Spilling The Tea On Manufacturing Joy

A different bubble tea experience has sprung up on our island shores since November. The Bubble Tea Factory or TBTF for short, is a supersized whimsical wonderland of - you guessed it - all things bubble tea! Spanning across more than ten themed installations, it takes you through an immersive, fantastical journey that will leave fans of the drink 100% delighted.

13 Dec 2019

5 mins read

By Diyanah Syafiqah

It's the brainchild of Tommy Lee, SIM-University at Buffalo, SUNY alumnus, and his teammates from El Masnou Pte Ltd. He lets us in on the inspiration behind this enchanting space:

Tommy in his favourite area in TBTF, the Boba Lab, where there are plenty of photo-taking opportunities to spruce up your Instagram feed.

#Step 1: Having A Clear Vision
El Masnou's vision is to raise the bar in imagining, building and developing experiential concepts and events to spread positivity wherever we go. For a start, we wanted to build an experience surrounding something that is close to home - bubble tea.

It was to be a multi-sensory experience where visitors go through a heroic journey akin to film characters. Taking inspiration from films like Charlie & The Chocolate Factory, Narnia and Alice In Wonderland, anyone going through the Factory will be transported to a world of fantasies.

One of the ten themed installations - Blue Coral Utapioca where there are overturned, upsized bubble tea cups.

#Step 2: Focusing On The End Goal
As TBTF is the first of its kind in Singapore, the team relied on trial and error and had faced plenty of challenges while planning.

We were a small team of self-critical individuals who would constantly question whether the installations are interactive enough or if the space we had created would bring joy to the visitors. The slogan for TBTF is ‘You deserve happiness' and we wanted to ensure that we would deliver that.

Along the way, we received varying answers from officials with regards to matters like licensing. We also struggled in finding a suitable and convenient location that could house our concept.

Despite these, we were fortunate to have partners and investors who believed in what we were doing and that fuelled our drive to see these obstacles through.

A lot of effort goes into the details. Bubble tea merchandises like air pods casing gloves; canisters and posters with bubble tea puns; Ceiling pipes labelled with bubble tea names; Boba Lab where visitors can smell different types of tea.  

#Step 3: Manufacturing Joy
The team was cognisant of a growing trend amongst millennials where they actively seek experiences and opportunities to create meaningful memories. The Experience Map and Boba Booster Pack were developed with this in mind.

Upon entering TBTF, every visitor will receive an Experience Map (left) and the Boba Booster Pack (right) containing 10 collectable cards.

With the Map, we wanted to guide them through their journey. However, to add an element of surprise, we included hints to secret installations that are awaiting to be discovered.

What got us truly excited is hearing people going ‘wow' from the moment they walk through the first installation and subsequently going ‘wow' again as they journey through TBTF.

We even had a family who did a maternity photoshoot here and received filming requests for music videos to be shot.

It's truly heartwarming to see our visitors leaving with smiles across their faces.

Get your dose of happiness at The Bubble Tea Factory! The exhibition runs till 18 January 2020. For successful event planning tips, watch the latest SIMtrepreneur video featuring Tommy here: