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Is There Gluten in Bubble Tea - What to Know About This Milky Sweet Tea

Bubble tea is a type of tea that originated in Taiwan and has become popular in Western culture in recent years. It is made by adding tapioca pearls, or bubbles, to tea. As this milky sweet tea becomes popular, many wonder if it contains gluten and if it is safe for those with a gluten-free diet.

Bubble tea does not inherently contain gluten, so it can be suitable for people following a gluten-free diet. However, there are a few things to keep in mind. For example, some bubble tea recipes call for tapioca pearls, which may be coated in wheat flour-based starch. Additionally, some bubble tea shops may use powder mixes that contain gluten. To be safe, it is best to check with the shop or restaurant beforehand to see if they can accommodate your dietary needs.

Whether bubble tea contains gluten or not really comes down to three of its main ingredients:

  1. Milk and Other Dairy Products

Some dairy products, such as flavoured milk and milk alternatives, may contain gluten-containing additives. However, the vast majority of dairy products are naturally gluten-free.

When choosing a milk or creamer for your bubble tea, be sure to check that it is compatible with your dietary restrictions. You should be aware that there may be better options than choosing a milk alternative, such as oat milk, as some brands of oat milk contain gluten.

  1. Tapioca or Boba Pearls

You might wonder if tapioca pearls are safe for you to consume if you're gluten intolerant. The answer is yes! Tapioca pearls are gluten-free and are a great alternative for those who can't have gluten.

The tapioca pearls used to make bubble tea are generally safe for people with gluten allergies to consume, as the cassava root they are made from is a vegetable and naturally gluten-free.

However, you must be careful of cross-contamination when using cassava root because it is ground into a fine powder in factories. If the factory also handles grains or wheat, then you could be at risk of cross-contamination.

  1. Syrups

When choosing a bubble tea, you should also be aware of the syrups used to sweeten it. Some bubble tea flavours can be quite sweet because they use flavoured syrups. Processed syrups often contain gluten, which can be problematic for people with gluten sensitivities.

When ordering your bubble tea, make sure to specify that you would like a sugar-free or gluten-free option. Some bubble tea shops use syrups that contain gluten, so it's important to be clear about your dietary restrictions. You can also ask if the tea leaves used in the bubble tea are gluten-free.


It is important to be aware of the potential presence of gluten in bubble tea, as some people may have sensitivities to this protein. While there are many delicious and safe ways to enjoy bubble tea, those with gluten sensitivities should be cautious when consuming this popular beverage. If you want to make sure that your Bubble tea contains no gluten, it's best to ask the restaurant before purchasing. 

Square Bubbles offers for-delivery milk tea in London, including premium teas, fresh fruit teas, popping boba fruit teas, smoothies and more. We aim to make milk tea the next go-to drink in the UK! Check out our wide selection of milk tea for delivery throughout London!

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