What Equipment Do You Need To Start a Bubble Tea Shop?

If you're excited about starting your bubble tea shop, it's important to plan well and choose the right equipment for a smooth operation. Making informed decisions will lead to your success. Let's explore the essential machines and items needed to create and serve delicious bubble tea drinks.

When you're starting your bubble tea shop, you'll need some money to begin. This money will be used to buy or rent equipment that helps you make bubble tea for your customers to enjoy.

There are a few basic machines and equipment that most bubble tea shops use. Some of these are not necessary but can be helpful, like a cup shaker. As your business grows, having these tools can save you time, leading to more sales. So, it's a good idea to consider investing in these tools, even if they are optional.

Machines

Cup sealer

Perhaps the single most important machine in function and also the most recognisable from the customer's perspective, cup sealers seal a plastic film across the top of the cup to keep the liquids inside for transportation. The customers can then use a straw to punch through the seal and consume the bubble tea. See our cup sealing machine product page for more information, and also the sealer films product page.

Fructose Dispenser

To make sure you serve the exact amount of syrup in a cup, it is advised to use an automatic dispenser. The buttons are pre-programmed with certain levels of fructose. See our automatic dispenser's product page.

Cup shaker

Although not completely necessary, you can certainly shake a cup on your own. However, using these can save a significant amount of time throughout the day.

Bubble Tea Blenders need to be powerful enough to blend ice and fruit but quiet enough to not disturb your customers.  We recommend using a blender with a sound enclosure so you can get the best of both worlds. 

Automatic Tea Brewers

When brewing tea, there are two basic options.  Using the traditional method, which is basically boiling water in a teapot, manually putting in the tea leaves and then straining them and putting them into a tea dispenser.  Automatic tea brewers will do most of this work for you.  The Bunn ITCB has 3 settings, so you can pre-set 3 different types of tea.  This helps improve drink consistency/quality and makes it easier for your employees as well.

Automatic Tapioca Pearl Maker

You can either buy tapioca pearls from a supplier or you can make your own.  With a Tapioca Pearl Maker, not only will you have the freshest boba in town, but you’ll also be able to make your own flavours and colors.

Automatic Tapioca Pearl Cookers 

This machine will boil your water, stir your boba, and has an easy-to-use spout to drain out all of your boba once they’re done cooking.  This makes sure that your boba doesn’t get stuck to the bottom or burn like when cooking on a stove.

Consumables

Bubble Tea Cups, Straws and Sealer Film

The first thing to decide for your cups is if you want to use clear cups or custom print cups.  Most store owners choose to use custom cups, but if you’re just starting out, you can also use clear cups until your business is more established.

There are two main types of plastic cups: PP and PET.  PP cups come in 12oz, 16oz and 24oz sizes and have a 95mm diameter.  They are also usually cheaper than PET cups because they are made out of a softer material.  PET cups are usually 12oz, 16oz and 24oz and have a 98mm diameter.  Their material is harder than PP cups and will be more expensive.  Both types of cups can be ordered, either clear (transparent) or custom.

Plastic Sealing Film

Plastic Sealing Film is essential for covering and sealing your bubble tea cups. You can choose between clear and custom print options. The price per roll is typically consistent, but keep in mind that custom rolls have a minimum order quantity (MOQ). It's crucial to ensure that the material of your film matches that of your cups. For instance, if you use PP cups, use PP film to ensure proper sealing.

Fat Straws

It’s hard to imagine a bubble tea shop without any fat straws.  These are iconic and have become synonymous with bubble tea drinking.

Bubble Tea Utensils and Supplies List

The most important utensils you’ll need for making bubble tea are:

Plastic Shaker Cups

Metal Stirrers

Measuring Cups

Plastic Scoops for Powders

Syrup Pumps

Tapioca Pearl Scoopers

A Scale

Insulated Tea Dispensers

Boba Tea Shaker Cups

Shaker Cups come in two main types, either PC Plastic or Stainless Steel.  We usually recommend using PC plastic ones for two reasons.  The first is that the stainless steel ones will get really hot when you add hot water or tea to them, while the plastic ones handle heat better.  The second reason is that the plastic shaker cups are clear, so you will be able to see your ingredients more clearly, and this will help when adding different ingredients and getting the ratios right.

Insulated Tea Dispensers

Tea Dispenser will make sure that your tea is kept hot until your customer orders.  This is the most economical way to serve tea, and most insulated tea dispensers are available in either 5L or 8L dispensers.  We recommend using 5L  dispensers to make sure that your tea is fresh.

Kitchen Equipment Supplies List

In your kitchen, you will need to make sure that there are enough sinks to comply with health regulations and to prepare and clean your equipment.  You will also need to make sure that there are enough power outlets so that you can operate your bubble tea equipment and machinery.  Another important aspect is deciding if you want to use an electric stove top or a traditional natural gas stove top.  One final consideration is using a water filtration system.  Great-tasting tea starts with fresh water, so make sure that your tap water tastes good and consider getting a filter if it doesn’t.

Electric or Gas Stove

Both electric and gas stoves will have certain advantages and disadvantages.  The main advantage of a gas stove is that it will heat up your water and bring it to a boil a lot faster than an electric stove.  Electric stoves will take a little bit longer but produce a more consistent heat supply (especially induction heaters).  This will make cooking tapioca pearls easier and less likely to burn.

Ready to embark on your bubble tea journey? As you gear up to start your own bubble tea shop, equip yourself with the knowledge of essential tools and items for a successful operation. The right equipment is key to crafting delicious bubble tea creations that your customers will love. From cup sealers to tapioca pearl makers, we've covered it all.

At Taipec, we're here to support your venture with a wide range of high-quality bubble tea equipment and supplies. Whether you're looking for the perfect cup sealer or other essential tools, we've got you covered. Explore our product pages and shop online to kickstart your bubble tea business on the right track. Get in touch with us today to make your bubble tea dreams a reality!