Whilst there has been a consistent growth in coffee chains in the Western world, the same can be said of bubble tea chains in Asia.
Bubble tea, also known as boba tea was founded in Taiwan and essentially is sweet tea with tapioca pearls in the bottom. Similar to coffee where you have tons of choice from regular Americanos to fancy frappuccinos there are endless types of bubble tea. Customers can choose from various favours such as hazelnut and coconut, can go for 100% sweetness to 0% sweetness and can also have it without the tapioca balls if they prefer.
One chain which is expanding quite successful in Asia is called KOI Cafe and can be found in other Asian countries such as Singapore. Although bubble tea can be found in the US and in some places in Europe we reckon that more bubble tea cafes will be popping up.
Science Cafes have been around for a while but the network is constantly growing. Cafe Scientifique is an international organisation that has spearheaded the concept in the UK, USA, Asia and Australasia. Experts on an array of scientific subjects such as evolution, global warming, the Big Bang theory speak to an audience at a venue outside of the traditional academic context, often in cafes but can they can also be in bars, restaurants and movie theatres, often once a month. People get to freely debate in a relaxed, informal setting and these events also allows cafe owners to offer a calendar of events to promote throughout the year. The concept has even spread to schools where students can get to hear a speaker outside the normal classroom setting and therefore enabling them to learn about science in a whole new way. We reckon the concept could spread to other topics outside of science and enable people with common interests to get together and share their ideas in a fun way.
Hybrid business models are not uncommon with intelligent clothing, heathy snack bars and now also popping up across various cities are the cycle cafes, a fusion of café culture with cycling culture. The Ride Studio Café in Lexington, Boston is a good example, a high-end cycling retailer with sophisticated cafe. Established by Rob Vandermark, who designs, builds, sells, and services high-end bikes for commuters and racers. Ride Studio Cafe serves as a bike showroom, retailing bikes from anything between $400 to $12,000. High-end threads from sportswear designers Rapha and Campagnolo are also on offer.
This trend towards retail cafes for cyclists is transcending across other bike cities in North America and Europe. Lance Armstrong opened up Mellow Johnny’s Bike Shop in Austin with a coffee bar inside a couple of years ago.
The Ride Studio Café offers top-end service as well as its coffee - including 24-hour turnaround on most repair work on bikes, extended opening hours and even a personal shopper service.