Does Starbucks Have Boba Tea? The Answer is Simple!

Last Updated On : December 2021
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We are all too familiar with Starbucks, which has now become a ubiquitous coffee chain that sells all sorts of hot and cold beverages. People love the convenience of Starbucks, as well as how consistent their drinks are.

So if you are a boba lover, it is natural to ask yourself: Does Starbucks have boba?

The simple answer is no… Starbucks does not carry boba tea, but you can still get pretty close to regular boba in your Starbucks drinks! Especially if you're drink of choice is the Boba Latte!

We will be covering why Starbucks does not sell the popular drink called bubble tea and provide some alternatives to getting milk teas at Starbucks such as the use of the Starbucks app, or following a simple recipe at home.

Does Starbucks Have Boba Tea?

No, it does not. As mentioned, Starbucks does not offer boba, so if you are looking to enjoy bubble tea at Starbucks, it will not be possible.

Is There Ever a Chance That Starbucks Will Offer Boba?

There is always the possibility that one day in the future Starbucks will offer boba tea! Will this ever happen? Who knows!

I am sure there have been internal discussions about selling boba tea at certain stores near college campuses where students go crazy for bubble tea. I say this because the boba tea industry is trending and has become quite profitable. So it would make sense for Starbucks to at least assess this pearl milk tea trend.

However, there is no official statement from Starbucks about their plans for the future.

Why Does Starbucks Not Have Boba Tea?

Starbucks does not have boba because they are a coffee shop, not a tea house (even though they have partnered with Teavana). Starbucks is mainly known for its specialty coffees, their popular iced coffee drinks, and other beverages such as iced teas, so having tapioca pearls on the Starbucks menu would be out of place.

Another reason could be the significant capital investment and cost to bring boba tea to Starbucks. It would be quite costly to provide stores with all of the equipment needed for bubble tea, as well as training baristas on how to prepare and serve various types of boba tea. The boba tea market is growing, but it's not as big as the specialty coffee market that Starbucks focuses on; coffee being the second most traded commodity in the world!

In addition, Starbucks may feel that the bubble tea market is already saturated with so many other bubble tea shops popping up across the world.

Are There Any Alternatives to Getting Boba At Starbucks?

Use The Starbucks App

So, where do you go if you are craving boba tea and want some quick service at a reasonable price point? There are some great alternatives for getting your fix of delicious tapioca pearls! One option would be using the Starbucks app.

You can use the beverage customization page to customize your drink that has the basic elements of boba (minus the tapioca pearls). This is a great option for boba lovers who want to experience their favorite drink while also taking advantage of the convenience and loyalty program that comes with using the app.

Here's how to prepare milk tea based on the Starbucks Iced Tea base:

  1. Select Starbucks Black Iced Tea with no extra water
  2. Select no liquid cane sugar
  3. Add sub-classic syrup
  4. Add a splash of cream

Here's another variation, this one is for the Starbucks Raspberry Milk Tea:

  1. Select the Iced Black Tea with Half & Half milk (instead of water)
  2. Add one pump of classic syrup
  3. Add toffee nut syrup
  4. Add raspberry syrup

Unfortunately, they don’t have condensed milk on the Starbucks menu, so you can’t request that in your drink...

Tips: 

  • We recommend ordering online, ordering in person could lead to confusion. Your local Starbucks barista may also feel annoyed if you are not clear with your order and it's busy.
  • Experiment! The above are just suggestions for your bubble tea. For example, you can substitute the toffee nut syrup with something else, or use oat milk if you are lactose intolerant.
  • Try adding some of their cold foam, such as the salted caramel cream cold foam!

Once your custom drink is being prepared, you can boil your favorite tapioca pearls, and have them ready so you can add them to your Starbucks Milk Tea. Just follow the packaging instructions when boiling your tapioca balls.

We recommend these boba tea pearls by WuFuYuan. You can order a pack of 100 for less than $20. These pearls come in small, medium, and large sizes to your preference!

WuFuYuan - Tapioca Pearls Black

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We also recommend these straws, mainly because they are reusable. Let's not add to the piles of waste created each day!

Angled Tip - 8 Reusable Boba Straws

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Make your Own Boba Tea!

Another alternative would be making your own bubble tea or boba at home.

There are two ways of doing this. You could buy a boba tea starter kit. Starter kits usually include a bag of tapioca pearls, powdered or loose leaf tea, as well as boba straws, and reusable boba cups. They usually feature flavors such as pearl milk tea, classic milk tea, raspberry milk tea, taro milk tea, or jasmine green tea.

Another way to go about this is making your boba tea at home from scratch. It's not as complicated as it sounds!

The main advantage is that you can get to control all the flavors and customization options that come along with this beverage! After all, there are many different types of boba tea such as green tea or black milk tea; having it made by yourself will ensure that you get exactly what you like best.

Plus you can develop your own secret recipe and sell it to us!

If you would like some inspiration, check our page for the best boba flavors. We have instructions for different bubble tea recipes for all tastes and preferences!


What is Boba Tea?

Boba, Boba tea, or bubble tea, is a tea-based drink that has milk, fruit juice, or flavored syrup added. Some of the more popular flavors are milk tea, taro, lychee, strawberry, and green tea. Boba is often served cold with ice or hot like a regular cup of tea! The tapioca pearls are usually made out of tapioca starch and can come in different colors depending on the flavor being used.

There are many kinds of tapioca pearls such as the popular tapioca balls, crystal boba, and popping boba. These add a variety of different flavors, colors, and textures to your drink.

You can also add to your bubble tea different toppings such as lychee fruit, chia seeds, fruit or coffee jelly, cheese foam, and even ice cream!

Iced Tea with Tapioca Pearls

FAQ - Does Starbucks have Boba?

What Does Boba Taste Like?

Tapioca balls have a gummy texture, they are similar to chewing gum since they can be a little sticky and gooey. These chewy tapioca balls also typically have brown sugar or honey flavoring.

Other types such as popping boba pop in your mouth while releasing fruit juices.

Where Does Boba Tea Come From?

Boba tea originated in Taiwan where people would add different teas, fruit juices, and other flavors together with milk and tapioca pearls for an ideal taste! This drink quickly gained popularity when boba was introduced around the 1980s.

Is There Any Other Coffee Chain That Sells Boba Tea?

No, coffee chains don't usually sell bubble tea. However, some cafes do sell boba tea. These include Lollicup and Quickly in California as well as Kung Fu Tea located mostly in the state of New York.

Where Does One Get Boba Pearls?

Boba pearls can be purchased at specialty stores near you; most Asian supermarkets offer these as well as food coloring for your favorite flavors! You could also buy tapioca pearls online if need be through Amazon.

Does Dunkin have Boba?

No, Dunkin Donuts does not have boba tea or tapioca pearls. Instead, buy boba tea from stores such as Tapioca Express, Kung Fu Tea or Chatime.

What is the Starbucks Version of Boba?

You must have recently heard of the Iced Brown Sugar Shaken Espresso drink at Starbucks! This drink tastes similar to the brown sugar milk tea without the tapioca balls.

Iced Tea with Chewy Tapioca Balls

Bottom Line - Does Starbucks have Boba?

We hope that this article has been helpful in answering whether different Starbucks offer boba!

If you're looking for a quick and easy way to make boba tea, then we recommend the Starbucks app and buying the boba pearls separately. Otherwise, if you'd like to make your own boba tea at home, check out our other articles!

And of course, give boba tea shops a try and learn how to order boba like a pro!

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