Say sayonara to your favorite bubble tea chain, Gong Cha fans. By June 5, every single one of the over 80 Gong Cha outlets across the island will disappear forevermore, to be placed by homegrown brand LiHO (it means ‘how are you?’ in Hokkien). As of now, over 30 branches have been converted, so you really only have a couple days left to sip on Gong Cha drinks — do it while you still can.
First introduced by RTG Holdings — which also brought in Nene Chicken, Bornga and Paik’s Coffee — in 2009, Gong Cha has been one of the company’s biggest brands (as seen by the perpetual queues at every outlet in Singapore). According to The Straits Times, the company’s agreement to operate the brand expired at the end of last year, but circumstances saw Gong Cha’s parent company in Taiwan sold off — with the new owners came new terms and conditions, and that’s when the concept of replacing Gong Cha outlets in Singapore with LiHO came about.
After the firm’s million-dollar revamp, the new brand utilizes new suppliers, different drink-making methods, new menus and a new look for each outlet. Sure, the menu still features good old milk tea with pearls, but what’s most notable is its cheese tea series, where cheese froth is topped on your choice of tea. If that strange combination sounds good to you, it’s also available for smoothies in flavors like mango, Ovaltine, or cheese and chocolate.