Does Starbucks Have Boba Tea?

starbucks have boba tea
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(The Alternatives and how to make it at home)

Boba tea, often referred to as bubble tea, is a delightful concoction that combines tea, milk or fruit flavors, and chewy tapioca pearls.

Let’s address the burning question: Does Starbucks offer boba tea?

Unfortunately, you won’t find this beloved beverage on the Starbucks menu.

However, fear not! We will explore why Starbucks does not sell boba tea and discover some enticing alternatives to satisfy your cravings.

Moreover, we’ll unveil the secrets of creating your own boba tea experience in the comfort of your home. So, let’s dive in and explore the world of boba tea together!

What is Boba Tea?

Boba tea is ias a delightful beverage that originated in Taiwan in the 1940s. It also has other names like bubble tea, pearl milk tea, or boba milk tea. This unique drink has a fascinating history, beginning with its humble beginnings as a street vendor’s experiment.

Boba tea is typically composed of a base tea, which can be black or green, combined with milk or fruit flavors. What sets it apart and gives it its distinctive charm are the tapioca pearls, often referred to as “boba.”

These pearls comprise tapioca starch and have a chewy texture that adds an enjoyable element to the drink.

Boba tea pearls

Boba tea is usually served in a clear plastic cup, allowing the vibrant colors of the beverage and the tapioca pearls to be visible. The cup comes with a plastic film or a lid, with a wide straw inserted for simultaneously sipping and enjoying the liquid and pearls.

The texture of boba tea is truly unique. The chewy tapioca pearls roll around your mouth as you sip, offering a playful sensation that captivates the senses. This delightful combination of textures and vast flavors contributes to its immense popularity.

Boba tea has become a global phenomenon, with a market worth a whopping 2.32 billion USD. Its appeal lies in its ability to cater to various taste preferences, with options ranging from classic milk teas to fruit-infused blends, ensuring there’s something for everyone to enjoy.

What Does Boba Taste Like?

Boba tea offers a delightful burst of flavors that tickle the taste buds. The taste can vary depending on the combination of tea, milk, fruit flavors, and sweeteners.

Iced boba tea

Generally, boba tea offers a harmonious balance of sweetness, creaminess, and the distinct essence of the tea base. The tapioca pearls themselves are relatively flavorless but provide a satisfying chewiness. Whether you opt for a classic milk tea or a fruit-infused blend, boba tea promises a delightful and refreshing taste experience.

What is the Nutritional Value of Boba?

Regarding the nutritional value of boba tea, it’s essential to consider its components. The tea base provides antioxidants and potential health benefits, depending on the type of tea used. However, boba tea is often sweetened and may contain added sugars. 

The tapioca pearls, while a source of carbohydrates offer minimal nutritional value. As a result, it’s essential to enjoy boba tea in moderation and be mindful of the added sugars and calorie content to maintain a balanced diet.

Does Starbucks offer Boba Tea?

Starbucks does not have boba tea on its official menu, leaving enthusiasts of this delightful beverage longing for it. It seems that Starbucks, a giant in the coffee industry, has been relatively uninterested in entering the boba tea market.

The smaller shops have established a strong foothold in the boba tea industry.

However, there is a glimmer of hope for boba tea enthusiasts. According to a Business Insider post, Starbucks has been testing its tea and coffee boba drink variation.

girl is holding boba tea glass

The testing period began in December 2021 at two select stores in the chain. While this news is exciting, it is essential to note that it is still in the testing phase, and it remains uncertain if Starbucks will eventually offer boba tea drinks at all of its stores.

Why Does Starbucks Not Sell Boba Tea?

There are several potential reasons behind Starbucks’ hesitation to embrace boba tea. In large businesses like Starbucks, special equipment, machinery, and ingredients may require a higher price tag.

Despite this, the testing phase suggests Starbucks is considering joining the boba tea trend.

So, while Starbucks does not currently offer boba tea, we are hopeful that they will expand their boba tea drink options and make them available in all their stores in the near future. Stay tuned for more updates on this exciting development!

