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Starbucks’ Boba Coffee: A Foodie’s First Impressions

  • 4 min read

Hello, fellow foodies! It’s your buddy Mike here, and boy, do I have some exciting news for you! Starbucks, the global coffee giant we all know and love, is jumping on the boba bandwagon. Yes, you heard it right! They’re introducing their own version of the popular Asian boba drinks, called “Coffee Popping Pearls”.

Starbucks has always been a trendsetter, constantly introducing new and tantalizing food and beverages for us to savor. This time, they’re testing a couple of new iced coffee boba drinks for a limited time at two stores in the United States this winter. If you’re lucky enough to be in Bellevue, Washington or near 73030 El Paseo, Palm Desert, California, you’re in for a treat!

As I did not have pictures of the drink here are some AI rendererings

So, what’s the scoop on these Starbucks boba coffee drinks? Well, they’re essentially iced coffee beverages with a twist. The “coffee pearl” drinks are definitely on trend for all of us who are boba enthusiasts. You might have noticed a surge in bubble-tea stores popping up in your neighborhood over the last couple of years.

Now, if you’re wondering what boba or these “coffee popping pearls” are, let me break it down for you. Boba is made from tapioca starch and is often referred to as “tapioca pearls”. These tiny pearls of joy are often simmered in a brown sugar syrup or honey, giving them their sweet taste and dark color. Originating from Taiwan, boba is used in bubble tea, pearl tea, and tapioca tea, with the name varying depending on where you are in the country. The tea base is usually black or green tea, but it can also be paired with syrups like peach and strawberry for a fruity flavor. But Starbucks is taking it a step further by creating coffee-flavored pearls!

As I did not have pictures of the drink here are some AI rendererings

In the case of Starbucks’ new boba drinks, they’re offering the “popping” pearl version, which is filled with actual coffee. It’s a unique take on the traditional boba we see in most Asian style tea houses.

Now, I know what you’re thinking. Will these coffee boba drinks be available at other Starbucks locations? Well, we can only hope! If the reviews from these test markets are positive, we might all get to taste these innovative drinks soon.

Just to give you an idea of how big the bubble tea market is, according to Allied Market Research, it was valued at $2.4 billion in 2019 and is estimated to reach $4.3 billion by 2027. With Starbucks being the largest coffeehouse company in the world, they’re definitely contributing to this growing market with their new drinks.

As for the nutritional info and price, at these two test locations, a 16-ounce Grande, In the Dark coffee-based drink is $5.25 and 220 calories, while a 16-ounce Grande Iced Chai Tea Latte with Coffee Pearls is $5.45 and 260 calories.

I, for one, am super excited about the Starbucks boba-style iced coffee. If it’s a hit in the test stores, I’ll be the first in line to try it when it comes to my city. And I won’t be making any changes to the original drinks, because if it’s good enough for a test market, it’s good enough for me to try and possibly enjoy.

So, here’s to hoping that we all get to taste these exciting new drinks soon. Stay tuned for more foodie updates, and remember, life’s too short to eat boring food!

Is boba coffee available in Starbucks?

As of my last update in September 2021, Starbucks does not officially have boba coffee or any beverages with tapioca pearls on their menu. However, Starbucks is known for its customizable menu and frequently updates its offerings, so it could potentially be introduced in the future. I’d recommend checking the most recent menu at your local Starbucks or their official website for the most accurate information.

Cheers, Mike

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