Your Dunkin’ run will be all about the the boba.
Boba tea, aka the popular drink characterized by edible tapioca pearls, is having a moment. Not only has it skyrocketed in demand during the pandemic (in May 2020, Yelp named it as the most popular delivery item in several states), but it's also now being adopted at a number of fast food chains. If you want to get your fix in a hurry, these fast food boba teas are a great way to get the trendy sip on-the-go.
Also known as bubble tea, pearl tea, or tapioca tea, the Taiwanese specialty has grown in popularity during the pandemic and forecasts predict the market will only continue to grow over the next few years. As the sip — which typically combines black or green tea, milk, ice, and chewy balls made from tapioca starch — has become more mainstream over the past couple of years, it's likely more fast casual restaurants will begin serving it to-go. Without further ado, here are some of the many chains offering their own take on boba tea.
On May 6, Caribou Coffee announced it was bringing back two patio season bubble tea offerings — its Matcha Tea Cooler with Bubbles and Raspberry Green Tea with Bubbles — as well as a new sip with a summery twist. Like the chain's original flavors, the Sparkling Green Tea Lemonade with Bubbles features square-shaped balls made out of coconut gelatin-free cubes flavored with coffee instead of the typical round shapes, making for a 'Gram-worthy update.
Kung Fu Tea
Kung Fu Tea, which originated in Brooklyn but has locations all around the U.S., is a boba tea destination. The milk tea is available hot or cold, and comes in a lot of unique flavors like rosehip and taro as well as more traditional blends like coffee and green tea.
Since opening its first location in Taiwan, Chatime franchises have opened up all over the world including in New York, Minnesota's Mall of America, London, and all over Australia. The company is most well-known for its "pearl" milk tea.
This California chain, which has locations all around the state, boasts classic Boba teas as well as some more unique varieties like Korean Banana Milk and Black Sugar Hojicha (a toasted green tea that’s low in caffeine).
Craving a frozen version of the treat? Costco is currently selling 12-packs of Brown Sugar Boba Ice Milk Bars for $13.99, per Instagram user @costco_doesitagain. You can also order them via Instacart.
After testing boba in July 2020, Dunkin’ launched Popping Bubbles on June 23, 2021. The new strawberry-flavored balls aren’t being called boba on the menu (and their ingredients differ a bit from regular boba), but they come with a special wide straw and have the chewy boba texture you know and love. You can add Dunkin’s Strawberry Popping Bubbles to any iced or frozen drink for 70 cents.
McDonald's is no stranger to bubble tea. It began selling it in Germany and Austria back in 2012, and now offers it in locations in the Philippines and Hong Kong. Only time will tell whether U.S.-based customers see flavors like Milk Tea McFloat with Brown Sugar Pearls and Wintermelon Milk Tea McFloat on menus stateside, but it's definitely a possibility with the rise in popularity of boba.
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