Starbucks Introduces Boba Drinks to Their Menu For the First Time

By: Alyssa Miller | Published: May 11, 2024

Starbucks is adding its take on everyone’s favorite pearl summer drink: boba. This will be the first time the American coffee company will offer a boba-like drink, featuring chewable balls or “pearls” on its menu.

The coffee brand will offer three new fruit-forward drinks featuring pearls at the bottom of these new, colorful drinks.

What Is Boba? 

The uninitiated may not know that boba, also known as bubble tea, originates from Taiwan and typically consists of milk, tea, and chewy tapioca balls.

A Person Holding a Milk Tea

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These pearls, made with tapioca starch, accompany the drink’s various flavors, offering a delightful snack.

Starbucks’s Latest Innovation

The three new boba drinks will spring onto Starbucks’ menus on May 6, and will be sharing the summer with another new “zero to low-calorie handcrafted energy beverage,” and more sugar-free energy drink options, according to CEO Laxman Narismhan.

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Each Summer Refresher–the name given to the new boba drinks–will come with a wider straw for the pearls.

The New Summer Drinks 

Inspired by East Asian drinks, Starbucks’ new bright blue beverages is made with a “sweet and summery blend of raspberry, blueberry, and blackberry.”

A person with blue nails holding up a Starbucks drinks

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Each drink differs: the company combine the Summer-Berry Refresher with water, mix the Summer-Berry Lemonade with lemonade, and blend the Summer Skies Drink with coconut milk.

This Ain’t Your Mama’s Boba

What makes these new drinks at Starbucks really pop is the flavor of the pearls that float at the bottom of the drink.

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The raspberry-flavored pearls included in each variation offer a “refreshing pop of flavor and color,” the company says.

Pearls Go With Anything At Starbucks

The tapioca balls aren’t exclusively reserved for the new summer drinks. You can add their quick burst of flavor to other Starbucks drinks and refreshers.

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Most boba drinkers are accustomed to a different texture because these are not made from tapioca starch.


New Sweet Treats

Fruits seem to be the name of Starbucks’ game this summer. The company is also introducing fruit-forward sweet treats: Orange Cream Cake Pop and Pineapple Cloud Cake.

White Starbucks Coffee Cup and Brown Paper Bag

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These sweet treats are perfect snacks to munch on as you sip away the hot summer day.


A Returning Summer Classic

If the fruity fun drinks are not your preferred choice, no worries. The company has also introduced a returning classic cold brew that will energize customers from the first sip.

Close-up of a Starbucks cold brew coffee in a clear plastic cup, topped with a creamy layer, featuring the Starbucks logo on the cup

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Starbucks is expected to bring back the White Chocolate Macadamia Cream Cold Brew for the summer 2024 menu.


Add Spice to Your Starbucks Order

Not feeling the fruity or sweet nature of these treats? Maybe something spicy then.

A graphic of a Starbucks drinks

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Starbucks took a big swing when debuting three spicy lemonade refreshers earlier this month: Spicy Dragonfruit, Spicy Pineapple, and Spicy Strawberry.


Jumping on the “Swicy” Trend

According to the company, these spicy dranks “bring together the sweetness of a Starbucks Refreshers Beverage, the zest of lemonade, and the heat of Starbucks Spicy Chili Powder.

Close-up view of an illuminated round Starbucks sign hanging outside a café, set against a dark background with soft focus on nearby trees

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The “swicy” trend inspired these new drinks, combining sweet and spicy flavors to create an unforgettable experience for your taste buds.


A New Direction for Starbucks

This big rollout of new drinks and snacks comes after the company’s sales failed to reach predictions. Revenue has dropped 2 percent in the last quarter, and store traffic has slowed down around the world.

Employees working at a Starbucks Coffee location.

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For the first time since 2020, the company saw a drop in revenue and has urged the company to refocus its future.


The Future of Starbucks Is Innovation

Narasimhan, who became Starbucks’ CEO last spring, believes that the new products will drive customers to stores later this year.

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“The go-to-market strategy needs to be overhauled and elevated with coffee-forward innovation,” he said.