CoCo Tea Conquers Cebu City

Tea had a very long history, and i wont belabored of telling you its story, here is a TedTalk Video of the History of Tea.

Milk Tea is relatively young, it was developed in the 80s.

There were several versions of how Milk Tea came about. but the most credible is Liu Han-Chieh of Chun Shui Tang Teahouse in Taichung. In the early 80s, he noted that Japanese people enjoyed drinking cold coffee and so he tried out the idea with tea. His cold teas were so popular that his business expanded and he opened several new branches throughout the city.

The bubbles or pearls arrived on the scene in 1988 when during a meeting Liu poured some tapioca balls into his iced teas. Everyone loved it, and so the well-loved drink was born.

Another popular theory is that Tu Tsong-he of the Hanlin Teahouse invented the drink on a whim. He used white tapioca balls which resembled pearls which is allegedly where the name originated.

Wherever it started, there’s no doubt that it took the Taiwanese tea industry by storm and forced many traditional vendors to adapt their menus to include this new and popular drink.

CoCo Fresh Tea & Juice comes from Taiwan, the land of milk tea, with the first CoCo store opened by Tommy Hung in Tamsui District, Taipei, in 1997. Since then, the milk-tea shop has expanded, first by opening 100 stores in Taiwan from 1997 to 2005, then branching out globally with their first overseas stores in Suzhuo, China, in 2007. Today, they have over 2,500 stores all over the world, spanning countries from Thailand, Hong Kong, and Vietnam, to the United States, Australia, Canada, and South Africa. This makes them the largest milk-tea chain in the world.

Larry Evans Tan, General Manager of CoCo, Shares how he brought Coco to the Philippines.

Responding to the clamor of its Cebuano clients, cult favorite milk tea brand CoCo Fresh Tea & Juice has launched two branches in Cebu City in a matter of six months and plans are underway for a third branch soon.

“We are overwhelmed with the response of Cebuanos for CoCo. In fact, Cebu City was one of the most requested area the we have received for CoCo to be present in, and when SM Seaside opened in Cebu, we knew that this is the perfect location to build our flagship store in Cebu,” Larry Evans Tan, General Manager of CoCo , shared in a huddle with Cebu media at the CoCo SM Seaside branch.

Its branch at SM Seaside was CoCo’s flagship store in Cebu which is one of their most picturesque branches and was completed March of this year.  It has since become a favorite hangout place of many Cebuano squads and families.  The second branch which opened only last September was at Ayala Center Cebu to keep up with the demand for CoCo blends from the people of Cebu.

A third CoCo branch in Cebu is underway and might open second quarter of next year.

Tan added that the Cebu branches are the first CoCo branches in the Visayas.

“We felt that the CoCo brand and the Cebuano lifestyle are a perfect match. Cebuanos are known for their love for good food and having a fun, relaxed vibe. They also love to hang out with their friends and families and these are exactly what CoCo stands for,” Tan shared.

Just recently, CoCo was awarded the Favorite Milk Tea brand in the Philippines, a testament of its leadership in the milk tea market segment.

CoCo leads in the global tea market with a formidable 4,000 branches spread out across the world and posting an incredible sale of 100 cups per second globally.

In Metro Manila, where it has become go-to-milk tea brand, a cup of CoCo is ordered every 4 minutes via Grab Food alone.

Tan shared with the Cebu media that they are also partnered with Grab Food delivery in Cebu so that those who crave for CoCo may just order via the app to get their favorite CoCo fix.

Tan added that both CoCo Cebu branches will carry all CoCo blends that are available in Metro Manila, including the latest Chocolate Caramel Cream Slush which he described as “Waves of caramel blended with chocolate slush over velvety salty cream making it a drink that is decadent for the local palate.” Chocolate Caramel Cream Slush is a blend that’s exclusive and created for the Philippines.

The other CoCo bestsellers which have now become favorites as well of the Cebuano customers are the Panda Milk Tea, 3 Buddies, White Pearl Milk Tea and Passion Fruit Tea Burst. 

Tan is very optimistic with the future of CoCo among Filipino milk tea lovers and continues to respond to clamor for more branches nationwide. 

“We continue to explore expansion to other areas and bring CoCo closer to our customers. At the same time, we also try to come up with new flavors that we know our customers would love,” Tan said.


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