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China’s Heytea enters European market with UK store

The 1,000-store tea chain has entered its second international market and first in Europe with a store in London’s Chinatown 

Heytea’s first UK outlet is located in London’s Chinatown | Photo credit: Heytea

Chinese tea chain Heytea has made its European debut with a store in London’s Chinatown. 

Founded in 2012, Hey Tea operates more than 1,000 stores in China alongside four outlets in Singapore, where it launched in 2018. 

Heytea’s first UK store will serve the brand’s signature cheese tea range alongside bubble, fruit and milk-based tea beverages.  

Tea and bubble tea chains have a strong presence in London’s Chinatown, with brands such as MooBoo, CoCo Fresh Tea & Juice, Chatime, YiFang, Yunique Tea and Woo Tea catering to the district’s high tourist footfall. 

Bubble tea is gaining significant ground in the UK, with World Coffee Portal data showing 20% of consumers surveyed made a purchase over the last year – an 8% rise.  

In February 2023, Taiwanese bubble tea chain Chun Fun How opened its first UK outlet in London amid plans to ‘advance the bubble tea experience’ across the country ‘to the next level’. 

Taiwanese bubble tea chain Gong cha moved its global headquarters to London in 2020 and is trageting 500 UK stores. 

The chain views long-term growth being driven by expansion in Europe, where it currently operates in the UK, France, Belgium and Portugal.  


Meanwhile, Taiwan-based bubble tea chain CoCo Fresh Tea & Juice, which operates over 5,000 stores globally, has also strengthened its European portfolio over the last 12 months with new stores in Barcelona, Rotterdam, Stockholm and Madrid.  

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