New Kid on the Block: Kung Fu Tea

Kung Fu Tea Tribeca doorWhile studying finance at Baruch College, Ryan Chang, now 23, worked for two years at the corporate offices of Kung Fu Tea. Upon graduation, realizing he didn’t want an office job and that he enjoyed interacting with people, he began preparing to launch his own franchise of the brand. Last week, it had its grand opening—replete with a balloon arch, many congratulatory bouquets, and beaming family members—at the corner of Greenwich and Reade.

“I spent a year looking for perfect location,” he says. “I went to Bronx Science, but I had friends at Stuyvesant, and they suggested I look around here.” The many schools nearby were tremendously appealing, given that students of all ages are the main target demographic. Bubble tea, if you’re not familiar with it, is a mix of tea or coffee, milk, sugar, and tapioca “bubbles.” The machines that shake the tea are mesmerizing, and the sensation of sucking gummy tapioca spheres through a straw is indescribable.

Chang’s entrepreneurial spirit led him to want to create a brand of his own, so the Tribeca location of Kung Fu Tea is also home to the Eggettes House. Eggettes are hexagonal waffles sold as a street food in Hong Kong, where Chang’s family is from. To “put an American twist on it,” he’s offering them with a scoop of ice cream and various toppings. In the refrigerated case, meanwhile, you’ll find mille crepe cakes, sawdust pudding, and little glass jars of panna cotta, all made by a friend who studied at the International Culinary Center in Soho.

Kung Fu Tea is at 315 Greenwich (at Reade);

Kung Fu Tea TribecaKung Fu Tea Tribeca machineKung Fu Tea Tribeca mille crepe Kung Fu Tea Tribeca panna cotta Kung Fu Tea Tribeca sawdust puddingKung Fu Tea Tribeca menu2Kung Fu Tea Tribeca menuKung Fu Tea Tribeca Eggette menuRecent New Kid on the Block / First Impressions articles:
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  1. Good luck to this young entrepreneur! I’m looking forward to a good bubble tea!

  2. 23! I’m very impressed with his entrepreneurial spirit. I love bubble tea, so I’m looking forward to this place!