I include boba tea as one of my go-to beverages due to the singular flavor it imparts and the pearls’ tendency to retain their chewy texture.
It is a delectable beverage with roots in Taiwan that is gaining popularity all over the world. As a result, it is becoming more simple to locate at boba shops and grocery stores.
On the other hand, you may be astonished to learn that the tapioca pearls, which are a key component of the beverage, deteriorate in a relatively short amount of time.
Even though it is unusual to have leftover boba pearls, you should make use of them as soon as possible in order to preserve the exceptional tastes that they provide to your tea.
As a result, this brings up an extremely significant question: how long does boba last? In addition, what causes these pearls to lose their luster or get spoiled?
Because it is essential that you be aware of this, the following paragraphs will focus on presenting the relevant details.
It should help you determine how long you may use the boba pearls after purchasing them or after manufacturing them at yourself since your estimations will rely on various different elements.
What is Boba?
Boba is a novelty drink made from tea that was first introduced in Taiwan in the 1980s. It is also known as bubble tea.
To prepare it, you will need a base tea such as green, white, or black tea, as well as “boba” pearls, which are created from tapioca flour. In addition, you may choose to add toppings such as grass jelly, red bean, or aloe vera.
The pearls have the form of little spheres, and their tasteless nature and dark brown color result from a procedure in which they are simmered in a syrup made with brown sugar. This technique gives the pearls their distinctive look.
You shouldn’t expect to get many health advantages from drinking boba tea, but you can count on it to give you an energy boost because of the amount of sugar it contains.
The tea component in this drink is primarily responsible for the health advantages it provides, which include lowering blood pressure, lowering the chance of having a stroke or heart disease, and lowering the risk of developing cancer (especially boba teas that use green tea as a base).
How Long Does Boba Last? Does Boba Go Bad?
It is true that boba may get spoiled, but the length of time it takes to do so varies depending on where it is stored, whether or not it was purchased from a shop, and whether or not it is kept in its uncooked or cooked state.
If you put your handmade boba in the pantry, it will stay fresh for between one and two days. However, if you purchase your boba from a bubble tea restaurant or store, you will be able to preserve it for between two and three days.
When stored in the refrigerator, uncooked boba has a maximum shelf life of 5 days, while cooked boba has a maximum shelf life of 4 days.
When stored in the freezer, uncooked boba has the potential to stay fresh for up to six months, however cooked boba has a shelf life of no more than one month.
You need to be aware of how long you may store boba since it has a propensity to get soggy over time. This applies even to uncooked pearls, although it develops at a slower pace.
If you appreciate the chewiness of fresh boba pearls, you should consume them as soon as you can and then keep them in an airtight container to extend the amount of time they may be kept before becoming stale.
The pearls of boba begin to absorb moisture as soon as they are cooked, whether by steaming or boiling, which results in the pearls having a chewy consistency.
Because of this, they are not only tasty but also susceptible to the invasion of certain bacterial and fungal strains. Because of this, cooked boba must never be kept in the pantry but rather in the refrigerator or freezer at all times.
If you are unable to store cooked boba in a freezer or refrigerator, it is in your best interest to leave it uncooked until just before you want to use it. This will guarantee that it is in the finest possible condition.
If you choose to create tapioca pearls at yourself, there will be no sterilization or preservation agents present. As a result, their shelf life will be reduced, and you will need to utilize them as soon as possible.
How to Tell If Boba is Bad?
Because of their starchy composition, boba pearls may go bad just like any other food material; however, cooked boba pearls will go bad more quickly than uncooked boba pearls owing to the higher sugar content in cooked boba pearls.
There are two indicators that should raise red flags, and they are as follows:
- Mold and discoloration.
When boba pearls are cooked, their color can range from light brown to dark brown depending on the concentration of the syrup used to cook them. Uncooked pearls, on the other hand, have a color similar to dough and may have a layer of white starch on them if they have been dusted with starch.
Even in uncooked boba, the presence of off colors such as yellow, gray, or green is a clear indication that the boba has gone bad.
In addition to this, you should inspect the top of the beverage and throw it away if the boba is of poor quality.
If the boba starts to show signs of color changes, you should toss it out because there is a good chance that it has been contaminated by microbes.
- Bad odor and slimy texture.
Even when they are submerged in a syrup combination, fresh boba pearls should never have the consistency of slime since their chewy, somewhat slippery feel is part of their design.
In addition to having a slimy texture, you should also examine to see whether it has an offensive smell. This is another sign of bacterial colonization and fermentation.
The most common reason for this is improper storage, such as storing the boba in your pantry even if you live in a highly humid and warm environment.
Even if you want to store the boba in the refrigerator or the freezer, you must ensure that it is stored in a container that is airtight and that it is preserved in a manner that prevents it from coming into contact with other foods.
Uncooked boba is resistant to going bad and does so only very seldom. However, after heating, the starchy elements and high sugar level of boba render it susceptible to rapid spoiling caused by the colonization of fungi and bacteria owing to its starchy ingredients and high sugar content.
It also has a propensity to get soggy and lose its taste during storage, which is why it is better to eat it within a few days to ensure that you receive the finest flavor and texture possible, or to keep it in an airtight container to preserve it for longer.
In general, boba tea is a wonderful drink that can be enjoyed at any time of the year, provided that the boba pearls are not stale and are suitable for human consumption.