Monday, September 23, 2019

[Updated] Another bubble tea chain setting up shop in the East Village

One Zo, a bubble tea brand from Taiwan, is opening an outpost here on Third Avenue between 13th Street and 14th Street...

And what might set One Zo apart from the other recent bubble-tea establishments to arrive in the East Village of late (here and here and here and here and here, for starters)?

Per the One Zo website:

Since the invention of bubble tea in the 1980s, it spread all over the world and became the most popular Taiwanese drink. Before One Zo was established, every bubble tea shop would only serve one type of tapioca pearl, the honey black boba, a prepackaged tapioca that can store for 8 months or longer. We wanted to break this tradition and show our creativity and passion in boba, and that was when One Zo was found.

We came up with the idea of making boba in our own store so everyone could experience how fresh boba tastes. Although it took countless trials and failure to create different boba flavors, we became the world's first bubble tea brand to make fresh boba in-store. While our boba does not have the typical long shelf life, we hope you will feel our passion and enjoy our boba.



The shop is now open...


So much bubble tea! The Wall Street Journal recently explored the ongoing bubble-tea bonanza:

Bubble tea is hardly a new phenomenon. The drink traces its roots back to Taiwan in the ‘80s, according to those in the industry, and made its way to New York City at least a decade ago.

The current growth in bubble-tea shops reflects the increasing interest in Asian food and beverages, observers of the culinary scene said. As for why so many chains are coming up with new twists on the drink, it speaks to the need to differentiate in a more crowded market, said observers.

“It’s looking for that competitive edge,” said Stephen Zagor, an instructor and former dean at the Institute of Culinary Education and an adjunct professor at Columbia Business School.

But some wonder if the bubble will burst, so to speak, and the interest in the drink will diminish. Then again, Danielle Chang, founder of LuckyRice, a lifestyle brand that promotes Asian food events, said the same could have been said of Starbucks Corp. and the gourmet-coffee trend of decades ago.

Ms. Chang is convinced that bubble tea, in all its variety, is here to stay. “It’s a sign of Asian cuisine going mainstream,” she said.


Anonymous said...

I don’t know that having so many bubble tea places is “a sign of “Asian cuisine going mainstream.” I am surrounded by Spiritea on my corner, Meet Fresh on the other end of my block, Magee Tea on 3rd Ave, 2 or 3 bubble tea places on St Marks between 2nd 3rd Aves and the newly opened The Ally on Astor Plaza. Passing many of them multiple times a day or night, I rarely see any non-Asians in any of them. I do believe, like coffee shops, they will soon begin to close as often as they open, just as the Asian dessert places did.

Anonymous said...

Yup, that's what we needed in the EV, another bubble tea house ...or a Ramen noodle shop. While I love these wonderful culinary treats, you have to wonder how many can stay in business.

Anonymous said...

It is sad to see Southern Cross Coffee close today. It was genuinely a neighborhood meeting place, with friendly and accommodating owners and staff. With 3 or 4 coffee and tea places opening in the past several weeks (or slated to open), and another 12 or more in close proximity, it’s no surprise that there is only limited viability for any of these businesses. I expect to see at least one tea place close with the advent of Winter upon us.

Anonymous said...

It’s so sad to see so much hate for bubble tea on evgrieve. What’s wrong with u people above!!! Stop writing negative comments here.

Anonymous said...

The issue isn’t “bubble tea,” it’s about the over proliferation of any one food motif. We saw the frozen yoghurt, the shaved ice desserts, the numerous coffee places that come and go in short spurts. This lack of business stability in the neighborhood is concerning. We no longer come to expect food establishments to serve the community but see flash in the pan trends come and go. These kinds of businesses make the area nothing more than a mall food court, not a neighborhood.