Recently, one of their newest products picked up a ton of a buzz when it was announced: Cold Brew Boba Ice Cream!
After the announcement, I basically stalked several Trader Joe's in NYC waiting for it to hit the shelves. And then finally... I found it.
I pretty much jumped for joy when I spotted it, and I bought two pints because I figured it would sell out quickly. (And I was right. When I went to check-out, the crew member actually told me I was lucky to get my hands on this stuff because it's been flying off the shelves.)
With my cold brew boba tea ice cream in hand, it was time to dig in. This dessert is made with coconut milk, so it's actually dairy-free.
If you're not familiar with boba, they're the little tapioca balls you often find in bubble tea. And to be totally transparent in the name of of taste-testing, it's not my favorite thing in the world. I find the chewy texture sort of off-putting in a drink. But I know others (like my husband, pictured below drinking bubble tea as an afternoon snack) very rightfully love it. So I wanted to keep an open mind and still try it!
At first glance, this stuff basically looks like coffee ice cream. There isn't much evidence of the tapioca balls at the surface. When you take a scoop though, you can see a few of them — they almost look like chocolate chips.
Now, how did it taste?? The taste is definitely *very* coffee-forward, so if you like coffee in any form, you'll probably like this flavor. There's also not that much boba. In bubble tea, the boba-to-tea ratio is higher, but here the little tapioca balls are pretty sparse. In fact, you probably won't even get boba with every bite.
That being said, if you're a fan of boba, you'll know it's in there. Each tapioca ball is pretty small and doesn't have a noticeable flavor on its own — but it has a chewy texture that's hard to miss. If we're talking ice cream mix-ins, it's similar to gummy bears.
My husband (the boba-lover) was obsessed with this stuff. He raved about the texture ("wow, cold boba is amazing") and couldn't stop eating it.
So TL;DR: If you like boba, cold brew, and ice cream, you will absolutely love this dessert. And if you're like me (aka not necessarily a boba fanatic)... you might still enjoy it! The tapioca balls are much more subtle here than they are in bubble tea, and the coffee flavor is really good.
The "non-dairy frozen dessert", as it officially calls itself, isn't quite as rich or decadent as standard milk-based ice cream. It's also a bit less creamy than some other non-dairy ice creams, for example, if you've ever tried Trader Joe's strawberry oat milk frozen dessert. But it's definitely tasty, refreshing, and feels like a treat.
To sum up? Despite my initial doubts, I would not hesitate to buy this again. Trader Joe's, you've done it again. 👏👏
Have you tried Trader Joe's cold brew and boba dessert? What did you think? Tell me in the comments!
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