I Tried Starbucks' New Summer Menu

Today, the "pearls" make their debut as part of three drinks on Starbucks' new summer menu. 

The seasonal menu also includes a returning drink and two new food items. I got a first-hand taste of the new items.

Summer-Berry Starbucks Refreshers Beverage, Summer-Berry Lemonade Starbucks Refreshers Beverage, and the Summer Skies Drink

Each of these have new raspberry-flavored pearls, which they are calling a "texture innovation. It's basically just boba. 

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An article in Eater criticized Starbucks' renaming of boba as "pearls," claiming that it, intentionally or not, "avoids a direct association with boba tea culture, and thus, Asian culture at large.

A more recent press release from Starbucks says that the pearls were inspired by "drinks around the world, especially East Asian beverages with boba or pearls that have been popular for decades. 

Just like boba, the drinks are served with a wider straw to allow you to slurp up the pearls. 

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