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Does Starbucks Have Boba? Starbucks Coffee Popping Pearls

– Does Starbucks Have Boba –

Boba, also known as bubble tea, has grown in popularity around the world. The sweet, milky tea with chewy tapioca pearls has also gained popularity in the United States.

Because Starbucks is a popular stop for almost every type of beverage, you may be wondering if Starbucks sells boba. 

What is Boba?

Its cassava starch balls.

Boba can refer to the entire drink plus toppings, with the most popular topping being tapioca pearls (which are also called boba.

I know, it’s confusing, but stick with me!) Depending on where you live in the country, the drink is also known as bubble tea, pearl tea, or tapioca tea.

As previously stated, tapioca pearls, also known as “boba,” are typically made from cassava starch, a South American root vegetable also known as yuca.

Boba the entire drink is from Taiwan, though it is debatable which city and specific shop it originated in.

Originally, boba pearls were paired with syrups, beans, and delectably chewy rice balls in shaved ice desserts.

Milk tea was also popular, and thankfully, someone decided to combine the two, resulting in the brilliant, beloved drink we have today.

Boba culture spread to America via Taiwanese neighborhoods and flourished near college campuses and high schools. Where students gathered for study groups.

Even now, most boba shops are open late and serve cheap snacks and drinks, making them ideal for late-night hangouts and studying.

Is Boba Available at Starbucks?

Starbucks does not have boba on its menu, and it does not appear that there are any plans to add it anytime soon.

Customers can instead try other refreshing iced drinks and teas at Starbucks.

Customers can also find boba at other stores near you, particularly Chinese and Asian restaurants.

Although it is disappointing to learn that Starbucks does not sell boba, there are some alternatives.

The History of Boba Tea

Boba culture began in the late 1980s. Though its roots remain unknown. The milk tea was already well-known in Taiwan. where tea consumption was widespread.

During the period, shaved ice and tapioca balls were also popular sweets.

Someone had the brilliant idea of combining three popular parts into one drink. Tapioca balls on the bottom, a layer of shaved ice on top, and milk tea to finish.

Because boba is Chinese slang for breasts. The tea became known as boba (a reference to the spherical shape of the tapioca balls).

As boba became more popular in Taiwan. stall owners began to experiment with fruit boba, substituting fruit powders and syrups for genuine fruit (which was too expensive and went bad quickly).

Grass jelly, almond jelly, egg pudding, and red beans were among the topping options. In addition to tapioca balls.

Even in traditional boba, they replaced the milk in the milk tea with non-dairy creamer. Giving the drink its extraordinarily sweet, creamy flavor.

Variations of Boba Tea

Does Starbucks have Boba

As a Drink 

Bubble tea comes in a variety of flavors, with black, green, oolong, and white teas being the most common.  

Another kind, yuenyeung (Chinese:鴛鴦, called for the Mandarin duck), is made with black tea, coffee, and milk and developed in Hong Kong. 

Blended tea drinks are another variation of the drink. These versions are frequently made with ice cream or smoothies including both tea and fruit.

As Toppings

Tapioca (boba). The most frequent ingredient is tapioca pearls (boba), however.

There are various ways to manufacture the chewy spheres found in bubble tea.

The color of the pearls varies depending on the additives added to the tapioca. Brown sugar turns most pearls black.

Jelly comes in a variety of shapes and flavors, including coconut jelly, konjac jelly, lychee jelly, grass jelly, mango, coffee, and green tea jelly.

The addition of azuki bean or mung bean paste, which are common toppings for Taiwanese shaved ice sweets enhances bubble tea.


Bubble tea is generally packed in a plastic takeaway cup with a rounded cap or plastic seal in Southeast Asia.

Newcomers to the market have tried to set themselves apart by packaging their products in bottles and other unusual designs.

Some people have even abandoned the bottle in favor of plastic sealed bags.

Nonetheless, the most frequent packaging option is the classic plastic takeaway cup with a tight cover.

Boba Ice and Sugar Level

Customers at bubble tea businesses frequently have the option of selecting the quantity of ice or sugar in their cups.  

Sugar levels are often given in percentages (e.g. 25%, 50%, 75%, 100%). while ice levels are typically specified ordinally (e.g. no ice, less ice, normal ice).

Though both can be specified ordinally in some stores.

Why isn’t Boba Available at Starbucks?

