Here's what to know about if Starbucks' Coffee Popping Pearls boba test is nationwide.

Starbucks Is Testing Boba Drinks In 2 Locations — What To Know About A Possible Expansion

You may need to book a vacay to try it.

Originally Published: 
NurPhoto/NurPhoto/Getty Images

ICYMI, Starbucks is testing out Coffee Popping Pearls sips, and they appear to be similar to boba. The exciting test item features popping pearls to complement two different drink flavors: In The Dark (a coffee sip) and an Iced Chai Tea Latte. The pearls are filled with real Starbucks coffee and burst in your mouth, so you probably want to know where you can try the unique sip. Here’s the scoop on if the Starbucks Coffee Popping Pearls will test nationwide.

Off the bat, Starbucks was mum about the Coffee Popping Pearls test. The Seattle-based coffee company quietly began testing the sips in December 2021, and TikTokers discovered the Coffee Popping Pearls drinks in late December 2021. In a Dec. 21 video from TikToker @kirbyssister, you can see a promotional sign listing both of the Coffee Popping Pearls drinks as well as images of the boba-like balls in the sips.

As of Jan. 9, 2022, the the Coffee Popping Pearls test beverages are only in two U.S. locations: Palm Desert, California, and Bellevue, Washington, according to a Starbucks spokesperson. Unfortunately, an expansion to more stores doesn’t look promising at the moment. “[Starbucks does not] have additional information to share on future availability of these products in our stores, or whether we will expand the test to additional stores or markets,” the Starbucks spokesperson said. But all hope is not lost, as the spokesperson added, “Testing is a way of life at Starbucks, and we continue to introduce new drinks and food to menus globally.”

That means you'll need to visit the Palm Desert or Bellevue locations to give the Coffee Popping Pearls sips a tase and see what Starbucks’ take on boba is like. The Coffee Popping Pearls contain real coffee and pop in your mouth for a burst of flavor. It's unclear what's in the “In The Dark” sip, except that it appears to be an iced coffee. Going off Starbucks' 2014 tweet mentioning a “shot in the dark,” it could be a coffee with a shot of espresso, though you’ll need to try the sip to find out. Meanwhile, the Iced Chai Tea Latte should be the same classic sip you know and love with a popping pearls twist.


It looks like you can also customize one of the test sips as you would any other drink at Starbucks. For example, in the TikTok video, @kirbysister specified that their order was “a half sweet brown sugar chai with cinnamon and oat milk” instead of a classic Iced Chai Tea Latte.


To see if the drinks become available nationwide, you’ll need to wait it out for more details from Starbucks. As you’re (im)patiently waiting for more info, if you head out on a Starbucks run, remember to check the CDC guidelines for the most updated health rules.

This article was originally published on