Students love bubble tea, which is why brothers Shawn and Ivan Wang decided to bring this Taiwanese treasure to the heart of the University of Alberta campus with their popular Teapsy Café.
“It’s just different compared to Booster Juice (and) Orange Julius. The products we have and the ingredients we use, it’s all brand new here and something I don’t see anywhere else,” Shawn said. “It’s something that’s actually accepted by a lot of people. It’s not something that’s only for certain people. I think it suits every nationality.”
After running a successful soft opening last Friday, Teapsy Café debuted officially on Monday, Aug. 31; just in time to welcome all the new and returning students to campus. Although it’s location behind the InfoLink in the Students’ Union Building, which previously housed Travel Cuts, and is much smaller than its original location on Whyte Avenue, it still has ample space for all the taro, coconut, lychee and watermelon drinks — among others — and other menu items to be made. Along with a multitude of slush smoothies, milk tea and ice tea, Teapsy Café also offers low fat frozen yogurt topped with authentic Japanese ISE-matcha powder, original mochi and sweet red beans, which are just a few of the several toppings they provide.“We feel that is what’s in demand. The way that we’re doing bubble tea, sometimes we compare ourselves to others and we think that we can bring fresh ingredients, new style, new drinks … and hope that people will like us, ” Shawn said.
Vice-president (Operations and Finance) Cody Bondarchuk also hopes that students will enjoy this new addition to campus food fare.
“I don’t know solid numbers, but kind of just [through] word of mouth, you hear that students really enjoy bubble tea,” Bondarchuk said. “It’ll bring a new type of client and a new student who is in the mood for a cold drink and for something that they otherwise normally wouldn’t come to SUB for, so I think and hope that they will like it.”
Arts student Amber Roseborough was excited to enjoy her green apple bubble tea on Monday.
“This is my fourth year of university and I’m fairly used to what goes on in SUB and to have a new place that does just bubble tea is kind of exciting,” Roseborough said. “I like bubble tea a lot.”
With the lower level renovation now complete in SUB, students can expect to see another new business setting up shop in the future.
“We have a retail bay next to SUB Print,” Bondarchuk said. “It just looks like a wall right now, but it’s like a giant room in there, so we will be sending out an RFP for additional things. This time we’re looking more for retail than for food … but I really want to hear actually what students would like to see in terms of it.”