Despite the fact that boba is quickly becoming a popular drink, Starbucks has yet to include it on its menu.

This could be due to the high cost of installing the equipment required to make boba in every single store across the chain.

Staff will also need to be trained to make boba tea. Additionally, storage space is required for the ingredients, particularly the cooked tapioca pearls.

Most Starbucks locations may not have enough space to store all the boba tea ingredients.

Finally, it’s possible that Starbucks regards boba tea as a passing fad rather than a long-term favorite drink.


Does Starbucks have Boba|Starbucks Alternate Boba?

Starbucks is now developing its own version of bubble tea. Which is in the shape of boba iced coffee drinks according to Business Insider.

Two beverages with tapioca “coffee pearls” will be available for a short time. At two California supermarkets this winter.

While the official Insider had no more comments. Others who visited the test sites have released further information over social media.

User @kirbyssister displays adverts enticing customers to try the “coffee popping pearls” in a video on TikTok.

The two boba beverages are in development at these locations. Appear to be a $5.45 “Iced Chai Tea Latte with Coffee Pearls” and a $5.25 respectively.

In the Dark,” a cold-brew drink based on the classic “A Shot in the Dark” or “Redeye,” which is espresso added to drip-brew.

Both beverages are 16 ounces in Starbucks’ “Grande” format.

The TikTok account shows the location of Palm Desert, Calif In the video.

The “coffee popping pearls” are layered on top of the ice, appearing to be about the same size and shape as a coffee bean. Which seem really small and awkward to drink,” and “oddly salty-sweet.

According to the video voiceover and captions. (As any boba fan knows, neither of these characteristics is true of traditional boba. Which is chewy and tapioca-flavored.)

Although, Starbucks is not the first major fast-food chain to hop onto the bubble tea train.

Dunkin’, Sonic, and Midwest-based Caribou Coffee all offer variations on the drink.

Boba has even left its fingerprint on the beverage alcohol industry. With micro-trends such as boba cocktails and boba beer popping up in recent years.

Boba is here for the long haul. Whether more mainstream U.S. corporations continue to tap into this market remains to be seen.

What Can You Get in Place of Boba at Starbucks?

Although boba tea is not available at Starbucks. There are some other drinks with a similar flavor that you can try.

Sweet, milky teas and fruit flavors can be used to replicate the boba tea experience.

Starbucks offers a variety of iced tea flavors, including fruit and herb flavors.

As well as black and green tea. Iced coffee can also be used as a boba substitute, though it contains caffeine, which boba tea does not.

Try the raspberry milk tea or the Teavana iced drink line. Teavana teas to try include:

  1. Iced Shaken Hibiscus Tea with Pomegranate Pearls
  2. Matcha and Espresso fusion
  3. Iced Shaken Black tea with Honey and Ruby Grapefruit

Where Can You find Boba in your Area?

The location of the stores is one of the reasons why people have been so eager for Starbucks to serve boba.

Starbucks locations are conveniently located in your neighborhood or near your workplace.

Other stores that sell boba may require a trip to the mall or a different neighborhood.

Small boba tea shops may exist in your neighborhood, depending on where you live. Boba tea is also available in many Chinese, Asian, and fusion restaurants.

Kung Fu tea, for example, is a new chain store that serves boba tea. You can see if they have any locations near you by visiting their website.

Kokee Tea is another boba-serving chain, but it is only available in the northeastern United States.

Although, there has been some speculation that Dunkin’ Donuts will soon begin serving boba tea. But this has not yet occurred.

Boba and Other Toppings

1. Boba

This is the standard topping at any tea shop. These cassava root balls are boiled and flavored, often with brown sugar or honey, after being rolled into bite-size bunches.

As a result, your drink will have subtly sweet and chewy. In addition, that will make drinking milk tea ten times more enjoyable.

If you’re trying to milk tea for the first time, I’d go with the classics and add boba to your drink.

2. Grass Jelly

Don’t worry, it doesn’t taste like grass (nor is it made from grass). The treat is made with Chinese mesona. 

A plant in the mint family. Brown sugar is usually steeped in the jelly to give it a slightly sweet, herbaceous flavor.

Grass jelly is cut into cubes and has a firmer texture than pudding. I’d recommend combining grass jelly with any milk tea.

As it’s a great substitute for boba if you’re feeling adventurous. It also complements coffee-based beverages.

