THE TEA BUBBLE COMPANY OPENS ITS DOORS TO DURBAN
By: Rumana Akoob
The newest craze has finally hit the Durban market with the Bubble Tea Company opening its doors to South Africa.
The Gateway Theatre of Shopping is rife with fashionistas and teens trying to be ‘fresh’ which the store manager, Isabelle Klusener, noticed. “Durban can be boring, and this is a new trendy concept,” she said.
The ice tea beverage is fruit flavoured and laying at the bottom are the appealing boba balls that make the drink unique. Unlike the traditional royal drink, the Bubble Tea Company is about fun.
Bobas, also called tapioca pearls, are fruit juice filled chilled balls. The film that keeps the juice in is made out of chewy seaweed. The entire drink has 12 calories and the company claims it has various vitamins and minerals. The popping sensation of the bobas in your mouth is an experience- so is the R29 price tag.
The staff are friendly as customers make their choice between teas which will be given a fruit flavour; then the array of boba’s in jars across the counter are added to the drink. Astoundingly, there are 2700 different flavour combinations that can be made.
Served with a smile and a concealed thick straw, the beverage has become so popular, there isn’t enough place to hang out in the store with friends. The lack of space could be looked at as a marketing tool, as packs of girls flaunt their designer drinks around the shopping mall. If the long queue outside the store isn’t enough to draw your attention, the name is sure to intrigue.
Having originated in Taiwan, the idea grew into a global obsession over the past 30 years. The first franchise to open in South Africa was at the end of last year in the mother city. After six months of planning and six weeks of in store setup, The Bubble Company had its ribbon cut last week.
The company’s tea is considered equivalent to Starbucks, and aims to take tea consumption a step further. “Its unique and interactive, you choose your tea, fruit or milk flavour and boba flavours,” said Klusener. She said since the opening on Friday, strawberry has been a favourite among customers. “Its because people are curious but afraid of trying different flavours.”
The sensation can be a little unsettling but once the boba bursts in your mouth, you will be ordering your next- that is if your pockets permit.