Viral TikTok reveals Starbucks U.S. is testing out ‘coffee popping pearls’

Starbucks Coffee Pearls
  • Starbucks confirmed they are testing a new product called “coffee popping pearls” at two franchises in California and Washington state.
  • Unlike typical tapioca balls from bubble tea, these coffee pearls burst when bitten and contain liquid coffee inside.
  • Similar Starbucks products have previously debuted in other markets, but this appears to be the first test in the U.S.

Starbucks is testing a new coffee topping, “coffee popping pearls,” which burst into liquid coffee when bitten, at two West Coast locations. 

The topping, which resembles boba, was reviewed in a viral TikTok in which the taste was described as “okay, but weirdly salty-sweet.” Unlike the solid tapioca balls usually found in bubble tea, these pearls seem to be mostly liquid and contain Brazilian coffee. 

The reviewer went on to explain that the pearls were very small, which made them “awkward to drink” and that they were less sweet than the rest of her beverage. She later returned to the same location to try the pearls in another type of drink and posted that the pearls were available at a specific location in Palm Desert, California.

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The pearls are intended to be added to two featured drinks: “In the Dark,” which is a cold-brew based iced drink, and the “Iced Chai Tea Latte.” 

Rumors of Starbucks testing boba or boba-like toppings in the U.S. have been circulating since at least 2018, but this is the first time the company has confirmed them. The coffee pearls appear to be similar, if not identical, to toppings launched by the Seattle-based coffee company in certain Asian countries during the summer of 2019.  

Featured Image via @kirbyssister

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