamins and nutrients that provide a tonne of health benefits, our boba tea protein powders are designed to give you the energy you need to live life to the fullest, whilst delivering that boba flavour you know and love.

See just how nutritious our Boba Tea Protein Powders are, in comparison with regular boba tea.

Regular boba tea vs Happy Way Boba Tea Protein Powder

Available in whey formulas, in Matcha, Taro and Thai Milk Tea flavours, these are going to be your new staples in your kitchen pantry—all you need is your boba cup and a wide straw to suck up all your delicious tapioca balls (get your Happy Way Boba Tea Cup here)!

Check out our ingredient breakdown and the benefits of all three flavours below. 



NZ pasture fed whey

Whey protein concentrate is made up of roughly 70-80% protein and is definitely the most popular type of whey protein, being that it generally provides the best flavour and consistency. Whey concentrate is also considered to contain more nutrients than other whey varieties, as it's been through less processing. The whey protein concentrate we use in our protein powders is sourced from NZ pasture-fed cows and helps to boost immunity, increase energy and strength, and assist with muscle development.


Lecithin is a natural additive that’s often sourced from plant or animal tissues and acts as a lubricant or emulsifier in many products, giving them the right texture and consistency. At Happy Way, we use lecithin sourced from raw soybeans, and only in very small quantities, so there should be no side effects for those of you that suffer from allergies to soy. Some of the health benefits of soy lecithin include lowered cholesterol, improvement in overall brain health and function, and assistance with digestion. 

Read more about soy lecithin and its benefits here


Skim milk powder is essentially skim milk with the water content removed and then converted into a powder. It contains the same benefits as skim milk, being that it’s lower in calories and fats than full cream milk, and it’s good for anyone who wants to lower their calorie intake and monitor their cholesterol levels. Skim milk powder delivers high levels of protein, is a rich source of calcium and contains a variety of vitamins, minerals and essential amino acids, making it nutrient-dense. Using it in our Boba Tea Protein Powders helps to provide that creamy flavour and increase the overall nutritional value. 


Coconut powder

Coconut powder is gluten-free, rich in vitamins and nutrients, and also provides a delicious, creamy flavour. It contains healthy fats called MCTs (medium-chain triglycerides) which can assist with weight loss by creating a feeling of fullness, and it also increases energy levels in the body, being that it has a fast absorption rate. A rich source of protein as well as iron, calcium, magnesium and potassium, coconut powder can help with digestion, support heart and blood health, and also help with muscle recovery and repair.


Black tea powder

With less caffeine than coffee, but more than other teas, black tea contains high levels of antioxidants which provide a heap of health benefits. Black tea powder can boost overall health, removing damaging free radicals from the body, which in turn helps reduce the risk of harmful chronic disease. Besides improving blood and heart health, black tea powder promotes good gut health, boosts immunity and can increase alertness and focus. Black tea powder is used to give that tea flavouring in all three of our Boba Tea Protein Powders.



Thaumatin is a natural sweetener derived from the katemfe fruit found in the rainforests of Western Africa. Although it’s 2000-3000 times sweeter than sugar, it’s super low in calories and considered a protein, not a carbohydrate, unlike a lot of other sweeteners. Thaumatin delivers that sweet flavour without impacting blood sugar levels or affecting body weight like a lot of other sugars. 

Read more about thaumatin and its benefits here

Steviol Glycosides

Steviol glycosides are also another plant-based sweetener that’s only required in super low doses to effectively sweeten foods. Like thaumatin, steviol glycosides help to lower blood sugar and contain very little, if any, calories. It’s also a great choice for people with diabetes as it does not affect blood glucose or insulin levels.



Matcha green tea powder

Matcha powder is rich in antioxidants and caffeine, with even higher levels than that found in green tea. Sourced from the Camellia sinensis plant, matcha powder can help to protect against chronic disease, promote heart health, boost brain function and support the liver. Loaded with vitamins and nutrients, matcha can also assist with weight loss and help promote skin cell turnover—giving you that healthy glow to the skin.



Taro powder

Taro powder comes from the taro root vegetable and delivers more nutritional benefits than other starchy vegetables, with twice the amount of fibre than in potatoes. High in vitamins C, B6 and E, taro powder helps to maintain a healthy immune system, can improve digestion, promote good gut health and also provide skincare benefits.

