What Does Taro Taste Like? And Why Is It Purple?

Currently cultivated in various other parts of the world, taro originally comes from the tropical regions of South India and Asia. Technically speaking, taro is a root vegetable also known as Colocasia esculenta. The plant’s leaves are edible, making for a very diverse organism. But now our burning question is, “What does Taro taste like?”

The flavor will depend on how you consume taro; however, it typically has a sweet, nutty flavor with a hint of vanilla. Although not as starchy in taste, there is also the hint of potato; once cooked, it tastes more like sweet potato. Taro bubble tea is highly popular and flavorsome.

Taro is a versatile root vegetable that can be baked, boiled, mashed, roasted, or even fried; enjoy it as you like.

The starchiness of taro is reminiscent of potatoes and, more so, the sweet potato.

People can and do eat it in the same manner as these roots mentioned above, but one highly popular way is as a drink or even dessert – So to learn more about its taste, do read on.  

What Does Taro Tea Taste Like?

People are hesitant to try taro tea as it is likely an incredibly foreign beverage to them, and they are concerned that once they try it, they are going to dislike it.

And yes, this is true, but nothing ventured equates to nothing gained, and by not trying it out, you are missing out.

This tea has a sweet and nutty flavor despite its appearance, which can be deceiving. 

It is peculiar that something eaten in similar ways to an ordinary potato can also make for a delicious tea.

Interestingly, even taro ice cream, and to some degree, the tea has a hint of vanilla. There is a starchy sensation on the tongue with these, though, so that may be a deterrent, but it is worth at least trying once. 

Taro can be an acquired taste, which you may not even know how to describe your first time comprehensibly drinking it, but it may well develop into one of your favorite flavors. 

What Does Taro Boba Taste Like?

Taro boba is sometimes known as taro milk tea or taro bubble tea, and it is a drink rising in popularity that has its origins in Asia for the most part but is now found across the globe.

Some describe it as having a vanilla and coconut flavor with a caramel hint noted. Some even find it to resemble a mild chocolate-like taste or that of a subdued cookie flavor.

However, one thing is agreed upon: it is creamy, milky, and sometimes even buttery.

There is usually sugar and milk added to the blend, which makes taro boba far sweeter than if you were to eat the vegetable or drink the usual tea (although you could add sugar to that as well).

The sugar is usually granulated brown sugar, although sometimes it is substituted by honey.

All versions usually come with the actual bubbles we refer to when mentioning “boba”; another name for them is tapioca pearls, which is one of the primary ways bubble tea is differentiated from normal tea.

Should One Chew Boba?

Boba is the characterizing element of bubble tea, and without them, it just would not be the same.

Boba, tapioca balls (or pearls) are meant to be chewed and are chewy, fibrous, and rubbery in texture.

On their own, they are tasteless gummy-like chews, which, when coated in sugar and mixed with the taro (and other ingredients), absorb elements thereof and are slightly flavored. 

Does Taro Have Caffeine?

Typically, taro is made from taro milk powder, which does not have any caffeine;

however, there is a small amount of caffeine within the tea itself, usually only around 25mg, with the maximum amount generally reaching 40mg.

This is not an issue for the average person as the daily maximum recommended amount of caffeine sits between 300mg and 400mg. 

Is Taro Purple?

This depends on the region and soil in which the taro is grown, and it can range from pink to purple and even white.

For the most part, the root has a white hue with purple spots, which are rather prominent.

As far as the taro boba is concerned, the standard color is purple, which is owed partly to the color of the root.

However, manufacturers combine purple food coloring with the powder during its processing.

So, when you order taro boba or buy the powder, you will note its highly distinguishable vibrant purple hue.  

Taro Powder Vs. Taro Root

There are different types of recipes available for making taro boba, and you can make it yourself, but if it is your first time trying it, it is recommended to go and taste what is made from a bubble tea store.

One can use either the root or the powder to make the tea; however, the powder is far more commonly used.

Like other starches, the root is good for cooking and eating, but it can also be used to make taro boba.

However, it is not recommended as the powder is what the bubble tea shops use, and as far as the bubble tea goes, this will give you a more authentic taste.

Other reasons for opting for the powder over the root include convenience, ease of use, and general accessibility to acquiring it.

Is Taro Milk Tea Vegan Friendly?

Generally, the answer would be a no, as the taro boba contains milk and sometimes even condensed milk and other non-vegan ingredients (some of which are already infused with the taro powder – so there is no way around that one).

However, it is possible to get vegan taro powder, and you can always use dairy-alternative milk such as almond, soya, or even oat milk.


Taro is a highly unique root vegetable that has many uses and is certainly rising in popularity; if you have not yet tried out this divine tasting plant or had yourself a taro boba, we highly recommend that you at least give it a try.

The region it is grown in can affect the taste, but for the most part, this nutty, creamy, and almost vanilla-tasting product will tantalize your taste buds.