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Starbucks is capitalizing on the boba drink trend and coming out with its own “Coffee Popping Pearls” similar to the popular Asian boba drinks.
Starbucks is well known for introducing new and delicious food and beverages for us to indulge in. Starbucks is testing a couple of new iced coffee Starbucks boba drinks for a limited time at two stores in the United States this winter. Those of you that live in Bellevue, Washington and near 73030 El Paseo, Palm Desert, California are the lucky testers of “Coffee Popping Pearls” drinks, according to TikTok user @kirbyssister.
What exactly are these Starbucks boba coffee drinks being tested as two new iced coffee beverages?
Similar to boba, these “coffee pearl” drinks are undeniably on trend for those of us who are boba lovers. You’ve possibly even seen several bubble-tea stores opening up in your neighborhood over the last couple of years.
What are boba or these “coffee popping pearls?”
Boba is made from tapioca starch and are often called “tapioca pearls.” They’re small deliciousness, often simmered in a brown sugar syrup or honey, which gives them their sweet taste and dark color. The Taiwanese originated boba is used in bubble tea, pearl tea and tapioca tea, each name different, depending which part of the country you live in. The tea base is usually black or green tea but can also be paired with syrups like peach and strawberry for a fruity flavor as well, or as Starbucks set out to create, coffee flavored.
In the case of Starbucks’ new boba drinks it seems they are offering the “popping” pearl version not to be confused by the dark and chewy bobab that dots most Asian style tea houses. It seems these delicious pearls are filled with actual coffee and yes, Starbucks created their own name for what is essentially a boba.
Will these coffee boba drinks be available at other Starbucks locations?
If only we were all able to all travel to or live near these two locations, at least one of the two, we could all taste test them for ourselves. Here’s to hoping everyone in these markets has nothing but positive reviews and we will all be lucky enough to decide for ourselves.
We all that’s how it usually works, if something new hits the market and customers love it, we will all be able to indulge and enjoy our own! If you’re unable to find these coffee boba drinks in your local Starbucks, look for the alternative made by Cafely, a specialty coffee and tea brand based out of sunny Las Vegas, Nevada. Their online store carries coffee and tea products, including their limited edition coffee boba ready to drink mix!
How big is the bubble tea market?
According to Allied Market Research, the bubble tea market was valued at $2.4 billion in 2019 and it’s estimated to reach $4.3 billion by 2027. With more than 32,660 stores across the globe, Starbucks is the largest coffeehouse company in the world. In combination with those statistics, Starbucks is right on trend in contributing to this growing market with their new drinks being tested.
How many calories and how much is the Starbucks Boba Coffee?
At these two test locations in Washington and California, 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.
Here’s hoping the Starbucks boba-style iced coffee is a huge hit in the test stores because I’ll be the first in line if and when it gets here.
I won’t make any changes to the original drinks either, as I’m leaving Starbucks to making those difficult decisions for me. If it’s good enough for a test market as is, it’s good enough for me to try and possibly enjoy.
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Agnes Hsu is a mom of three and has been inspiring parents and kids to get creative with easy activities and family friendly recipes for over 10 years. She shares her love for creative play and kids food to her 2MM+ followers online. Agnes' commitment to playful learning and kindness has not only raised funds for charity but also earned features in prestigious nationwide publications.