Boba, also known as tapioca balls or tapioca pearls is an essential ingredient in Taiwanese bubble tea drinks. Though this bubble tea has many variations, all of them must contain Boba. Tapioca balls are made from tapioca starch. The source of this starch is cassava root which is a starchy tuber vegetable.
The first step to making boba is to peel and grate the tuber and then soak it for several days. After soaking, the material is taken out for kneading. The final step is to remove all impurities from the root material and leave it out to dry.
These tapioca pearls or Boba balls are an integral ingredient of bubble tea which has become popular worldwide. Consuming bubble tea in large quantities is common in the UK, likewise in other countries.
The UK Muslim community also likes the drink, but what about the Islamic legal status of Boba – is it halal or haram?
In this blog, we will discuss whether Boba is halal or haram so that you can make an informed decision while making bubble tea at home or drinking it in a restaurant.
Boba Tea – Bubble Tea
As discussed earlier, obtaining Boba from the cassava root is the norm and has some uses, such as for making vast variations of bubble tea – the popular drink in the UK. In addition to Boba (tapioca pearls), the following are some other bubble tea ingredients.
- Tea Base
- Milk or Cream
- Sugar or Sweetener
- Whipping Cream
- Tapioca balls (Boba balls)
The primary theme for a halal bubble is to include the permissible ingredients only. Including a haram ingredient, even if it is a tiny bit, the resulting bubble tea will be haram.
Is Boba Halal or Haram?
Cassava root, the primary source of Boba balls, is halal because most plant products are halal in Islam. Most of the time, bubble tea is halal as almost every ingredient is halal. There are exceptions when using haram ingredients like haram flavours to make the tea. In this case, the resulting tea will be haram.
Islamic Principle of Halal and Haram
Quran has clearly distinguished halal from haram. Allah (SWT), in Surah Al Baqarah, has clarified the halal and haram food for Muslims.
“He has only forbidden to you dead animals, blood, the flesh of swine, and that which has been dedicated to other than Allah. But whoever is forced [by necessity], neither desiring [it] nor transgressing [its limit], there is no sin upon him. Indeed, Allah is Forgiving and Merciful.” (Quran 2:173)
(Source of above-cited Quranic Verse: https://quran.com/2/173?translations=84,17,95,101,22,20)
This Quranic verse is the guiding principle for distinguishing halal food from haram in Islam. According to this verse of the Holy Quran, carrion, i.e. dead meat, the blood, and swine (pig) meat, is haram. And also, the slaughtering and dedication of any halal animal other than Allah is haram.
Halal Boba Tea (Bubble Tea) Recipe
You only have to use halal ingredients to make halal Boba or bubble tea at home. The following are the recipes for halal Boba tea.
- Tea base (choose either black or green tea)
- Sugar or halal Sweetener
- Condensed milk
- Brown sugar
- Tapioca starch
- Any halal flavouring agent
To Sum it Up
Holy Quran and Sunnah are the two primary sources of guidance for all of the Muslim populace. So, in light of the Quran and Sunnah, for a halal Boba tea, all of its ingredients must be halal. Boba, which is the main ingredient of Boba tea (bubble tea), is also halal. So you can enjoy Boba tea in any part of the country as long as it doesn’t contain any other haram ingredient.