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Which is the best bubble tea brand in Singapore that offers more bang for buck?: Koi, LiHO, Gong Cha, Playmade, HeyTea

Yahoo Finance Singapore measured the cost per ml of drinks from the top five most searched bubble tea brands: Koi, LiHO, Gong Cha, Playmade, HeyTea

Hands hold bubble tea drinks.
Find out which bubble tea brand gives you the most value for your money. (IMAGE: Getty) (MicrovOne via Getty Images)

SINGAPORE — With myriad bubble tea brands – over 60 brands as of 2022, according to one study – in the market, Singapore consumers are spoilt for choice when it comes to their favourite drink.

A quick poll byYahoo Finance Singapore on Yahoo's Facebook, Telegram and the Yahoo site, found that among the top five most searched bubble tea brands online, Taiwanese brand Koi was the top choice for consumers in Singapore. This was followed by fellow Taiwanese brands PlayMade and Gong Cha, which came in second and third place respectively. Local player LiHO took the fourth spot, while premium tea brand HeyTea came in fifth.

Given the diverse price offerings offered by these top-searched brands, how can consumers know which bubble tea brand give the most value for money? Based on the poll results, Yahoo Finance Singapore finds out which brand gives you the most tea for your buck:

Is it worth upsizing your bubble tea?

Before discussing which bubble tea brand offers the best value, let's consider whether it is worth it to upsize your bubble tea. The answer lies in understanding the economics behind the decision.

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Upsizing typically entails an increase in drink volume and price, but whether this translates to a better deal depends on several factors.

Firstly, every individual will have varying thirst levels. If you find yourself still feeling thirsty or unsatisfied after drinking a regular-sized cup, it will make more sense to upsize and quench your thirst without breaking the bank. After all, the minor increase in upsizing cost often pales in comparison to the additional volume of the beverage, making it a viable option for the more thirsty consumers who are also seeking more value for money.

However, for those wanting an occasional bubble tea indulgence or those watching their expenditure closely, sticking to a regular size might be the more prudent choice. While most bubble tea brands tend to offer a marginal price increase for generous additional volumes – leading to a lower cost per ml the more you upsize – the fact remains that a large bubble tea cup is, in absolute terms, more expensive than a regular-sized one.

Therefore, it is essential to weigh your personal preferences and budget considerations against the economic trade-offs before deciding whether to upsize your bubble tea.

Which bubble tea brand is the most worth it to upsize?

To find out which bubble tea brand offers the most value for money, Yahoo Finance Singapore did some calculations.

For the experiment, we kept all the drinks – from Singapore top five most searched bubble tea brands; same as the poll – medium-sized, with no ice and no toppings. However, some brands did not have the option of having no ice or no toppings. We then measured the drinks in a beaker to determine their exact volume and divided each drink's price by the volume. Here are the results:

HeyTea

For HeyTea, we used the medium-sized Bobo Milk Tea, which costs S$4.90. Measuring 438ml, HeyTea's Bobo Milk Tea worked out to about 1.118 cents per ml. The drink did come with pearl toppings, as HeyTea did not have the option of removing toppings.

Koi

For Koi, we selected the medium-sized Hazelnut Milk Tea, which was priced at S$4.60. At 471ml, the cost per ml for this drink worked out to about 0.976 cents per ml.

PlayMade

Next, we measured the medium-sized Earl Grey Milk Tea by PlayMade, which was priced at S$4.40. After pouring into the beaker, the drink's volume measured 484ml. This works out to a cost of about 0.909 cents per ml.

LiHO

Homegrown bubble tea brand LiHO did not have the option to completely exclude ice from the drink. Instead, it allowed customers to have only "less ice". At S$3.90 for a medium-sized Earl Grey Milk Tea, the cost worked out to about 0.872 cents per ml after measuring 447.1ml without the ice.

Gong Cha

At S$3.60 for a medium-sized Earl Grey Milk Tea and measuring 482.5ml, Gong Cha was the clear winner in terms of value for money at just 0.746 cents per ml.

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