You can try several alternatives at Starbucks to fulfill your cravings for boba tea.

What are the Alternatives to Boba Tea at Starbucks?

Raspberry Milk Tea

Raspberry Milk Tea is a delightful option when seeking an alternative to boba tea. This refreshing beverage combines fruity sweetness and the creamy goodness of milk. 

The distinct flavor of raspberries adds a tangy twist to the tea, creating a well-rounded taste experience. Regarding nutritional value, Raspberry Milk Tea provides antioxidants from the tea base and the natural goodness of raspberries.

3 glass of Raspberry milk tea

However, it’s essential to be mindful of the sugar content, as some variations may contain added sugars.

 Iced Teavana Tea

Teavana offers a variety of iced teas that you can customize to your liking. From fruity blends to herbal infusions, Teavana provides a flavorful experience without the tapioca pearls in boba tea.

three flavors of iced teavana tea

With options like Pineapple Berry Blue Herbal Tea or Mango Black Tea, you can enjoy the vibrant flavors and coolness of iced Teavana Tea. It’s important to note that while Iced Teavana Tea can be a healthier choice than boba tea in terms of sugar content, customization options may impact the overall nutritional value.

Coffee pearls

These delightful little gems offer a unique twist on the boba experience. Coffee pearls are typically made from tapioca starch infused with coffee flavor, adding a delicious caffeine kick to your drink. With a chewy texture similar to traditional boba pearls, coffee pearls provide a satisfying element to your beverage.

They pair wonderfully with various coffee-based drinks, enhancing the overall flavor profile. While coffee pearls may not offer the same flavors as boba tea, their rich coffee taste and chewy texture make them a fantastic alternative for coffee enthusiasts.

Coffee pearls in tea

Like traditional boba pearls, coffee pearls are relatively low in calories and fat, making them a guilt-free indulgence.

Vanilla latte

This beloved coffee-based beverage offers a smooth and creamy taste, combining the richness of espresso with the comforting sweetness of vanilla. The flavor profile of a Vanilla Latte is a delightful blend of roasted coffee notes and the subtle sweetness of vanilla syrup.

vanilla iced latte

While it may not provide the unique texture of boba tea, the Vanilla Latte is a popular choice among coffee enthusiasts. Regarding nutritional value, it is essential to note that the Vanilla Latte contains caffeine and varies in calorie content depending on the type of milk and sweeteners used.

Java Chip Frappuccino

Java Chip Frappuccino offers a rich and indulgent taste experience. With its blend of coffee, chocolate, and milk, the Java Chip Frappuccino delivers a delightful combination of flavors to satisfy your cravings.

Java chip frappucino drink

While it may not provide the chewy texture of boba tea, it makes up for it with its creamy and refreshing profile. Regarding nutritional value, it is essential to note that the Java Chip Frappuccino is a decadent treat and may contain higher sugar levels and calories. As with any beverage, moderation is key.

White chocolate mocha

This indulgent beverage offers a rich and creamy taste that blends white chocolate’s sweetness with espresso’s boldness. The flavor profile is decadent and comforting, making it a popular choice among coffee enthusiasts.

white chocolate mocha

While the White Chocolate Mocha may not provide the unique texture of boba tea, it offers a delightful and flavorful experience. It’s important to note that the White Chocolate Mocha is higher in calories and sugar than boba tea, so it’s advisable to enjoy it in moderation as part of a balanced diet.

How to Make your Boba Tea at home?

Craving the delightful boba tea experience but can’t find it at your local Starbucks?

Don’t worry! You can bring the joy of boba tea right into your own home.

We will guide you through the process of making your very own boba tea, allowing you to customize the flavors, adjust the sweetness, and enjoy this beloved beverage anytime you desire.

Get ready to embark on a delightful boba tea-making adventure in the comfort of your kitchen. Let’s dive in!


