During my previous visit to Guangzhou, I came across a shop with a huge crowd, queuing under the sun for up 3 hours just to get themselves a cup of Cheese Tea. Upon further investigation, they are tea seller, known as HEYTEA – famously known for their cheese tea. Read on to know about my experience with HEYTEA, previously branded as HEEKCHA and also formerly known as Royaltea.
As I was touring my friend around (Complete Guangzhou Guide here), Joshua at Beijing Road Pedestrian Shopping Street, Guanghzou to have our breakfast there (check out What to eat at Guangzhou). We came across this shop with a huge crowd of at least 50, queuing under the sun. I got so curious of what is the case? Why are people getting frenzy over this?
Your breakfast have to wait, I told Joshua as I walk towards the shop to have a better view. To my surprise, they sell Cheese Tea and are known as HEYTEA. I went forth to ask the service crew noting that their opening hours began at 11.00am and shockingly, I over heard the patrons saying that the queue starts as early as 9.30am!
Determine to try their Cheese Tea, we both went to the least crowded branch at Popark, Guangzhou East Railway Station.
Though it is not as crowded as their concept store back at Hui Fu East Road, we still had to queue for 1 hour to place our order, only to find that there is about 100 orders ahead of us. While we waited, I went around to take photos of this branch.
While we waited, I did some reading on their website and found out that they were founded back in the year 2012 May 12th by the riverside at JiangMen City of Guangdong. Formerly known as ROYALTEA 皇茶. In order to distinguish themselves from the others they re-branded themselves as HEYTEA 喜茶. They claimed that they are the creators of this cheese tea drink product which uses high quality ingredients. On 2016, IDG Capital invested 100 million RMB in HEYTEA.
We waited for 1 freaking hour (if you couldn’t get a seat at their store, you can simply get a seat at a nearby food court – Food Republic) until they call out for our number, swiftly I went to collect our drinks.
Quickly we have a sip and Joshua’s reaction was, “Oh my god! This is freaking amazing!”, indeed it is I agreed.
HEYTEA Cheese Green Tea
The layer of cheese is a about an inch, mixture of whipped cream and cheese (cream cheese, I assume), lightly seasoned with salt beautifully poured over the drink of your choice. The cheese layer is full of punch – so fluffy, thick, creamy and rich with a hint of saltiness boost the flavors of the cheese. Whereas the tea, Jasmine green tea to be specific, is on the average scale. However, when you have a sip as instructed, 40 degrees tilted, right amount of cheese and tea fills your taste bud, bursting with complex flavor as you gulp em down!
HEYTEA Cheese Ice Blended Strawberry
The layer of cheese in this cup wasn’t as great as the Cheese Green Tea. Slightly reduced in thickness hence, not so creamy. Fresh strawberries were used for the blend, giving a nice fresh strawberry flavor.
My favorite will definitely be their HEYTEA Cheese Green Tea, something that I would say up to standard. Though they uses plenty of commercially produce ingredients, well, which food chain brand doesn’t? I would say that HEYTEA did great; commercially and I believe they are going to stay at that level for a period of time overtaking the previous bubble milk tea era. (I now have the best cheese tea recipe! Check it out here!)
Address : Underground, Food concourse, Popark Shopping Plaza, Tianhe District, Guangzhou, China.
Price Range : 9RMB – 29RMB ($1.30 – $4.20)
Overall Rating : 8/10
How to get there : Metro Line 1 Guangzhou East Railway Station, Exit G. Take the escalator to down to their lowest level and head towards the middle concourse. You will definitely see a long queue. There they are.