Boba shops are a place of innovation and endless customization. More and more people want to drink boba and bubble tea, and an increasing number of boba shops are opening every month. Large Coffee chains like Starbucks and Dunkin’ are taking cues.
But does Starbucks have Boba tea? Read on to learn if Starbucks offers Boba tea on its menu and how you can make Boba tea at home.
Does Starbucks Have Boba?
The bubble tea market has been growing exponentially lately. According to a recent study by Allied Market Research, the bubble tea industry is expected to grow by 7.8% annually, and it is forecasted to reach a whopping $4.3 billion by 2027.
So you would think that all Starbucks stores would have jumped on the growing Boba tea market.
Oddly enough, Starbucks doesn’t carry Boba tea, at least for now.
Starbucks is not currently navigating the Bubble Tea waters but is testing its own variation of Boba tea and coffee drinks.
These drinks contain coffee beads in two versions: the Chai Tea Latte Iced and the Starbucks Cold Brew Classic.
If you like a more traditional boba with tea, the Iced Chai Tea Latte with coffee beads is for you.
But if you’re a die-hard coffee drink fan, you should try the “In the Dark” as soon as it goes on sale, made with cold brew and coffee pearls.
To the surprise of some Starbucks fans, it is not yet possible to order these drinks in the style of Boba tea.
The test phase began in December 2021 in two Starbucks branches, so we might expect Boba tea drinks to be sold in all Starbucks branches sooner or later, along with other Starbucks Boba tea drinks.
What Is Boba Tea?
Boba tea, also called “bubble tea” or “black pearl tea,” is relatively unknown to many Westerners, which is not surprising considering that this beverage is primarily served in Asia.
Boba tea originated in Taiwan. This Taiwanese drink is traditionally made from milk, tea, and slimy tapioca balls.
Boba tea tapioca balls, also known as tapioca pearls or Boba pearls, are made from a starchy component of the cassava root.
Typically, these delicious tapioca pearls are added to black or green tea. If you don’t like iced tea, you can also mix them with coffee.
So why is this Taiwanese drink taking the World by storm?
Boba tea’s unique taste is unlike any other iced tea, and the slimy tapioca pearls give this milk tea a creamy, delicious note.
The taste of the tapioca pearls in Boba tea is often described as sweet and salty.
This is due to the combination of the salty tapioca starch and the sweet flavors of the classic syrup often used for boba pearl tea.
What Should You Order From Starbucks If You’re Looking For Bubble Tea?
While Starbucks does not yet officially offer Boba tea, this coffee shop chain should not be completely removed from the offerings for Boba lovers.
Starbucks drinks offer plenty of customization options. Even if they don’t offer Boba tea, it is possible to imitate traditional drinks in the style of Boba tea.
One option is to add jelly coffee to your order but be aware that you won’t get the same thick texture as with pearl tea.
Starbucks also offers alternatives to boba or bubble tea with fruity flavors.
The most popular alternative is the Raspberry Milk Tea from Starbucks if you like the taste of raspberry.
Many Boba tea drinks are made with sweetened fruit syrup, giving you a milky tea with a fruity taste, similar to the classic Boba tea or bubble tea served in Asian tea houses.
To get on the Boba tea train, ask for the following: Can I have a large unsweetened iced black tea with milk? Add 2 tbsp of raspberry syrups and 2 tbsp caramel syrup, and small brown sugar.
You can also order a basic tea with milk and brown sugar, containing the Teavana tea of your choice, a milk of your choice, and brown sugar.
Why Starbucks Doesn’t Sell Boba?
Starbucks has been promoting and innovating a sophisticated Italian coffee culture in the US and across the World.
Boba is relatively unknown in Italy as it comes from Taiwan. In addition to that, the cost of implementing Boba across the business might not generate enough return to make it a worthwhile investment.
Moreover, Starbucks recently had major product line launches such as the Starbucks Oleato, which is clear evidence that Starbucks is sticking to its Italian roots and innovating and expanding from that position.
Will that direction change under the new CEO, Laxman Narasimhan? Only time will tell.
How To Make A Boba Drink At Home
Since Starbucks doesn’t sell Boba drinks yet, you can make your own Boba drinks at home.
The first step is to get the ingredients and try to have a little fun. In addition to fresh ingredients and a little creativity, there are a few more tricks to making Boba at home that can rival any Starbucks drink.
Start with Making a Tea
The Teavana brand of tea, used by Starbucks, offers various teas, from classic black tea to citrus-flavored pineapple.
Start by selecting the tea of your choice; it can be the Teavana brand, but you are not limited to that.
Get some Chai tea bags if you want to make your own Boba tea after a Starbucks Iced Chai Tea.
If you prefer a classic cup of Boba tea, get a tea bag: black or green tea should be fine.
You can even order a black tea with iced beads to turn it into a refreshing cold drink.
For those who don’t drink tea, using iced coffee instead of tea for your DIY recipes is perfectly acceptable.
You can make your own coffee and pour it over ice or use a ready-made cold brew for your pearl tea drinks – it’s up to you! Tailor the drink to your taste.
The great thing about making your own Boba at home is that you can customize the drink to your taste and leave out what you don’t like.
At this point in the process, you get what you pay for. You can make a latte with coffee beads and add popular flavors like raspberry or mango.
Or you can use sweetened condensed milk as the base for your boba tea if you want an ultra-sweet pearl milk tea, as condensed milk is very rich.
Foodies can also add liquid cane sugar to pearl milk tea.
Since regular sugar doesn’t always dissolve well in cold drinks, it’s worth considering using a liquid sweetener in your recipe.
Add Tapioca Pearls
Along with milk, coffee, and tea, tapioca pearls or coffee pearls are the main ingredient in boba drinks. Many Asian and Asian-American communities make them themselves, but you can also buy them online or at local grocery stores.
Now it’s time to combine all the ingredients, mix them well.
Serve Boba Tea Over Ice
Boba is best served chilled, so pour it over fresh ice. Our pro tip is to use a thick straw; regular straws are not big enough to hold the beads.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is Starbucks getting popping Boba?
Starbucks was testing out Coffee Popping Pearls sips, which look similar to boba. The popping pearls complement the Iced Chai Tea Latte.
Where can you find boba near you?
Since Starbucks stores don’t yet carry traditional Boba, you should look for other nearby bubble tea stores. If you can’t find anything, it’s best to make the Boba at home.
Does bubble tea contain caffeine?
It depends on the ingredients used. If it’s black or green tea, then yes, it gives you a boost.
Does bubble tea usually have a lot of calories?
Yes, this delicious treat is often high in calories, especially if sweeteners and flavored syrups are added.
So does Starbucks have Boba tea on their menu? Currently, there are no official Boba drinks on the Starbucks menu.
Starbucks is constantly testing new drinks, and there is a growing demand in the US for Boba drinks, so this is an open question. Until then, you can enjoy your bubble tea at a Boba shop near you or make one at home!
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- 1 Does Starbucks Have Boba?
- 2 What Is Boba Tea?
- 3 What Should You Order From Starbucks If You’re Looking For Bubble Tea?
- 4 Why Starbucks Doesn’t Sell Boba?
- 5 How To Make A Boba Drink At Home
- 6 Frequently Asked Questions
- 7 Final Thoughts