  • Strainer: To strain the tea leaves or tea bags.
  • Pot or Saucepan: For boiling water and cooking the tapioca pearls.
  • Wide-Straw or Boba Straw: Essential for sipping tea and tapioca pearls.
  • Blender (optional): If you prefer a blended or frothy boba tea, use a blender to mix the ingredients.
  • Measuring Cups and Spoons: For precise measurement of ingredients.
  • Timer: To keep track of steeping times and cooking durations.
  • Serving Glasses or Cups: Choose clear glasses or cups to showcase the vibrant colors of the boba tea and tapioca pearls.


  • Tea Leaves or Tea Bags: Choose your preferred types of tea, such as black or green tea.
  • Tapioca Pearls: These chewy pearls are the signature element of boba tea, readily available at Asian grocery stores or ordered online.
  • Milk or Non-Dairy Milk: Depending on your preference, you can use regular milk, almond milk, coconut milk, or any other milk substitute.
  • Sweetener: You can use sugar, honey, or any sweetening syrups.
  • Flavorings: Optional flavorings such as fruit syrups, extracts, or flavored powders enhance the taste of the tea.


Step 1: Prepare the Tapioca Pearls

  • Fill a pot with water and bring it to a boil.
  • Add the tapioca pearls to the boiling water and cook them according to the instructions.
  • Once cooked, remove the pot from the heat and let the pearls sit in hot water for a few minutes.
  • Drain the pearls and rinse them with cold water to remove excess starch.
tapioca pearls in hot water

Step 2: Brew the Tea

  • Bring water to a boil in a separate pot.
  • Add tea leaves or bags to the boiling water and let it steep for the recommended time according to the tea variety.
  • Strain the tea leaves or remove the tea bags

Step 3: Sweeten and Chill the Tea

  • Add a sweetener of your choice, such as sugar or honey, to the hot tea and stir until dissolved.
  • Allow the tea to cool to room temperature, then refrigerate it until chilled.

Step 4: Prepare the Milk

  • You can add milk or non-dairy milk to your boba tea if desired. You can use it plain or flavor it with syrups or extracts.

Step 5: Assemble the Boba Tea

  • Add the desired amount of tapioca pearls into a serving cup.
  • Pour the chilled tea over the pearls, leaving some space at the top.
  • If using milk, pour it into the glass to your desired level.
  • Stir gently to combine the ingredients.

Step 6: Add Ice (optional)

  • If you prefer cold and refreshing boba tea, add ice cubes to the glass.
preparation of boba tea

Step 7: Insert the Wide-Straw and Enjoy!

  • Place a wide-straw or boba straw into the glass, allowing you to sip the tea and tapioca pearls.


In conclusion, while Starbucks does not offer boba tea on its official menu, they are testing its tea and coffee boba drinks variation.

However, the smaller shops predominantly dominate the boba tea market and have already established a stronghold. If you’re craving boba tea, there are alternatives such as the Java Chip Frappuccino at Starbucks or the option to make your boba tea at home.

By following simple steps and using the right ingredients and equipment, you can enjoy boba tea’s delightful flavors and textures in the comfort of your kitchen.

So, indulge in this beloved beverage whether you explore local shops or embark on a boba tea-making adventure at home.


Is there boba at Mcdonald’s?

Currently, McDonald’s does not offer boba tea on its menu.

Is there boba on the Starbucks secret menu?

No, boba tea, including the secret menu, is not officially on the Starbucks menu. However, Starbucks has been testing its own variations of tea and coffee boba drinks in select stores, so boba tea may be available in the future.

Is boba tea safe for kids?

Yes, boba tea is generally safe for kids to consume. However, it is crucial to consider the child’s age and their individual dietary needs. Tapioca pearls can pose a choking hazard for young children, so monitoring them while they enjoy boba tea and ensuring they can safely handle the chewy pearls is advisable.

Is boba vegan or not?

Boba itself is typically vegan as it consists of tapioca starch. However, checking the ingredients in flavored boba or boba drinks is essential, as they may contain non-vegan additives such as dairy or honey. Always read the labels or inquire with the specific shop or brand to ensure it aligns with your dietary preferences.

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