Why Is Bubble Tea Expensive?

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September 12, 2021

Bubble tea has reigned supreme as a well-loved drink in a world where trends come and go. People have been getting into the milk tea obsession for over 30 years, adding new twists to the drink as time goes on. This Asian drink, which originated in Taiwan in the mid-1980s, has since grabbed people’s taste buds all over the world. This beverage is most widely known as bubble tea, but it is also known as boba, pearl tea, tapioca tea, boba nai cha, zhen zhou nai cha, black pearl tea, pearl shake, momi milk tea, and other names.

Production Cost

According to a Fortune Business Report, bubble tea was worth $2.02 billion in 2019 and is anticipated to have a $3.39 billion worldwide market share by 2027. These are some of the costs one might have to pay before opening a Bubble tea café and thus having an impact on the cost of the bubble tea:

Franchise Cost

Most company owners would instead invest in a successful bubble tea restaurant franchise than start their own from scratch. So, if one wants to join a brand, he must pay the franchise fee, which accounts for a significant portion of the beginning cost—a franchise costs between $5000 and $20,000. Brand expenses will vary depending on the brand.


Another essential cost that will be incurred while establishing the bubble tea business is the cost of insurance. To safeguard one’s business from damage, one should carry some basic insurance. This is a need that cannot be avoided. Business insurance might cost up to $2000.

Shop Rent

When it comes to starting a bubble tea store, the rent and decor costs might be relatively high. It should be noted that the shop’s location and size will influence the decorating and rent expenses. The minimum rent for a business is $50,000 per year, however as previously said, the shop’s location has an impact on the rent.


A bubble tea shop’s decor is generally basic, conveying a pleasant and delicate vibe. However, if a person intends to decorate the franchise lavishly, the costs might rise to $40,000 or more. Typically, a bar counter, a working bench, and a commercial kitchen are required. However, to open a bubble tea kiosk in a shopping center, one must first locate a complete kiosk set. The business should include a serving bar and some leisure tables, seats, and sitting booths. As a result, the total cost of decorating might range between $20000 and $40000.


Specific tools are required to make the business run smoothly and profitably. However, their initial cost influences the budget.

Bubble Tea Sealer Machine

They create an airtight seal, giving your cups a natural appearance and feel. Sealer machines also save money over time since plastic sealer film is less expensive than conventional covers.

Tea Shaker Machines

Tea Shaker Machines will help you mix the hot tea with powders and ice to make sure they dissolve correctly and create the “bubbles” on top of the tea.

Sugar Dispensing Machines

Sugar Dispensing Machines are the best way to ensure that drink quality is consistent, and customers get the exact level of sweetness that they ordered.

Automatic Tea Brewers

Automatic Tea Brewers will save time and cut employee costs

A stove

A stove will also be necessary for cooking your tapioca pearls.

Reasons for Expensive Bubble Tea

One of the most common complaints about bubble tea is that it is significantly more costly than other tea varieties, and many people are unsure why. For the most part, bubble tea does not include anything especially unusual or exclusive, so why should the price be as high as it is? On average, a store charges $3.00-$3.50 for a serving of bubble tea (16oz or 20oz serving)—however, the approximate cost for materials is approximately $0.75 to make.

Bubble tea’s appeal stems primarily from its novelty and flavor. Bubble tea, especially with the tapioca pearl as a novel experience, was new, especially in the Western world. Thus people were naturally intrigued about it.

Popularity of Bubble Tea

Bubble tea’s popularity skyrocketed across much of Southeast and East Asia as early as the early 1990s. In Malaysia, for example, several profitable bubble tea companies developed within only a few years of its debut.

Bubble tea quickly became popular in Western nations outside of Asia. It originally arrived in the United States when Taiwanese immigrants immigrated to California and founded several bubble tea establishments throughout Los Angeles. Boba tea did not acquire complete market traction in Singapore until 2001. Following the surge, local stores would sell approximately 1,000 cups each day.

Boba Components

Bubble tea should not be so costly in and of itself. The components used to make a tea serving cost less than a dollar on average. However, this isn’t entirely accurate because there is some additional cost to consider.

For example, there aren’t many locations that create the unique tapioca orbs, and they typically have to be bought in bulk and imported unless you know of a trustworthy maker. Much of the expense of bubble tea is accounted for by this feature, considering that the remainder of the tea is just tea or another drink supplied by the location where you purchase it.

Another thing to consider is that the lovely transparent cups and bigger straws that come with the tea are slightly more expensive than the inexpensive, standard coffee cups that consumers may bulk purchase from vendors. Again, it shouldn’t be so costly to create the costs of bubble tea that people notice and complain about, but this also plays a role in why bubble tea isn’t the same price as other teas.

There is no disputing that bubble tea is renowned. As a result, bubble tea will have an artificially inflated price that corresponds to something that has achieved the kind of popularity that bubble tea has. After all, if consumers are buying the tea at a 350 percent markup, the shops have no incentive to cease selling it at that price and profiting from it.

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