If you traveled back in time and told me a year ago that Jack in the Box would be selling boba drinks in 2023, while I was drinking a boba drink, you would have boba flying towards you from my spit take because that would be extremely surprising and laughable. But here we are with Jack in the Box’s Iced Coffee and Milk Tea with Boba.
The iced coffee version features High Mountain Arabica coffee with sweetened cream and vanilla, served over ice with brown sugar boba, while the milk tea one comes with freshly brewed tea with sweetened cream and vanilla, ice, and brown sugar boba. If you’re unfamiliar with boba, they’re chewy tapioca balls that give the drink its other name, bubble tea.
And it’s those dark-colored bubbles in these fast food drinks that make it hard for me to recommend them, especially if you’ve never had boba drinks before. They’re described as brown sugar boba, but they’re more like bland sugar boba because they have a nondescript flavor that’s not even sweet. But I was not too fond of their texture. Chewing on them was like mashing my teeth on clumps of hard raisins, which are too chewy for boba. These issues make them weird compared to other boba I’ve had, which have better flavor and texture.
While the tapioca texture was weird, I will say that the milk tea by itself was tasty, and I wish Jack in the Box offered on its own. According to the app, I could customize it to not include boba, but the price wouldn’t change. It’s sweet, creamy, and tasted like the canned and bottled milk teas I’ve had from Japan. As for the iced coffee, if you’ve had Jack’s iced coffee, it tastes the same, but I prefer the milk tea.
Part of the boba experience is the use of a wider straw that allows the tapioca to be sucked up, and Jack in the Box does provide it. But with my iced coffee one, for some reason, most of the balls had difficulty going up the straw, even after shaking and stirring the drink. Eventually, I gave up and left most of them in the cup.
If Jack in the Box’s Iced Coffee with Boba or Milk Tea with Boba is going to be your introduction to the popular Asian drink, I can’t recommend it, even if you live in a boba desert without a place that sells the drink for hundreds of miles. While the base drinks are fine, they contain the least satisfying boba I’ve ever had in terms of taste and texture.
Purchased Price: $4.99 each
Rating: 6 out of 10 (Milk Tea), 5 out of 10 (Iced Coffee)
Nutrition Facts: 280 calories (other nutritional numbers aren’t available on the Jack in the Box website).