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If you’ve ever had a boba, or bubble, tea, you know just how fun it is when the pearl-like gel bubbles burst in your mouth.
These drinks containing pearls typically have a tea base that’s combined with milk or fruit flavoring that is poured over pearls. The pearls themselves are usually made with tapioca starch and are either chewy or pop in your mouth.
The trend is beginning to grow, so much so that Starbucks is joining in! A Starbucks representative confirmed to Simplemost that the chain is conducting a limited test of two beverages made with coffee pearls at two Starbucks locations for a limited time, but did not have information regarding if they would appear on menus nationwide.
According to People, you can currently find them at one location in Palm Desert, California, and another in Bellevue, Washington.
The coffee pearls are filled with Starbucks coffee, so they offer an extra dose of caffeine once they pop in your mouth. A video from TikTokker @kirbyssister shows the pearls that are currently being offered in two different drink flavors: In The Dark, a cold brew-based coffee drink, and an iced chai tea latte.
Photos of the drinks on the sign in the TikTok video show the pearls sinking to the bottom of the In the Dark drink, while they’re floating to the top of the iced chai tea latte.
You can find boba-style drinks at specialty shops around the country, but the bigger coffee chains have been slower to join the trend. Dunkin’ has been offering popping bubbles since last June.
Dunkin’s small bursting bubbles pop in your mouth and can be added to any Dunkin’ iced or frozen beverage for an additional charge. The bubbles are strawberry-flavored, so keep that in mind when deciding if you want them added to your drink.
Made with color sourced from plants, the bubbles are served with a wide paper straw created specifically for boba so they will not get stuck when you’re sipping your drink.
You can also try making your own bubble tea if you don’t have a Dunkin’ near you and don’t want to wait to see if Starbucks brings them to their stores nationwide.
This recipe from Healthy Nibbles takes a bit of time to make, but it looks pretty fun and totally worth it. All you’ll need is eight bags of black tea (or three tablespoons of loose-leaf black tea), hot water, your choice of milk, your choice of sweetener and quick-cooking tapioca pearls.
Have you ever had a boba tea?