Bubble tea — a unique Taiwanese tea-based drink, has been catching on in South Africa — where 10 more teashops are expected to be opened next year, said the Taiwanese businessman who introduced the first one to Johannesburg in October.
The entrepreneur, surnamed Huang (黃), said business has been brisk at his teashop in the past two months and his customers have been mostly young middle-class people who like to try new things.
With business booming at that shop, he now has opened two more and plan to open another 10 next year, under agreements signed with several big shopping centers in Johannesburg, he said.
Bubble tea, also known as pearl milk tea, is typically a blend of tea and milk or fruit, with tapioca balls added.
The drink, invented in Taiwan, can now be found in teashops across the world, including Europe and the US.
In South Africa, it is also sold in snack bars in Chinatown, but there is much room for expansion of the customer base, according to Huang.
He later signed a partnership agreement with Taiwan’s leading tea brand CoCo Fresh Tea & Juice, which has some 1,600 stores worldwide, to set up the first bubble tea shop in South Africa, Huang said.
He added that his next goal is to set up shop in Durban and Cape Town by 2015.