Starbucks is bringing some popping new drinks to its menu. Combining popping pearls (which look very similar to boba) and coffee flavors, the Seattle-based coffee company is testing out two drinks that’ll bring a fun pop-in-your-mouth effect to your afternoon pick-me-up. Here’s everything you need to know about Starbucks’ Coffee Popping Pearls test items because you might be able to grab one depending on where you live.
A few TikTokers first spotted the Starbucks’ Coffee Popping Pearls drinks in late December 2021. One IG video from @markie_devo, posted on Dec. 27, shows a promotional menu sign inside a Starbucks location, which lists two Coffee Popping Pearls drinks, that were spotted by TikToker @kirbssister. The Coffee Popping Pearls menu shows two flavors: a coffee version called In The Dark and the Iced Chai Tea Latte with Coffee Pearls. In a statement shared with Elite Daily, a Starbucks spokesperson confirmed the chain is doing a test of the two sips. “Starbucks is conducting a limited test of two beverages made with coffee pearls at two Starbucks stores for a limited time this winter. The coffee pearls are filled with Starbucks coffee.”
Yes, the balls are filled with actual coffee, and no, Starbucks isn’t calling them “boba” — but they look a lot like the tapioca-based balls you find in the popular tea drinks. The company wasn’t able to share any further details on what other ingredients are in the coffee pearls, but you can try them for a limited time at the test locations are in Palm Desert, California, and Bellevue, Washington.
As for more deets about the test sips, per the Starbucks spokesperson, “[The company doesn’t] have additional information to share on future availability of these products in our stores, or whether [Starbucks] will expand the test to additional stores or markets.” So, if you need to see for yourself whether a coffee popping pearl is an identical twin to boba, you’ll have to make your way to California or Washington.
While it’s unclear if the drinks will become available in other test locations or become a permanent addition to the menu, you should keep an eye out for updates on the new sips — and keep your fingers crossed the test goes so well that Starbucks can’t not bring it to your local store.
Oh, and before heading out on a Starbucks run, remember to check the CDC guidelines for the most updated health rules.