Starbucks Is Introducing Its Own Version Of Boba This Summer

Starbucks fans should brace for boba — at least, according to speculation online after CEO Laxman Narasimhan revealed on a recent earnings call (via Business Insider) that chewy pearls are soon to arrive on the company's menus. The brand has not officially confirmed the news, though this comes on the heels of TikTok videos showing baristas adding the dots to an upcoming summer Refreshers drink.

The new "pearls," as the company termed them, may arrive in stores on the week of May 6, and many baristas say May 7 is the date to watch. The pearls are raspberry flavored, according to sneak peeks online from TikTok users like @creigsilimon, and will be paired with vibrantly colored Summer Berry Refreshers that can be modified with the addition of coconut milk or lemonade. The orbs pop when chewed, releasing a liquid gush of flavor. According to Narasimhan, this is just the first step in the company's texture exploration.

Although some have accused the brand of being late to the bubble tea party, baristas sneaking a taste, like TikTok user @chimmminnie, have given the drink an early thumbs up. One customer who snagged an early sample of the blue Refresher (sans pearls) also endorsed the sour mix of blueberry, raspberry, and blackberry. Fans online are responding with enthusiasm for both the raspberry Pearls and the blue beverage.

Boba at Starbucks is less surprising than you might think

The rumors come after years of high demand in the U.S. for the Taiwanese drink. The chewy tapioca balls and milk tea are a classic combination, but the proliferation of stateside bubble tea shops offers heaps of modifications, tea bases, jellies, and more. And home cooks are experimenting with them as well, considering both the chewy tapioca-based orbs and the popping pearls as a topping for oatmeal. It's no shock, then, that the coffee giant is getting into the boba game and trying to appeal to younger drinkers.

Past menu experiments from the brand also included coffee popping bubbles, another form of the popular bubbles in boba tea. For close followers, the addition of fruit-flavored poppers is a long time coming. Unofficial first looks at the Starbucks drinks show a smaller layer of boba at the bottom of cups, but visitors can likely pay for additional scoops of the pink bubbles.

There's no word on the cups themselves, but it's likely safe to assume they'll be served in classic Starbucks ware rather than the usual sealed tops. According to barista videos, the brand will, however, offer the wider straws (and accompanying lids) to allow drinkers to vacuum up the components of the drink. Although the accessories are seemingly not yet on display, customers can continue to taste test the Spicy Lemonade Refreshers, eye its new spring merchandise, and keep a close watch on the menu for updates.