Way back to the start of June 2017, we were all greeted with the shocking news that Gong Cha,one of Singaporeans’ favourite bubble tea brand, was going to be replaced with new local LiHo brand. This brave move to close down one of the most popular bubble tea chains in Singapore is a strategic business decision made by RTG Holdings who felt “betrayed” by business associates, and decided to build a home-grown brand as Gong Cha’s parent company in Taiwan, Royal Tea Taiwan, was recently sold off to Gong Cha Korea, resulting in changes in contractual terms.
LiHo is a made-in-Singapore creation with a new menu, including cheese tea drinks. It will rely on completely different suppliers for its tea and other raw ingredients, as well as using different methods of making its drinks.
The top picks at Liho include Lychee Jing Syuan Tea ($3.30, $4.30), Fresh Lemon Juice Kanten and Golden Ai Yu ($4.00 and $5.10), Golden Yuzu Juice and Golden Ai Yu ($3.70 and $4.70), and Vitagen ‘n’ Peach ($4.10, $5.40).
My personal favourite from LiHo will be one of their top picks – Lychee Jing Syuan Tea. I like it a lot because it tastes really refreshing, especially during our ‘summer’ period in Singapore. I top it off with white pearls, making it a total of SGD$4 (medium). I personally feel that we are paying for the cup because, unlike Gong Cha, LiHo drinks come in plastic cups of better quality and plastic lids, different from the usual plastic seal on most bubble tea. Although it may be expensive as compared to Gong Cha, the cups can be recycled and used for other purposes after washing which makes it worth the money. Although I have yet to try their cheese milk tea and royal milk tea, I have been hearing both good and bad comments and these drinks have been constantly compared to another known brand – KOI.
I really encourage you to try out the Lychee Jing Syuan Tea from LiHo in this hot weather!