Bubble Tea Equipment and Supply Options
To serve Bubble Tea, it is the option of the business owner to decide what equipment and supplies are to be purchased to assist in the preparation of the drink.
When adding Bubble Tea to a menu, it's not necessary for a business to purchase the fancy equipment. However, for Bubble Tea Businesses, many business owners like to use the fancier equipment because it adds to the novelty of the drink.
Minimal supplies needed to make a bubble tea are:
- Shaking Cup
- Measuring Scoop
- Containers for bubble tea flavor powders
- Container for cooked tapioca
- Stove top or burner to cook tapioca
- Pot to cook tapioca
- Cups & Lids
Optional equipment include:
- Blender (K-Tec/Blendtec is recommended)
- Cup sealing machine (Seals a lid on plastic cup)
- Pumps for syrups
Instead of purchasing the shaker machine, a plastic shaker or a stainless steel shaker can be used. The plastic shaker is a popular choice, as it doesn't change temperature with the liquid that is poured in. With the stainless steel shaker, the metal becomes very cold to hold, or sometimes warm enough to need "hot pads or warming gloves." Some businesses prefer the stainless steel shaker because of the "classy" look. On the other hand, some prefer the plastic shaker because the measurements are already on the cup. Either way, customers don't necessarily prefer plastic or stainless steel; they just want a GOOD TASTING bubble tea! When businesses use Bubble Tea Supply products, they are confident every time that they are serving the best!
Pre-sized measuring scoops are included with each order to ensure ease and consistency.
The flavored powder can be stored in a small airtight container to minimize space on the counter and keep your powders orderly. The containers should keep out as much moisture as possible.
A plastic container is normally used to store the tapioca once it's made and before it's served. These can normally be purchased through your local restaurant supply.
Stove Top or Burner
If you don't have a stovetop then a tabletop burner may be used. These are either gas or electric. You will need to check on the regulations in your area regarding the use of these burners in your business. These can be purchased in your local area. If you have space limitations, you can substitute an electric rice cooker for the burner.
A large pot (at least 5 gallons is recommended) should be used to cook tapioca. This can be purchased at your local restaurant supply.
A strainer is needed for rinsing and draining the water from the cooked tapioca. This is the same type of strainer used for pasta.
An alternative to the sealer machine is purchasing "bubble lids" or plastic dome lids. Some businesses prefer the look of the dome lid on the top of their Bubble Tea, as it resembles a bubble sitting on top of a drink. With the extra space, many fill the top with whip cream or the extra bubble drink left in the shaker or blender.
Fat straws are needed to allow the tapioca to be eaten with the drink. There are two types of fat straws for bubble or boba tea. The first has flat ends and the second has one end flat and one end slant cut. The slant cut is needed for us with the sealer machine to puncture the seal film on the bubble tea cup. The slant cut is also preferred by some because they think it's easier to suck up the tapioca with the slant cut end. Aside from the sealer machine use, the straws are all personal preference.
A blender is often used, but is optional to the business owner. A blender allows fruits to be added to your bubble tea and also gives it a nice slushy texture. For businesses serving less than 50 drinks per day an inexpensive commercial blender may be used. For larger volume businesses, the K-Tec blenders work well but cost much more. A blended bubble tea drink leaves nothing left in the cup when the customer is done drinking their bubble tea drink. Blended drinks also can demand higher prices and customers like to watch them being made. Blending seems to add value.
The sealer machine adds a nice touch to the bubble drink presentation. By inserting the plastic cup into the designated slot, the machine takes in the cup and seals a thin plastic film called seal-tape over the top. This is very similar to the way the plastic is sealed on top of a yogurt container. Many seal-tapes have different designs and characters for the customers to enjoy looking at. Adding a company design or logo to the seal-tape is also an option but a minimum order is necessary. This is very popular for chain stores as it helps with their branding campaigns and advertising. With the plastic seal-tape covering the plastic cup so tightly, the customers enjoy piercing the top with the large angled bubble straws. It is also very convenient if the customer is not consuming the bubble tea drink immediately. It helps the keep the bubble tea drink from spilling. When piercing the top, it makes a "popping" noise, similar to "soda pop" when the gases are released from the can. The cup sealer machine is not necessary, however the bubble tea cup sealer can pay for itself in the long run with the savings in cups and lids.
Pumps for the bubble tea flavored syrups make it easier on your staff to dispense the syrup.