Along with high levels of fibre, taro powder also contains resistant starch, which makes it a good carb choice—helping to lower blood sugar levels and increase feelings of fullness which in turn helps with weight loss. The flavour of taro is slightly sweet and nutty, similar to that of sweet potato, and is definitely one of the most popular flavours in boba tea. It’s also what gives taro boba tea that beautiful purple colour. 


Beetroot powder

Beetroot powder is not only a great source of fibre, iron, potassium and vitamin C but it’s a nutrient-dense vegetable that’s been used in natural medicine since way back in Roman days. Beetroot powder is packed with antioxidants, provides anti-inflammatory benefits and improves overall heart and blood health, and is an efficient and versatile way to get all the nutritional benefits from this vegetable—simply adding it to baking, cooking and smoothies! Beetroot powder helps to boost energy levels, increase energy and stamina, and also assists with post-workout recovery. 

SUNFLOWER LECITHIN – found in our Taro and Thai Milk Tea Boba Protein Powders

Like soy lecithin, sunflower lecithin is a gum-based substance that acts as an emulsifier and lubricant, which helps with the consistency and texture of products whilst also ensuring ingredients don’t separate (think water and oil). Sunflower lecithin is plant-based, sourced from sunflower seeds, and contains healthy fatty acids that promote healthy bodily function. Rich in vitamins and minerals, sunflower lecithin can help to lower cholesterol, boost brain function and support overall skin health. 



Cardamom powder

Cardamom is a herb that when ground into powder is used as a spice—commonly in a lot of Indian cooking, with very little needed to give dishes an intense, yet slightly sweet flavour. Cardamom powder contains high levels of antioxidants, which can help to lower blood pressure, and in medicine it’s often used to relieve stomach issues, helping improve overall digestive health.


Tamarind is a tree that’s commonly found in the tropical regions of Africa and India (along with other tropic areas around the world), that produces a sweet/sour flavoured fruit that’s often used in cooking and for medicinal purposes. A great source of vitamins, minerals and amino acids, tamarind powder is high in calcium and magnesium which when combined, can greatly improve bone strength and bone density. Tamarind is a rich source of B vitamins, which assists with overall brain health, and contains antioxidants that may boost heart health.


Beta carotene is a plant-based pigment that gives that vibrancy in colour to yellow, orange and red vegetables, yet it’s also found in leafy greens such as kale and spinach. Besides this, beta carotene actually has several health benefits, and when consumed, the body converts it into vitamin A, which plays a huge part in supporting the lungs, heart and kidneys. High in antioxidants, beta carotene has positive effects on brain function and memory, provides skincare benefits, and improves eye health. 


A boba tea just ain't authentic without tapioca pearls, right?! Well, pick up a bag at your local Asian grocer and follow our cooking instructions below to be a boba tea pro!



  1. Bring 4 cups of water to a boil in a saucepan (4 cups per 1 cup of tapioca pearls).
  2. Once boiling, add 1 cup of tapioca pearls to the saucepan and cook for approximately 20 minutes on a medium-high heat.
  3. As the tapioca pearls cook they will become translucent and darker in colour. Cook until a soft/chewy consistency is achieved.
  4. Remove from the heat and leave the pearls covered in the pot for a few minutes to rest.
  5. In a strainer, drain the water from the pearls and tip into a bowl. Mix with sugar syrup (see recipe below) to coat the pearls and to prevent them from sticking together.
  6. Voila! Your tapioca pearls are ready to enjoy! 

*Best to consume cooked pearls within 4 hours. Store uncooked pearls as per package instructions.



1 cup (250 ml) water
1 cup (220 g) coconut sugar


  1. Add water and sugar to a small saucepan and stir over low heat until the sugar dissolves.
  2. Bring to the boil once combined and cook for 2 minutes.
  3. Allow syrup to cool, transfer to a jar or glass container and store in the refrigerator.

* Feel free to double or triple the ingredients (always equal parts) to make larger quantities of sugar syrup. Sugar syrup will keep in the refrigerator for up to 3-4 weeks when stored in an airtight container.

So, get excited—our new range of Boba Tea Protein Powders are available now!


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