3. Whipped Foam/Cream

In the world of boba milk teas, whipped foam toppings are a relatively new addition.

These thick, glossy foams, which range from tiramisu crema to sea salt cream, are delicately piled on top of teas and enjoyed.

There’s also “cheese tea,” which is made with whipped cheese powder or cream cheese. And serves as a salty counterpoint to boba shops’ syrupy sweet drinks.

When properly consumed. The texture is similar to fluffy mousse and produces an excellent foam mustache.

4. Sago/Tapioca

Sago is similar to tapioca pudding but without the pudding. The texture is chewy and spongy, yet considerably more flexible than tapioca pearls.

Many traditional Asian desserts feature these delicate micro-pearls, which go well with coconut, red bean, and matcha flavors.

If you don’t want to chew your drink as much, I recommend substituting boba.

5. Aloe Vera

Aloe vera is rich in antioxidants and is said to be beneficial for your skin. Then why not add it to your drink order?

These clear, cubed jellies are soaked in syrup and taste refreshing and sweet.

Due to the flavor being a bit subdued, aloe vera jelly goes nicely with bolder, tropical flavors.

I’d recommend adding it to citrus drinks, like an orange or passion fruit green tea.

6. Pudding

This is not to be confused with the pudding found in snack packs. Made from egg yolks, cream, and sugar.

Boba pudding has a custard-like flavor but is harder due to the use of gelatin. The only thing that comes close is an extremely soft flan.

They have just the right amount of crunch and go great with creamier, more decadent milk teas.

Also, Boba businesses occasionally sell flavored puddings, such as taro or mango pudding.

Make your drink your own by adding pudding on top of the boba for a different texture.

7. Red Bean

If you believe beans have no place in desserts or drinks. You’re missing out on a wonderful way to increase your fiber intake.

The azuki bean (also known as a red bean) is made by boiling the legume in sugar. Which produces a fragrant, soft combination.

Because red bean traditionally pairs well with matcha. I propose using it in matcha milk tea for an earthy drink.

8. Taro Balls

Taro balls have a more delicate melt-in-your-mouth texture than boba pearls. Which have a springy texture that bounces back mid-chew.

Moreso, Taro is mashed with sweet potato or tapioca flour and water. To produce deformed spheres of goodness for these toppings.

However, Taro balls are commonly served as a dessert in Taiwan, both iced and hot.

Combine it with oolong milk tea for a dessert-drink hybrid, or add it to taro milk tea for a double dose of taro.

How to Make Bubble Tea (Boba Tea)

Does Starbucks have Boba

Have you ever wondered how bubble tea is made? Here’s a simple bubble tea recipe and tips to show you how to prepare this refreshing drink at home.

What Kind of Tea do you Use?

The finest teas to use are ones with a strong flavor, such as black or jasmine tea.

Because you’ll be diluting the tea with milk and ice cubes, you’ll want a robust tea that holds its taste.

For this recipe, I used Numi’s Chinese Breakfast Tea, but any strong tea will suffice.

Equal parts Assam and Ceylon tea leaves are another tea blend I recommend.

What kind of milk do you use? Can this be Dairy Free?

Whole milk is preferable since the rich flavor enhances the overall flavor of the beverage.

I tried a heavy cream version of bubble tea. The tea tasted even better than the kind I made with full milk, but it was too indulgent.

Maybe half-and-half would be a nice compromise? Nut kinds of milk or soy milk can be used to make a dairy-free version.

I tried using canned coconut milk once, and it left a strange aftertaste on my tongue. My mouth felt like it was coated in a thin film of coconut butter.

What Kind of Sweetener do you Use?

Any type of sweetener will do. If you’re using honey (or any thick syrup), it’s better to add it while the tea is still hot so that the honey dissolves evenly.

Granulated sugar is the same way. Naturally, this means you’ll have to estimate how much sweetener you’ll need.

Before the bubble tea is ready to taste. For every two cups of tea, you’ll probably need at least 2 tablespoons of honey.

Because everyone’s taste for sweetness differs, I propose making simple syrup and letting each participant pour as much as they want into their drinks.

Simple syrup is simple to make. In a saucepan, combine 1/2 cup water and 1/2 cup sugar and bring to a boil.

