New food craze: Taiwan milk tea Chun Cui He’s bottles fly off 7-11 shelves here

Chun Cui He bottled tea and coffee drinks are being snapped up here and fans have started Facebook pages to tell people where to find them

The Chun Cui He milk tea and latte drinks are said to be creamier than similar offerings by other brands sold here.
The Chun Cui He milk tea and latte drinks are said to be creamier than similar offerings by other brands sold here.PHOTO: ABANA

Instead of hunting Pokemons, Singaporeans have been on another frenzied quest - for Chun Cui He, a Taiwanese brand of tea and coffee beverages.

Since the brand made its debut at 7-Eleven convenience stores here two weeks ago, patrons have been flocking to the shops and clearing the shelves of the drinks.

Currently, only two of the brand's 10 flavours are available here: milk tea and latte.

Singapore fans say the beverages, which are to be consumed chilled, are creamier and smoother than similar offerings by other brands on the market.

The drinks, which cost $2.80 each, have become so difficult to snag that helpful netizens have taken to social media to post updates of specific 7-Eleven outlets that have stock.

On the Chun Cui He - Singapore Facebook page, the official page of the drink here, there are numerous posts from fans giving the exact time, date and location of their successful attempts to buy the drinks, which have a shelf life of 12 to 15 days.

IT consultant Nick Tan, 37, went so far as to create a Facebook page called Chun Cui He Tea Stocks, which is dedicated to stock updates on the drink.

He tells The Straits Times: "My wife had wanted to try the drink, so I went to look for it at many stores over many days, but I just couldn't find it. On the official drink's Facebook page, I saw someone's post about there being some stock left at East Coast Park, and that's how I finally managed to get a few bottles.

"I decided to create a page so that others can hopefully also benefit in a similar way."

But he says that for him, the drink is not worth the hype. "It's a nice drink, but it's not worth all the trouble. But as they say, a happy wife equals a happy man."

Netizens with successful purchases have been happily showing off pictures of their drinks online.

For many others, their search has been arduous - they have had to make multiple trips to different stores across Singapore, and in the wee hours of the morning too.

Operations manager Sophia Ong, 31, visited several shops over a week before finally finding a few bottles at the 7-Eleven store at 313@Somerset at 1am on a weekday.

She says: "Some people are buying them in bulk, but I hope that they can spare a thought for others who are dying to try them. Maybe they should buy a maximum of two, or up to four bottles each."

Facebook user Caroline Tan laments on the drinks' official page: "I'm tired of chasing after these. I will just wait for the hype to die down before buying."

A spokesman for 7-Eleven Singapore declined to give sales figures, but says the response has been "beyond expectation".

She says: "They were sold out at all stores within three days of the launch. More stocks are progressively coming in and we are working with the supplier to replenish the shelves as fast as possible."

She adds that more flavours will be brought into Singapore in the coming months. The brand's other flavours include oolong milk tea and white chocolate coffee.

In Hong Kong, there was a similar craze over these drinks when they were launched there in November last year, with patrons buying them in bulk.

In Taiwan, the drinks, produced by Taiwanese food company Bifido, are a common sight in convenience stores and popular among tourists as souvenirs.

• Follow Yip Wai Yee on Twitter @STyipwaiyee

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on July 30, 2016, with the headline 'Hunt on for elusive Taiwanese drinks'. Subscribe