Thursday, October 17, 2019

Singapore and Southeast Asia's first bubble tea experience opens

Singapore and Southeast Asia's first bubble tea experience opens

First look at The Bubble Tea Factory's boba wrecking ball and boba ball pit

The boba wrecking ball at The Bubble Tea Factory. (Photo: Joyee Koo)

We know you love your bubble tea. Who doesn't? And starting Oct 19, you'll be able to take your love for the perennially popular beverage to the next level by immersing yourself in Southeast Asia's first boba wonderland.

Southeast Asia's first bubble tea wonderland boasts more than 10 multi-sensory rooms and installations centered around the popular drink.

The Bubble Tea Factory is a new experiential space that will open its doors in Singapore for two months. The 7,000 sq ft space at *Scape takes visitors through more than 10 multi-sensory themed rooms and installations, starting from a boba-making production line and growing increasingly whimsical through an upside-down bubble tea cup forest; an ASMR slurping tunnel; a boba wrecking ball you can actually swing on; and the piece de resistance – a huge taro boba ball pit filled with 100,000 lavender-hued balls.

Visitors can also sample bubble tea flavoured snacks, purchase bubble tea themed merchandise such as earrings and cup holders from a collaboration with local fashion label Fayth, and end their journey with – what else? – a cold cup of bubble tea. The Bubble Tea Factory is currently partnering with Jenjudan to serve up drinks to visitors, and will later welcome other partners such as Gong Cha.

READ: Confessions of a bubble tea addict: Not good for me, but it's been good to me

Taro Pearl Pit at The Bubble Tea Factory

Hop into a pit of 100,000 "taro" boba balls. (Photo: The Bubble Tea Factory)

The themed space is the brainchild of Weiting Tan, an entrepreneur with a background in tech startups.

"We saw that there was definitely a gap in the space of the experiential economy," the 32-year-old told CNA Lifestyle. "We noticed that buying stuff doesn't make you as happy. You might be excited by a new toy for a week or so, but after that, there's that feeling of, 'Oh, it's just another material good lying around at home.' People are spending more on experiences, like travelling or concerts or sports events, because these memories last you a lifetime. We wanted to do things in that space, but more centred on fun."

Boba-jection at The Bubble Tea Factory

For those who have bubble tea coursing through their veins. (Photo: The Bubble Tea Factory)

Why bubble tea? "We want to work on concepts and topics that are relevant to people here," he explained. "It would be very easy for us to go somewhere else and take an interesting concept and try to bring it over. But it might not be as relatable. Bubble tea is one of those things that people are really passionate about. I've seen friends fight over which one is better than the other; which one has better pearls. Even at work, the team of colleagues next to me were always talking about bubble tea every single day – when they were going to get it; what flavours they were going to get. I was like, 'This is really something that people care about.'"

Blue Coral Utapioca at The Bubble Tea Factory

The Blue Coral Utapioca is an enchanted forest of upside-down bubble tea "trees". (Photo: The Bubble Tea Factory)

To make the experience more multi-dimensional, Tan also drew on his background in tech for the idea of a customised Instagram filter, where users can "drink" a cup of endlessly refillable bubble tea through the filter.

After The Bubble Tea Factory's designated two months are up, Tan has plans to roll out more concepts – he's toying with one based on memes – as well as collaborations with local brands. There are also plans to take The Bubble Tea Factory on tour around the region.

But for now, as the experiential space gears up to open its doors, it's focusing on generating hype here, with free admission for the first 1,000 visitors on Oct 19 between 12pm and 6pm.

And that's the tea.

The Bubble Tea Factory is at *Scape, 2 Orchard Link. It runs from Oct 19 to Dec 18, from 4pm to 10pm on weekdays, and 10 am to 10pm on weekends. Tickets are available via Eventbrite at S$24 (weekdays) and S$28 (weekends)., with opening special deals. For details, visit

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