(Source: Inside Retail Philippines | 9 November 2016)
The Khun Thai Tea Manila network will expand to three kiosks with the opening of a new outlet at MegaMall.
Located in the Ortigas business district in Metro Manila, MegaMall is the second largest shopping centre in the Philippines.
Khun Thai Tea co-founder Jeremy Lee says the new location was chosen for its proximity to the CBD. After just three months Khun Thai Tea Manila’s newest store joins kiosks in Mall of Asia and StarCity. More stores are planned in other shopping centres across Metro Manila.
SM MegaMall’s kiosk opening will be accompanied by the introduction of a new flavour, Ice Bandung.
The outlets are the result of a collaboration between Bronze Media LLP Singapore founders Jeremy Lee and Elis Chai together with Filipino local Nancy Padilla.
According to Padilla, the chain’s drinks are based on an original recipe for a refreshing black iced-tea (‘cha-yen’ in Thai) that dates back to 1955. First created by a Thai native fondly known as Auntie Marlee, the strongly brewed ceylon tea has since been modernized with a switch from ceylon to a Thai-grown assam tea known as ‘Bai Miang’. Infusion with spices maintains the headiness of the original recipe and bring out its complex flavours.
The traditional sugar, condensed milk and evaporated milk-heavy Cha-Yen recipe has also been updated to better suit the tastes of modern health-conscious consumers.
In addition to the original recipe, says Padilla, Khun Thai Tea outlets also offer variations of the concoction inspired by drink recipes from around Asia, such as a mix of coffee and tea (‘Yuan Yang’), which was first brewed in Hong Kong.
Drawing inspiration from Taiwanese bubble milk tea recipes, Khun Thai Tea also comes with small chewy tapioca balls (‘boba’, or bubbles) added, to infuse new textures and experiences to the drink.
The newest menu item, Ice Bandung, is inspired by the original popular Malaysian beverage recipe which combines the alluring taste of rose syrup with the velvety smoothness of milk.
Lee says the chain plans to open a new kiosk every month moving forward – and is looking for partners in other Southeast Asian markets.
“We are going to take Khun Thai Tea to Jakarta in Indonesia, Kuala Lumpur in Malaysia, and Taipei in Taiwan.”