Tea Franchises are Gaining Steam with Millenials and Gen-Z. Here are 10 Options to Consider.
Tea is no longer thought of as a drink just for stuffy English people. Today’s tea drinkers and trendsetters are Millenials and Gen-Zers. According to the Tea Association of the USA, 87% of Millennials drink tea. And young people aren’t just drinking hot tea – boba, matcha, infusions, and more are adding to the mix.
Entrepreneurs have taken notice of these trends, and tea franchises like Gong Cha and The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf are meeting the demand. With a simple business model and feel-good products, tea franchises can be fun options for investors. Tea is so popular that it even has its own holiday: International Tea Day, which is May 21.
History of International Tea Day
Not only does International Tea Day allow tea lovers to celebrate their favorite drink, but it also promotes ways to sustain the consumption and production of the popular drink. Sri Lanka, Nepal, Indonesia, Kenya, Malaysia, and Uganda came together to celebrate an unofficial International Tea Day in 2005. It wasn’t until 14 years later that the Intergovernmental Group on Tea decided to celebrate International Tea Day on May 21. The first official United Nations International Tea Day wasn’t celebrated until May 21, 2020.
Whether you love tea, – or even if you don’t – these business opportunities allow you to cater to the next generation of tea drinkers in your community. Here are 10 tea franchises to consider for your next business venture.
Best Tea Franchise Opportunities
The Washington-based Glow Tea franchise was founded by Weidi Shen and Yubing Weng in 2018. The farm-to-cup boba tea business serves boba milk tea, boba smoothies, real fruit tea, coffee and more. The brand stands out by offering its milk teas in light bulb shaped glasses. To incentivize franchise ownership, Glow Tea doesn’t charge entrepreneurs any royalties if their business makes less than $25,000 a month.
With more than 1,800 cafes in 20 countries, Gong Cha is looking for passionate entrepreneurs to invest in single, multiple or master franchise opportunities. In addition to capitalizing on the growing boba (bubble) tea market and appealing to younger generations, franchise owners benefit from an existing supply chain, innovative products and international support. Ideal candidates have prior business experience or want to expand their portfolios with a feel-good tea franchise.
Founded by Justin Howe along with Gary and Kim Hutchins in Amarillo, Texas, the HTeaO franchise specializes in sweetened and unsweetened iced tea. Its menu also includes coffee, espresso and hot tea drinks. Capitalizing on the South’s love of iced tea, HTeaO has expanded to dozens of locations across Texas, Arkansas, Oklahoma, Florida, Kansas, and New Mexico.
Spice & Tea Merchants
Spice & Tea Merchants opened in 2003 and is a retail business that offers spices, teas and food items. With support and training, franchisees don’t need prior experience to run the business successfully. The average location is between 800 and 1,200 square feet.
Sweetwaters Coffee & Tea
Sweetwaters Coffee & Tea was founded in 1993 by Wei and Lisa Bee. The duo opened the first Sweetwaters location in Ann Arbor near their alma mater, The University of Michigan. They decided to go into business because of their love of food and drinks and were driven by their creativity. The tea and coffee franchisor is looking for entrepreneurs who are community-driven and can manage a team. Franchise owners benefit from online and delivery orders as well as brand merchandise, gift cards, and more.
TeaCupFuls was established in 2018 in Bend, Ore., as a fun place for friends and family to hang out. CEO Loana Perez grew up in a Vietnamese-influenced home and loved different cultures. Franchisees benefit from low overhead, affordable startup costs, and operational and marketing support. TeaCupFuls’ claim to fame is its specialty drinks, which showcase fun toppings like cotton candy, sea salt foam, mints, and more.
The Teapioca Lounge franchise has been offering traditional and specialty teas since 2010. It started in central Texas as a single shop and has expanded to more than 20 locations in four states. Franchisees benefit from national marketing assistance, business development support, and a menu with mass appeal. Aiming to mix both east and west tea traditions, Teapioca franchise owners should be passionate about the product and customer service. Veteran ownership is incentivized with a 10% discount on the initial franchise fee.
The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf
The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf franchise was established in Southern California in 1963 and has a menu that offers a variety of coffees and teas. Since its founding, the company has expanded to over 1,200 locations globally. The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf is looking for multi-unit franchise owners interested in opening traditional locations in shopping centers and nontraditional sites on military bases, college campuses, airports and hotels. Ideal candidates have experience in multi-unit food and beverage development and operations.
The Spice & Tea Exchange
The Spice & Tea Exchange franchise was founded in 2008 in St. Augustine, Fla. The tea franchise is on a mission to create and share “the experience of a more flavorful life.” The retail business is offering standalone locations that support other businesses including specialty retail, restaurants, and entertainment venues. Spice & Tea Exchange is an award-winning business and was recognized in the Entrepreneur Top 200 Food & Restaurant Franchises list in 2021. The tea franchise has over 80 locations in 30 states.
The Teahouse Tapioca and Tea
The original Teahouse Tapioca and Tea location was opened in Kaohsiung, in Southern Taiwan. After nearly a decade of success, the tea franchise expanded to Texas in 2000, becoming the first traditional Taiwanese cream teahouse in the Houston area. The tea chain is a family-friendly business that offers a simple business model and opportunity for additional sales through third-party delivery services.