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Help! Want to go out for bubble tea....

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Hey guys, 

I have a friend who wants to take me out for bubble tea, but I feel awkward because I'm not sure about contamination issues. I am also sensitive to dairy. 

Has anyone here had problems with bubble tea, or is it safe for celiacs? 

Also, I know that I can get milk free bubble tea, but I'm a little worried about contamination. 


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I know nothing about bubble (boba)  tea except mixes are used (processed) and whole tapioca is added.  There are many stores around my house which are owned by Koreans.  Nice people, but they do not have much exposure or knowledge about celiac disease in my personal experience.  You know that "deer in the headlights" look when you ask about gluten.  My gluten-eating kid likes the drinks, but I opt for plain coffee with cream at the Starbucks located in the same strip mall.  

Keep us posted on the results of your research.  

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" I'm asking about bubble tea in general. If contamination were not a problem, is bubble tea usually gluten free?  "


My celiac daughter likes boba tea.  I have tested her favorite tea with ezgluten test kit as well as NIMA, and they have always tested negative.   We only get our tea at this one specific tea shop (they have 3 different locations).   They pretty much only sell tea and coffee, and some snacks that are usually kept in a window display and in their own plastic casings.  

Boba tea is just milk tea and tapioca.   You can order with black tea or green tea, and with or without milk.   These places generally don't use flour or soy sauce in their "production line".   I would avoid tea places that also sell food.  

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Thanks for all your input guys! 

After much research, I decided to scope out a bubble tea place in advance. It was a specialty tea  shop, but did sell other things like cake. Thankfully, the gluten containing products were carefully separated from the tapioca pearls and tea. I also requested a copy of their tea ingredients, which were gluten free. 

I decided to risk it, as I didn't have anything up for the next few weeks and could handle a glutening. I was really hoping that I wouldn't have a reaction, and to my delight, I didn't. 

I really appreciate the advice everybody gave, as they helped me choose a low risk establishment to trial with. 


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