April 16, 2021 By Michael Dorgan
Teazzi Tea Shop, which specializes in bubble tea, opened in Long Island City last week.
The store – the third in a chain, and the second in Queens – opened Saturday on the ground floor of the Hayden residential building—a 51-story complex in Court Square.
The 43-21 Hunter St. location is now offering customers a range of bubble teas that are made using ingredients that are sourced from Taiwan.
The shop makes the bubble teas from scratch by blending a tea base with milk and then adding chewy tapioca balls, which are often referred to as “pearls.” The store also sells a range of fruit teas and lemonade.
Nigel Huang, who is the owner and a franchisee, said bubble tea originated in Taiwan in the 1980s and has become particularly popular among young adults of Asian descent.
“People really enjoy it because it has a sweet taste,” Huang said. “The tea mixed with the milk and tapioca is amazing.”
Huang, 27, is an architect by profession and got the idea to open the bubble tea shop around two years ago while he was designing a space for a separate bubble tea shop in Manhattan. He said the owner of that shop made him aware of the burgeoning bubble tea market.
Huang, a Court Square resident who was born in China, said at the time he noticed there was a lack of bubble tea shops in the neighborhood. He said he wanted to capitalize on a gap in the market and decided to open the shop to meet the demand of Court Square’s Asian population. He said that bubble tea is also catching on with people of all ethnicities.
The new shop is his first business venture and he said that opening in the midst of the pandemic has not posed a problem.
“If you really want something you must go for it,” he said, adding that “with risk comes opportunity.”
The 1,000 square foot space has gray and white-colored walls with high ceilings and exposed ductwork that is painted blue.
Huang said that he has created an open space so that people can move around and talk to one another. The shop can seat 18 people at full capacity.
Huang said that business is thriving and he has been flocked with customers. On opening day, he said, there was a line that reached the end of the block.
He said that the shop’s bestselling item so far has been the “house special milk tea” which contains “four seasons” tea, tapioca, oats and milk. The “taro latte” – which is made using mashed taro and milk – is another favorite along with the “strawberry four seasons milk tea” which includes strawberry jam.
Huang said that customers can choose from up to six different tea flavors – all of which are sourced from Taiwan. All of the shop’s sugars also come from Taiwan while the fresh produce – like fruit, rice, beans and milk – are locally sourced. The shop only uses lactose-free milk and non-dairy creamers in its teas, Huang said.
The teas can be served hot or cold and customers can customize the temperature before ordering, Huang said.
“We are trying to provide the neighborhood with good quality tea and a nice space for young people to come and hang out,” Huang said.
The shop is open Mondays through Sundays from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m.