Turn off the heat after the sugar has dissolved. Once the simple syrup has cooled, bottle it and store it in the refrigerator.

I usually use approximately 1 1/2 tablespoons of simple syrup per drink, just enough to make it taste somewhat sweet.

Some folks prefer their drinks with additional syrup.

What Kind of Tapioca Pearls do you Use?

Typically, it’s ideal to use this brand of tapioca pearls, which cooks in about 5 minutes.

Because these pearls cook quickly, the texture could be better. Although, For reference, slower cooking tapioca pearls can take up to an hour to cook.

You can find these tapioca pearls in Asian supermarkets or on Amazon.

However, one important thing to note about these quick-cooking tapioca pearls is that you should only cook as many as you need. Because the pearls stiffen as they cool, they do not keep well overnight.

However, if you leave the pearls in their cooking water, the pearls retain their soft texture for a longer time.

In other words, don’t drain the hot water once you are done cooking the pearls.

Instead, use a slotted spoon to remove the pearls from the saucepan, and leave any excess pearls in the saucepan together with the hot water.

Can this Bubble Tea Recipe be Made in Advance?

Sure, You can steep the tea 1 or 2 days before and store it in the refrigerator.

Also, you can make the simple syrup several days ahead. Although, it’s not recommended you cook the tapioca pearls more than an hour ahead because the pearls harden quite quickly.

Ingredients for Boba Tea Drink

  1. whole milk to serve, or your choice of milk
  2. 4 cups of hot water
  3. 8 bags of black tea/3 tablespoons loose-leaf black tea(alternatively)
  4. 3/4 cup quick-cooking tapioca pearls
  5. simple syrup to serve, or your choice of sweetener


  1. Prepare the tea by steeping 4 cups of freshly boiled water with the tea bags or leaves. Allow the tea to cool completely in the water. 
  2. If used, make the simple syrup as follows: In a saucepan, combine the water and sugar and whisk everything together quickly. Cook, stirring constantly until the water boils and the sugar is completely dissolved. Remove the saucepan from the heat and set it aside to cool before transferring the simple syrup to a jar.

More on Instructions

  1. Cook the tapioca pearls by bringing 4 cups of water to a boil and adding the tapioca pearls. Stir the pearls and allow them to float to the surface. Cook for an additional 5 minutes. Check to see if a pearl has reached the desired level of softness. If the pearls are still stiff, cook them for a few more minutes. Remove the pearls from the hot water with a slotted spoon. Rinse the pearls quickly with water. Place the pearls in a bowl and toss with a few tablespoons of simple syrup (to taste).
  2. Assemble the beverages: Fill a pitcher halfway with tea. And 4 big glasses filled with cooked tapioca pearls. Add a few ice cubes to each glass after that. Fill each glass with 1 cup of tea. In each glass, pour 1 1/2 tablespoons milk and 1 1/2 tablespoons simple syrup. Stir the milk tea and taste it. To taste, add more milk or simple syrup.
  3. If you’re serving the beverage to guests. Have a small pitcher of milk and a jar of simple syrup on hand. So that they can customize their drinks to their liking. Typically, the drink is served with large boba straws (large enough for the tapioca pearls to go through). If you don’t have any straws, you can scoop out the tapioca pearls with spoons.

Also, Note 

  1. 1. You’ll probably have some leftover simple syrup, which you can keep in the fridge for 3 to 4 weeks. To prepare simple syrup, you can use any type of sugar, such as light or dark brown sugar, or coconut sugar. I also like to add a couple slices of ginger to the saucepan when making the syrup.
  2.  I usually steep the tea for the entire time, resulting in a strong and bitter tea. Otherwise, I feel that adding milk and ice cubes to the drink dilutes the tea flavor. Some tea leaves have a more bitter flavor than others. If you are concerned about the bitterness of the tea, remove the tea bags or tea leaves after 5 minutes.
  3.  Do not drain the pearls from the saucepan if you are making them about an hour ahead of time. Leave them in hot water because the heat will help keep the tapioca pearls soft.

How is Boba served?

When you purchase a boba drink, you often have the option of customizing it with ice levels, sweetness, and a variety of toppings.

Boba straws are larger than standard straws to accommodate tapioca, fruit, or anything else you have in your drink.

And come with a pointed tip to pierce through the sealed top. Just make sure you have your thumb pressed firmly over the top hole of your straw.

