How much sugar is in a cup of Hong Kong milk tea as compared to our local 'teh'? The results might shock you

How much sugar is in a cup of Hong Kong milk tea as compared to our local 'teh'? The results might shock you
A cup of Hong Kong milk tea.
PHOTO: Cham Dao Long

Milk tea is a local institution in Hong Kong and it has gained widespread popularity amongst the Chinese, especially with plenty of stores offering the drink in several cities.

But let it be known that one cup of milk tea contains the caffeine equivalent of eight cans of the energy drink, Red Bull, and a meal's worth of calories.

The latest findings come from a government backed consumer rights body in Shanghai, reported the South China Morning Post (SCMP).

Results from a test conducted on 51 cups of milk tea from 27 brands in Shanghai showed an alarmingly high amount of calories in some products.

Based on Singapore's Health Promotion Board (HPB) dietary guidelines, the recommended amount of sugar for adults (18 to 69 years) is approximately eight to 11 teaspoons daily.

Added sugar should not contibute to over 10 per cent of a person's daily energy intake, according to the HPB.

A cup of Hong Kong milk tea reportedly contains an estimated 23g (4.5 teaspoons) of sugar.

In comparison, a cup of 'teh' in Singapore contains almost the same amount of sugar at 22.5g.

This means consuming a cup of the local drink is already half of the recommended daily sugar intake.

But don't feel bad - a cup of Thai milk tea apparently contains 31g of sugar.

However, China's milk tea lovers aren't letting the startling results stop them from having more of the well-loved beverage.

Jason Yu, general manager of market research firm Kantar Worldpanel in China, told SCMP: "Milk tea shops are enjoying strong growth potential in China thanks to improving living standard and evolving lifestyles."

For those of us who down more than a cup's worth of 'teh' on a daily basis, time to watch out for the sugar in our drinks - or at least ask for 'teh kosong' (the sugar-free version) on your next order.

ssandrea@sph.com.sg

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