Boba, or bubble tea, has become a very popular drink around the world. The sweet, milky tea combined with chewy tapioca pearls has also gained a strong following in the US.
Since Starbucks is a favorite stop for almost every type of beverage, you may be wondering: does Starbucks have boba? Here’s what we found out!
Does Starbucks Have Boba?
Starbucks does not have boba on the menu in its stores, and it doesn’t seem like there are any plans to add it any time soon. Instead, customers can try other refreshing iced drinks and teas at Starbucks. Alternatively, Starbucks customers find boba at nearby stores, especially at Chinese and Asian restaurants.
Even though it’s disappointing to learn that Starbucks doesn’t have boba, you do have some alternatives. We researched your possible options, and here’s what we found!
Why Doesn’t Starbucks Have Boba?
Even though boba is rapidly becoming a very popular drink, Starbucks has not yet added it to its menu.
This may be because of the high cost of setting up the equipment needed to make boba in every single store across the chain. Additionally, staff will have to be trained to make boba tea.
Further, storage space is needed for the ingredients, especially the cooked tapioca pearls. Most Starbucks stores may not have the extra space to store all the ingredients for boba tea.
Finally, it may be that Starbucks sees boba tea as a passing trend rather than a permanent favorite drink.
It’s true that Starbucks doesn’t sell boba. However, at various international locations, Starbucks does sell drinks resembling boba tea.
What Can You Get At Starbucks Instead Of Boba?
Even though you can’t find boba tea at Starbucks, there are some other drinks with a similar taste that you can try. Sweet, milky teas and fruit flavors can help recreate the boba tea experience.
Starbucks has a range of iced teas with fruit and herb flavors, as well as black and green tea. Iced coffee, too, can be a boba substitute though it has caffeine, which boba tea lacks.
You can try the raspberry milk tea or the Teavana line of iced drinks. Some Teavana teas to try:
- Iced Shaken Hibiscus Tea with Pomegranate Pearls
- Iced Shaken Black tea with Honey and Ruby Grapefruit
- Matcha and Espresso fusion
How To Make Your Own Boba With Starbucks Tea
And if you’re determined to get boba tea from Starbucks, it’s actually very easy to make your own. You will need Starbucks tea and tapioca pearls, which you can buy at any Asian grocery store.
Many large grocery stores may also carry tapioca pearls in their international foods section. You can also buy tapioca pearls from online retailers like Amazon and Walmart.
The tapioca pearls have to be cooked by boiling them in water until they reach the right chewy consistency.
It’s easy to make your own boba from Starbucks tea. Just add the cooked tapioca pearls to your Starbucks milky tea, and you have your own boba tea.
You can try adding cooked tapioca pearls to other Starbucks drinks as well to create various flavors of boba tea.
Where Can You Find Boba Near You?
One reason why people have been so eager for Starbucks to serve boba is the location of the stores. Starbucks stores are conveniently located in your neighborhood or near work.
For other stores that sell boba, it may be a bit of a trek out to the mall or a different neighborhood.
Depending on where you live, you may have small boba tea shops in the community. Many Chinese, Asian, and fusion restaurants also serve boba tea.
Some new chain stores serve boba tea as well, like Kung Fu tea. You can check their website to see if they have any locations near you.
Another chain that serves boba is Kokee Tea, but they are limited to the northeast US.
There is some talk that Dunkin’ Donuts may start serving boba tea soon, but that hasn’t happened yet.
What Is Boba?
Boba, or bubble tea, is said to have originated in Taiwan and was popularized in the US in Asian American communities.
Boba tea is basically milky tea in various flavors, with a dollop of tapioca pearls cooked in sugar. The tea is sweetened with syrup, honey, or condensed milk.
The chewy consistency of the tapioca complements the milky taste of the tea. Because tapioca has a pearly appearance, boba is sometimes also known as pearl tea.
Boba tea is mostly iced, but it can also be served as hot tea. Sometimes boba can contain pieces of fruit as well as tapioca pearls.
Boba now comes in many different flavors, and fruit-flavored milky teas are favorites. Black and green tea boba remain the most popular flavors.
The worldwide market for boba teas was worth $2.4 billion in 2019. It is estimated to grow to $4.3 billion by 2027, with North America leading the growth.
The rising popularity of boba tea has led many people to wonder why Starbucks doesn’t have Boba and when they introduce it.
Starbucks regulars would love to see their favorite tea available at their neighborhood store. Unlike smaller stores that sell boba tea, Starbucks stores are conveniently located near home and work.
If you want to know more about Starbucks, you can also see our related posts on whether or not Starbucks refreshers have caffeine, if McDonald’s has boba, if Starbucks has oat milk, and if Starbucks takes EBT.
Unfortunately, Starbucks does not sell boba tea in its stores. You can try alternatives like Raspberry Milk Tea or various Teavana Flavors. Y
ou can find boba tea at neighborhood stores and at Asian and Chinese restaurants. Some new chain stores also sell boba tea.