Growth planned at Bubble T break as Taiwanese drinks prove a hit with students

The owner of a cafe selling bubble tea says he wants to open a second establishment and eventually turn the business into a franchise

Wei-Lung Tsai who runs the Bubble T Break Cafe in Newcastle City Centre.
Wei-Lung Tsai who runs the Bubble T Break Cafe in Newcastle City Centre.

The owner of a Newcastle restaurant and cafe specialising in Taiwanese drinks is hoping to expand the business as sales continue to grow.

Wei-Lung Tsai set up Bubble T break, on Cross Street, in late 2012 to bring the traditions and recipes of South East Asia to the UK.

With word spreading among the student population in particular, the cafe’s popularity has grown and Tsai is now looking to launch a second branch next year.

Plans are also in place to engage an import trading company and to hire two full-time and two part-time employees.

“My vision is to develop my Taiwanese bubble tea shop into a franchise business and launch my Taiwanese beverage in every shopping mall in Newcastle in order to provide customers with a comfortable and relaxed atmosphere to chat, as with Starbucks and Costa,” Tsai said.

“The difference is that I provide a very special and particular beverage and a unique and exotic environment for British customers, giving a taste of South East Asia here in the UK.”

Originally from Taiwan, Tsai completed a Masters degree in Food Science at the National Taiwan Ocean University before working for two years in research and development at Academia Sinica, a Taiwanese government research institute. He came to the UK to study an MSc in Business with International Management at Northumbria University and soon developed an interest in cross-cultural business.

The drinks sold at Bubble T break are based largely on assam black tea, green jasmine tea and oolong tea.

“While enjoying the university culture and student life in Newcastle, I realised that there was a gap in the market to introduce a Taiwanese beverage shop in the UK,” Tsai said.

“Since Taiwanese beverage shops in the UK are still in the early stages of introduction and have few competitors, and also since bubble tea is popular among Asian students, I realised it had high potential to develop into a successful business. I have set up various methods to promote the business. including the use of social networking sites such as Facebook and TripAdvisor, which are popular among the targeted customers, who are both Asian and British.”

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