Before you drive it through the film of plastic covering your drink, or else your drink will explode everywhere.

Metal and glass boba straws are now available for purchase, reducing the need for single-use plastic boba straws.

Some boba shops serve their sweet milk-tea nectars in shorter, stouter cups.

Other establishments forego the sealing machine and serve their beverages with plastic tops similar to those found at Starbucks.

Hot beverages are typically served in standard to-go coffee cups, with an attached spoon if your hot beverage contains toppings.

Whatever container your beverage arrives in, the snacks at boba shops are the next best thing.

Traditional Taiwanese snacks served at boba shops. include salty and spicy Taiwanese popcorn chicken, spiced french fries, minced pork with rice, and tea eggs.

Larger boba shops may have expanded menus and more seating, transforming your boba experience from a snack run to a proper meal.

It’s unsurprising that the shops serve Taiwanese pork chop, noodles, and dumplings. With condensed milk-glazed brick toasts for dessert, at those locations.

Potential Concerns About your Health

Since bubble tea has grown extremely popular in Singapore. Mount Alvernia Hospital in Singapore issued a warning in July 2019 about the drink’s high sugar level.

While the hospital acknowledges the benefits of drinking green and black tea. In lowering the risk of cardiovascular disease, diabetes, arthritis, and cancer.

It also warns that adding other ingredients to the tea, such as non-dairy creamer and toppings.

Could increase the fat and sugar content of the tea, increasing the risk of chronic diseases.

Non-dairy creamer is a milk substitute that comprises hydrogenated palm oil, which contains trans fat.

This oil has been linked to an increased risk of heart disease and stroke, according to the hospital.

FAQs on Does Starbucks have Boba

Does Starbucks have Boba


It’s being tested in two Starbucks locations. One may be found in Palm Desert (73030 El Paseo).

The other store, according to reports, is located in Bellevue, Washington.

We don’t know where this one is, but if you do, please let us know in the comments!

Also, let us know if you live near those two Starbucks shops and try these boba coffee beverages!


Starbucks is cashing in on the boba drink craze by releasing “Coffee Popping Pearls,” which are identical to the popular Asian boba drinks.

Starbucks is well-known for introducing us to new and delectable foods and beverages.


Starbucks is now developing its own version of bubble tea in the shape of boba iced coffee drinks, according to Business Insider.

Two beverages with tapioca “coffee pearls” will be available for a short time at two California supermarkets this winter.


Hong Kong Milk Tea or Black Milk Tea.

The black milk tea flavor or boba selection is an all-time favorite. And, according to some, the father of bubble tea or boba.

It all started with this flavor, and soon after, a slew of others appeared. This is the most popular boba tea flavor without a doubt.


Because the coffee pearls are filled with Starbucks coffee, they provide an extra boost of caffeine when consumed.

The pearls are now available in two drink flavors. In The Dark, a cold brew-based coffee drink. and an iced chai tea latte, according to TikTokker @kirbyssister.

More FAQs on Does Starbucks have Boba


In cafés and shops, Taro. Taro is one of the most popular boba tea flavors.

Many boba tea fans are drawn to it because of its purple color, creamy and starchy texture, and sweet vanilla flavor.

It is frequently one of the cafes’ best-selling drinks, alongside traditional Thai milk tea and black milk tea.


It has a distinct green flavor that pairs wonderfully with milk.

Mango flavor — sweet, juicy, and frequently made using fruit puree rather than actual tea.


When you bite into Tea Zone Rainbow Popping Pearls, you’ll get a delicious explosion of apple juice flavor.

The vibrant colors of reds, oranges, and white make this one-of-a-kind boba even more appealing in your drink!


Taro is a potato-like starchy root vegetable. It tastes a teeny-tiny bit like a potato, but that’s not exactly an appealing description.

Taro flavor is difficult to define with other flavors. It has a very sweet flavor with a faint vanilla undertone.


Tapioca is used to make boba.

Because of the tapioca, the “pearls” or “bubbles” do not dissolve rapidly when extended to their maximum size.

As a result, eating them without chewing can be dangerous.

Unfortunately, boba tea is not available at Starbucks. But Alternatives include Raspberry Milk Tea and a variety of Teavana Flavors.

Boba tea is available in local stores as well as Asian and Chinese restaurants. However, Boba tea is also sold at certain new chain stores.

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