Starbucks is such a beloved coffee chain the world over that it’s hard to imagine them not existing. They can be found on virtually every single street corner out there, and their consistency is second to none. If you love boba as much as I do, you might ask yourself ‘does Starbucks have boba?’ every time you go past one.
We have the answer for you!
Does Starbucks have boba right now?
No, Starbucks doesn’t have boba right now. It’s quite hard to say what the reason for this is, but I have to imagine it’s because they’ve got such a long history with coffee drinks. Despite the fact they’ve partnered with Teavana, it’s likely they just don’t want to leave coffee behind.
Even in countries like the UK where people love tea a little more than other places around the world, Starbucks doesn’t really sell a lot of it. Instead, they push customers towards their lattes and other coffee drinks, since that’s something they’re really well known for.
What is boba?
You might be familiar with a smooth, creamy drink that is referred to as ‘bubble tea’, ‘boba’, or ‘boba tea’. The truth is that the different parts of the drink have different names, and those names have stuck in different regions.
The little tapioca pearls within boba tea-style drinks are called boba pearls. These pearls first came from Taiwan. And the name ‘boba’ simply refers to how small and round the little pearls are.
They can be solid throughout, in which case they’re typically cooked in syrup to make a sweet, chewy addition to a drink. They can also be small, hollow balls filled with flavored syrup. Typically, the filled balls will be called ‘bursting’ or ‘popping’ boba, since they burst in your mouth.
‘Bubble tea’ or ‘milk tea’ is a drink that existed before boba! It’s a simple combination of cold tea and milk, which makes a creamy, smooth drink that’s easy to slurp all day. Different syrups are added for different flavors.
The name ‘bubble tea’ comes from the small bubbles that form at the top of the liquid when it’s aggressively shaken to combine into a smooth liquid. This drink is more commonly called milk tea, but either name will work.
Substitute for boba that you can find in Starbucks
To make a great boba drink in a Starbucks, you need to first bear in mind that they don’t have any of the little tapioca pearls. This means that you can’t have those boba in your drink. But you can make a drink that’s similar to milk tea, just without the pearls.
To do this, using the app is likely your best option. We would suggest that because it can be hard to ask for several different changes to an order in a busy cafe. To make it a little easier, using the app is a great choice.
A boba-like drink that I like is a simple milk tea based on Starbucks’ iced tea offerings.
- If you’re using the app, you can first start out by creating a Starbucks black iced tea with no extra water.
- Select no liquid cane sugar, and the barista will dissolve the sugar into the drink.
- Add some sub-classic syrup for a delightful and straightforward sweetness.
- Add a splash of cream from the self-serve station.
While this drink doesn’t have any boba balls within it, it’s really similar to a classic milk tea drink, and it can scratch the itch for boba if you’re really in the mood for it. Give it a go soon, and try adding flavored syrups to make a more complex drink!
Other popular drinks at Starbucks you should try
There are so many popular drinks at Starbucks that it can be hard to know what to order!
The first thing I would say, however, is that the iced latte is probably Starbucks’ best seller. It’s a simple drink, combining their beautifully-roasted coffee with smooth, creamy milk for a tasty treat.
To the latte, you can add a whole heap of different syrups, and even whipped cream! Try adding the caramel syrup for a classic flavor. It’s simple, but it works so well with the rich coffee flavor.
When you’re in Starbucks, they’ll usually have a seasonal menu behind the register. Check that out and see if you’d like any of the seasonal offerings – they can be super good! If you’re going in the fall, for example, it’s basically essential to get an iced pumpkin spiced latte.
How much is a boba at Starbucks?
At the time of writing, Starbucks sadly doesn’t sell boba, so there’s no price for the drink when you’re in Starbucks.
Generally speaking, though, their drinks come in at around $3-5, so if you were to make a bubble-tea-inspired drink to recreate the tastiness of boba, you could expect it to be around that general price level.
Is bubble tea the same thing as boba?
No, not really. Bubble tea is called that because it’s milk tea that has been shaken really aggressively. During the shaking, tiny bubbles are formed on the surface of the tea drink, which is what gives it its name.
The tiny bubbles typically also spread through the drink a little, giving the drink a unique and tasty texture.
Boba, on the other hand, is a drink that contains boba pearls. Typically, the drink is milk tea, though it doesn’t have to be – it could be any cold drink. Boba pearls are small spheres made from tapioca and cooked in sugar syrup. They’re sweet and chewy and added to boba tea for their texture.
What is fruit boba made of?
Fruit boba also called popping boba, is mostly made from fruit juice, which is at the center of the balls. Their outer skin is largely made from seaweed extract, which is totally unflavored, but strong enough to hold a small portion of liquid.
Wrapping it up!
Sadly, Starbucks doesn’t offer boba at the moment, but I hope they do someday soon! The drink craze is tasty and unique, and writing this article has made me want to go and grab one right now. Thankfully, it’s not too long until my lunch break!