Boba Guys summer drinks are out of season


Maya Campbell

The exterior of the Boba Guys location in San Carlos.

Enticing flavors don’t always equal quality. The recent release of seasonal drinks from the popular boba chain Boba Guys, displayed this reality. Boba Guys typically releases seasonal drinks twice a year in groups of six. I elected to sample three drinks out of the six: Pink Pitaya, Coffee Mojito, and Soul Maté.

I began with the Pink Pitaya. The drink was $6.25 for a 16-ounce container, and adding tapioca made the price $6.90. The price is pretty steep for a smaller drink; however, it makes sense given the exotic status of pitayas. A pitaya is also known as a dragonfruit, and it has a mild, floral flavor. As for the actual drink, Boba Guys described it as pitaya and orange purée layered with milk. The drink had a bright pink color due to the pitaya’s natural coloring. After one sip, I was overwhelmed by the sweetness of the drink. I could taste the fruity flavor, which was quite pleasant, but the sugar level of the drink overpowered it. Another detrimental factor in this drink is that the customer cannot adjust the sweetness level. This is because of the layering process and the purée being pre-sweetened. All in all, this drink’s best quality was how it looked; I would rate this a 4/10.

The next drink that I tried was the Coffee Mojito. Boba Guys describes it as a cold brew shaken with mint and milk. The drink had a smooth, refreshing flavor and wasn’t too sweet. It was also $6.60 for a 16-ounce cup, including tapioca—however, the striking similarities of this drink to Philz Coffee’s Mint Mojito iced coffee disturbed me. The drinks are almost identical, besides the Boba Guys variant being made with a cold brew in place of espresso. Even the names are similar, which furthered my discontent. Based on taste and price, I would rate the Coffee Mojito as a 7/10. However, my recommendation would be to go to Philz and get the original Mint Mojito iced coffee.

The final drink I sampled was the Soul Maté. It’s described as earthy yerba maté tea, served iced and topped with mint. The drink had a mild and refreshing flavor but, in my opinion, was far too bland to be worth a trip to Boba Guys. It tasted as if I had homebrewed some herbal iced tea and put it in a Boba Guys cup. I chose a 50% sweetness level to detect the flavors of the tea better, but it was to no avail. A small positive factor about this drink was that it was only $5.25 for a 16-ounce container, not including tapioca, but this still doesn’t make up for the subpar flavor of the drink. I would rate this drink a 3/10.

Overall, Boba Guys’ new drinks missed the mark. The Pink Pitaya was just sugary milk, and the Earthy Maté would be made better at home. The only enjoyable drink, the Coffee Mojito, was still an imitation of another establishment’s beverage. I recommend skipping out on these new drinks and sticking to old and reliable orders. However, there are still three more drinks to try. They could be of better quality and flavor or miss the mark; only time and tastebuds will tell.