Recently, we received a review on Yelp! which echoed a fairly common sentiment from some of our newer customers or those who don't really take the time to really understand our stance on providing an "alternative" to the other tea houses out there. We're not saying that it's necessary to know anything about us to enjoy our drinks but we suppose it does help to know a little about a business before patronizing it for several reasons. That being said, if we held fast to that thinking, we'd surely be shooting ourselves in the foot and likely would be losing customers hand over fist. After all, it's our job to provide delicious drinks and a pleasant atmosphere to every customer regardless of whether or not they know anything about us. While we certainly can't please everyone, we'll never back down from the challenge.
So, on to the true purpose of this blog entry. Below, you'll see the recent review which was left on our Yelp! page from May 9, 2014. I guess it's public information so I don't see a point in trying to black out any of the info. I mean, if it's going to be credible, we should provide the actual source. After reading this reply, one of our owners left a very heartfelt reply to the reviewer and we thought this was a great opportunity to put it out there for those who might have similar feelings or thoughts about us. Read it over and let us know what you think. Are our efforts in vain or should we stick to our mission? You're the boss, so give us your feedback.
Without any further ado, we give you the exchange...
THE RESPONSE (from one of our owners):
I (our owner) learned the business in the Chinatown tea houses. There are several reasons why our drinks are more expensive and take a little longer to prepare. Before I get to those reasons, though, I'd like to thank you for your feedback as it is important for us to know how you feel when purchasing and enjoying our beverages. While we do have our reasons for doing things the way we do, we realize that those reasons are pointless if you, the customer, doesn't think it's worth it in the end.
As far as the time element goes, we take a lot of pride in using ingredients and methods which are not cookie cutter like they are in the majority of bubble tea shops. For instance, most places use a baseline recipe which is applied to a large majority of their drinks across the board - such as the common 1, 2, 3 approach of 1 sugar, 2 creamer, and 3 flavor. This makes the turnaround on drinks very fast but also makes all the drinks pretty standard. We, on the other hand, literally have a unique and totally different recipe for every one of our drinks. This adds a little more time to the prep but, in the end, makes for a drink made with more attention to detail and flavor combinations.
And, finally, as for the cost, we realize that it'd be an easy cop-out to say that we charge more because we're the only place in Pearland, which we're not, and thus have a corner on the market. But, that's not the case at all. Our higher, but fairly competitive prices, are due to our ingredients. While most bubble tea places use liquid fructose or white table sugar for their drinks at a very low cost - somewhere in the neighborhood of $0.30 - $0.40 per pound - we use fair trade, organic evaporated cane sugar juice which is processed within 50 miles of our store. Our cost is about $1.15 per pound. We also opt to use as much fresh ingredient over powders as possible. Our commitment to offering better ingredients also extends to our modifiers as well with several organic creamer alternatives on hand which are great for our customers with dietary restrictions or health concerns.
So, you see, our reasons are a little more complicated than they might seem. We're constantly trying to improve on our speed of service as well as our pricing structure. Your continued support is greatly appreciated and your comments will definitely be taken to heart in our efforts to make your next experience a better experience. We're hoping that the shops in Chinatown will one day adopt our same passion and outlook to help bring better quality drinks to the masses. :o)