In many major cities across the United States, the fastest way to get boba tea is simply to walk in the door – these days, stores serving plastic cups filled with tapioca spheres crowd alongside Starbucks. and Dunkin’ to fight for the country’s drink dollars. But for those times when putting on pants seems too much of an obstacle, or for people who live too far from the rapid proliferation of Taiwanese-style teahouses, Costco has a solution: instant boba tea. Naturally, I had to try it.
Called Taiwan Boba Milk Tea and made by the J Way Foods company, the Costco pack includes enough boba packets and flavors to make 10 cups of tea and costs $14.79. The cost comes in at around $1.50 per cup, making it a significant savings compared to buying the drink from a store, where they typically start at almost three times as much.
To make instant boba tea, you microwave the boba inside the plastic wrap for about 20 seconds. Then, for most drinks, you scoop the flavored powder into two ounces of hot water and stir. Then add ice and cold water or milk before adding the boba itself. The pack even includes an oversized boba straw, which completes the experience.
The ten-pack includes Passionfruit-Pineapple Green Tea with Fruity Boba, Crème Brûlée Milk Tea with Caramel Boba, Classic Milk Tea with Brown Sugar Boba, and Taro Milk Tea with Brown Sugar Boba . Each cup tastes nearly identical to the flavor advertised, and the boba plumps up nicely and softens into a pleasant microwave chew.
It might not have replicated the tea room experience perfectly, but it came close at a fraction of the cost, especially since my kids couldn’t tell the difference at all. Of course, if you don’t live near a Costco either, you can buy the tea from Amazon or Walmart at slightly different prices — or enjoy a boba experience at home instead. The path you choose may take more than 20 seconds, but you will be rewarded no matter what.