Thai tea vs Milk Tea: difference & how they compare

Thai is a lovely beverage prepared from healthy brewed black tea. Milk tea is also a sweet beverage with milk being the major additive. The most popular milk tea is Bubble (boba) tea, made with a mixture of black tea and chewy tapioca.

People often say that both Thai tea and Bubble milk tea are similar in taste and that there isn’t much difference between them, but you’ll be surprised how wrong that is. This article will help you know the differences between both teas.

Difference Between Thai Tea and Bubble Milk Tea


Thai tea is made with a good amount of evaporated milk and sweetened condensed milk, making it rich in dairy. It contains different spices and is made with different flavors like vanilla, cardamom, cinnamon, star anise, and tamarind.

However, Bubble milk tea has a wide variety of flavors that taste quite different from one another. Honeydew, mango, passion fruit, and strawberries are the most common flavors. Though they all taste differently, they still make a good beverage.


Another major difference between Thai tea and milk tea is the color and appearance. The color of Thai tea comes from the food coloring used when mixed with the black tea, this gives it an orange-brown color. 

Some Thai tea comes in darker brown or orange. It can also be very light depending on how it is made. You should know that the color of the tea does not affect the taste.

Bubble tea however comes in different colors, these colors are according to the tea or type of boba tea. Black tea, oolong tea, and green tea are majorly used to make bubble teas.

Depending on the tea and flavor used, bubble milk tea can come in light purple, strawberry, light brown, milk, or light green colors. Unlike in Thai tea, the color depicts the flavor used which determines the taste.


Bubble milk tea has the most attractive toppings, although contrary to the usual toppings in milk tea it is usually at the bottom. Popular toppings for boba tea include tapioca pearls, jelly, and basil seeds.

However Thai toppings are at the top and they are used based on individual choice. There are not many toppings used to serve Thai tea, however, you can use grass jelly cubes or milk.


Both teas have different varieties. If you choose to try a new one every day you could go weeks and not drink them all. Here are some sweet, healthy varieties you can choose from.

Thai Tea Varieties

1. Dark Thai iced Tea

This variety is sweetened with sugar only and contains no milk at all. Its major ingredient is traditional Indian tea. It is a good tea if you are on a non-dairy diet. It is iced cold making it a good beverage for the summer.

2. Lime Thai Tea

As the name goes, it is flavored with lime and mint (not compulsory). It has many similarities with Thai iced tea. It is served cooled and is seasoned with just sugar. Lime Thai tea has no milk content.

3. Thai Hot Tea

This tea is good to warm the tongue and body. It contains enough milk to provide you with dairy benefits. It is a hot tea served with the vapor oozing out of it, making it a good beverage on cold days. 

4. Dark Thai Hot Tea

Similar to dark iced tea, It is made with no milk content with sugar as the only sweetener. The only major difference is that the dark Thai Hot Tea is served hot, not cold.

Bubble Tea Varieties

1. Classic Bubble Tea

This is the most popular variety of bubble teas. Its major component is milk and tapioca pearls, it is flavored with sugar. The quality of the tapioca balls defines the milk and gives it the traditional taste people love.

2. Thai Bubble Tea

This is a very sweet tea with its major component as evaporated milk. It is mostly flavored with vanilla, giving it a lovely sweet vanilla taste. Thai bubble tea is also quite popular.

3. Matcha Bubble Tea

Healthy and tasty, this bubble tea has so many nutritional benefits. It is made with almond milk and chia seed toppings. Prepared with powdered green tea, it is refreshing and you can choose to have it with or without sugar.

Health Benefits of Thai Tea

Thai tea is brewed from black tea which contains potassium, choline, and magnesium. This makes it a good relief for people with heart disorders and inflammations. It can also help with obesity and high blood pressure.

It also has antioxidant content. Antioxidants help protect your cells from being damaged, preventing your body from having illnesses like macular degeneration, cancer, Alzheimer’s cardiovascular diseases. Below are other health benefits;

1. Reduces Cholesterol level

Apart from increasing antioxidants in your body, Thai tea helps reduce body cholesterol. Having two cups of Thai tea every day will significantly reduce your cholesterol level, you’ll be surprised. 

2. Improves Immune System

Its antioxidant content helps your immune system stay healthy. Interestingly, Thai tea antioxidant levels can be compared to that of herbal teas like green tea and others. It also gives anti-inflammatory benefits.

3. Helps maintain weight

This black tea according to research contains polyphenols that aid in absorbing complex sugar and body fat. Black tea according to research is even more efficient in this area compared to green tea.

Is There a Risk of Drinking Thai tea?

Thai tea undoubtedly contains nutrients that give so many health benefits, it is nutritious and tasty, however many have wondered if there is any risk attached to drinking it.

There is not a single health risk in drinking Thai tea, as long as it is in the right quantity. However it has significant caffeine content, so if you have heart issues or do not like tea with caffeine then you should not drink this.

Health Benefits of Bubble Milk Tea

Bubble milk tea is made with either white tea, black tea, or green, flavored with milk and tapioca balls mixed together. They contain little amounts of nutrients like iron, folate, selenium, and calcium.

It is also rich in carbohydrates and calories which can help provide energy and boost your calorie levels if you are lacking. Though it contains a high amount of sugar it has a few health benefits, they are;

1. Reduces Risk of Cancer

Bubble milk tea made with green tea is rich in antioxidants and therefore helps slow down damages of unstable oxygen molecules or prevents them completely. According to research green tea is also efficient in reducing the risk of cancers.

2. Aids Reduction in Blood Pressure

The green tea present in some boba tea can help reduce blood pressure. It also aids the reduction of the body’s total cholesterol, thereby preventing and reducing the risk of developing stroke or heart disease. 

Are there a Risk of Drinking Bubble Milk Tea

Well, the health benefits of bubble milk tea are majorly found in one made with green tea, unfortunately, not all are made with it. The possible risk attached to drinking this tea is its high sugar content. Some of these risks include;


Sugar is good for the body but when taken in massive quantities can lead to obesity and other health issues and can even heighten your risk of certain cancers. It causes an increase in body fat because of the sugar-sweetened content.

Bad Reactions caused by Allergies

People who have latex or root vegetable allergies should not drink bubble milk tea. It contains tapioca balls which are made from cassava (a root plant). However, not everyone with latex allergies reacts to cassava-made foods.

Healthier ways to Drink Bubble Milk Tea

There is always a healthier option for beverages, especially bubble milk tea. Your boba tea will taste better, be more enjoyable, and be a lot healthier if you do the following;

  • Lessen the added sugar: Reduce the sugar and enjoy the simple flavor of the boba tea. Request for your tea to have lower sugar while ordering for one.
  • Use alternative sweeteners like honey or other healthy sweeteners.
  • For people with dairy allergies or anyone in general, opt for coconut, almond, or soy milk instead of whole milk or cream. They provide health benefits and can help you lose calories.
  • Lower Toppings: Request for fewer toppings when you order your bubble milk tea. It helps you reduce the total sugar content in a glass.


Though different, Thai tea and milk tea are both tasty and have flavors you would enjoy. Their differences are unique and so are their taste, color, and varieties as explained above.

They are both healthy if well prepared and taken in the right quantity. To enjoy Thai tea or bubble milk tea, you should healthily take them as shown above. Both are nutritious but not to be taken excessively.

Your preferences, health status, and allergies should be your guide when deciding which beverage to have. However, trust that you will have a good drink regardless of whichever you pick, Thai tea or milk tea.