What Is Taro?
Taro (pronounced tah-row) is a root plant derived from Colocasia Esculenta, and it has many names such as dasheen, eddo, and kalo. Even though it’s known for having a purplish color, it can also come in white or pink. This edible tuber is native to Southeast Asia and India, but has gradually become a staple ingredient throughout the world including China, Africa, the Caribbean, and Hawaii. By 100 B.C. taro was already being cultivated in China and even Egypt. Today, the light lavender colored plant has become a global ingredient, so adaptive that it can be fried, mashed, boiled, baked, and roasted.
The taro root has an interesting and rich history, especially in Hawaiian culture. In Hawaiian folklore, it is said that taro played a role in creating the human race. Whether or not that’s true, taro has definitely become a flavor used all around the world. Although it is toxic in its raw form, the vegetable yields several health benefits and at one point was even used as a type of medicine. Jam-packed with fiber, potassium, iron, and vitamins, taro is well known for improving digestion, vision, body circulation and the immune system, it lowers blood sugar as well as blood pressure levels, and even helps prevent heart disease.
What Is Taro Milk Tea?
Indeed, the purple craze is catching on. When Starbucks’ released their first-ever purple “Unicorn Frappe” to the public, the fun-colored beverage quickly rose to popularity and sold out. However, in the world of bubble tea, the original purple drink has always been the Taro Milk Tea. Perhaps it’s the eye-catching purple hues or its uniquely sweet and nutty flavor, but the taro root has undoubtedly become one of the world’s most popular ingredients. Not only does this plant share potato-like qualities such as its starchiness, texture, and versatility with cooking, taro is also commonly used with making bubble milk tea.
How to Make Taro Milk Tea
There are several ways to make a delicious taro milk tea. Sometimes, the drink doesn’t even need to include “tea”. When it comes to concocting a great taro drink, much of the focus is actually on the blend of taro and milk. We decided to have a little fun in our kitchen by experimenting with different taro recipes using Taro Grade-A Powder (you can also use Taro Powder or Taro Premium Powder), sweet diced taro, and natural-tasting raw cane sugar. While some of these recipes use a more traditional method, others were combined with additional flavors to better enhance the floral and nutty tastes of taro. We didn’t include any toppings in our recipes, but if you crave layers of texture, flavor and fun, add a scoop of tapioca pearls (or another topping of your choice) to the bottom of your taro milk tea.
Classic Taro Milk Tea Recipe
Taro Powder + Non-Dairy Creamer + Sugar + Ice
This method is not only the easiest recipe for making Taro Milk Tea, it’s also the most economical. This classic taro beverage produces a bright purple color, and it also balances the flavors between taro, sugar and cream. Using a blender, combine 3 tbsp of Taro Grade-A Powder, 3 tbsp of non-dairy creamer, 2 tsp of raw cane sugar, and 1 ¼ cups of water. Blend these ingredients together until the mixture is smooth. In a plastic bubble tea cup, add ½ cup of ice, and pour in the blended taro drink. The cost to make this beverage is approximately $0.50 to $0.56.
Classic Taro Milk Tea Recipe With A Twist
Taro Powder + Whole Milk + Sugar + Ice
This method is similar to the classic recipe, but instead of using non-dairy creamer and water, whole milk is substituted instead. This taro smoothie produces a slightly lighter lavender color, and the beverage itself is smoother and creamier than the classic milk tea. Using a blender, combine 3 tbsp of Taro Grade-A Powder, 2 tsp of raw cane sugar, and 1 ½ cups of milk. Blend these ingredients together until the mixture is smooth. In a separate cup, put in ½ cup of ice, and pour in the blended taro drink. The cost to make this beverage is approximately $0.65 to $0.71.
Classic Taro Milk Tea With Real Tea Recipe
Taro Powder + Non-Dairy Creamer + Black Tea + Sugar + Ice
Even though some taro milk tea recipes don’t include actual tea, there are many that call for black tea, which enhances the taro flavor without being overpowering. This method is great for those who appreciate a balance between taro and black tea. The mixture creates a lighter taro and less creamy flavor compared to the first two recipes, but the dark purple hues are considered more sophisticated and complex. You would need to have hot black tea ready, so use your most comfortable method of tea making either by using a tea espresso machine or from an existing batch. Using a shaker, combine 3 tbsp of Taro Grade-A Powder, 3 tbsp of non-dairy creamer, 2 tsp of raw cane sugar, and 1 ¼ cups of freshly made hot Assam black tea. Shake these ingredients together until the mixture is smooth. Continue to add ½ cup of ice to the shaker and mix until the milk tea drink is cold. In a separate cup, put more ice (if needed), and pour in the mixed taro beverage. The cost to make this drink is approximately $0.51 to $0.57.
Classic Milk Tea With A Real Taro Taste Recipe
Sweet Diced Taro + Whole Milk + Ice
For those who enjoy real taro in their milk tea, this method is the most recommended. The natural sweetness from the taro should provide enough flavor, but honey can be added to taste for those who prefer a sweeter alternative. You can even create a vegan version by substituting whole milk with nut milks such as almond, cashew, and even coconut milk. Though this version produces a light pink color, the flavor isn’t diluted at all. Simply add a bit of taro powder if you prefer a more purple hue. This recipe is a bit pricier, but for those who want a genuine taro flavor, it’s worth the extra cost. Using a blender, combine half a cup of sweet taro chunks and 1 ½ cups of milk. Blend ingredients together until the mixture is smooth. In a cup, put ½ cup of ice, and pour in the blended real taro drink. The cost to make this is approximately $0.97 to $1.
Tropical Style Milk Tea With A Real Taro Taste
Coconut Powder + Sweet Diced Taro + Milk + Ice
It’s no mystery that coconut and taro work well together. That’s why this taro milk tea recipe is our favorite. This method produces a snowy pink color, and even though each flavor is distinctive, they also complement the other. The diced taro offers an authentic floral flavor with a creamy and starchy texture, while the coconut provides a smooth and exotic feel to the drink. Using a blender, combine two tbsp of coconut powder, half a cup of sweet taro chunks from a Taro Can, and 1 ¼ cups of milk. Blend these ingredients together until the mixture is smooth. In a cup, put ½ cup of ice, and pour in the blended taro and coconut drink. The cost to make this is approximately $1.60 to $1.23.
*All costs are based on making a 16 fl. oz. serving, including 5% for ice, sugar, and water. These estimates don’t include packaging materials and labor, but all ingredients and portions are adjustable depending on your business strategy and overall taste preference.