Jun 9, 2012

Around the World - McDonald's Germany - New Bubble Tea

In a curious move, McDonald's will be serving up bubble tea in Germany (Is bubble tea big in Germany?) starting June 11 and running through July 1 at all 800 or so German McCafe locations.

Boasting over 250 combinations, McDonald's Bubble Tea will offer 3 choices of tea (with or without milk), seven flavors of syrup, 4 tapioca ball (boba) options, and two jelly options for 1,99 Euros a cup.

The three teas offered are black, white, and green tea. The seven syrups are peach, mango, lemon & lime, passion fruit, pomegranate, vanilla, and caramel. Finally you can choose either boba or jelly. For boba, your choices are mango boba, strawberry boba, lychee boba, or a mix of all three. For jelly, they have passion fruit jelly, and coffee jelly.

I have to say the selection of boba/jellies (especially mango boba!) are pretty interesting as are some of the syrup options. Curiously, they're not offering plain boba.

For a little background, bubble or boba tea originates from Taiwan where it is quite popular. It's basically a drink (usually tea) with tapioca balls (or jelly, pudding, etc.) that you can suck up with a over-sized straw while drinking.

While bubble tea has spread to the U.S., Europe, and Asia, it hasn't achieved what you would call mainstream popularity. Here in the U.S., while there are very popular bubble tea shops (at least in the Los Angeles area), it's not like you'll see people on TV shows or even commercials drinking it. I'm pretty curious to see how it does at McDonald's.

The TV spots promoting McDonald's bubble tea are a bit annoying. I guess you might find it entertaining if you're a child or like pretty colors... and an Asian man running around acting weird. I think they're going for a weird Japanese commercial feel? I dunno... you can check it out here:

I think they would have been better off just showing a video of a McDonald's employee putting together a cup of bubble tea.


  1. Bubble Tea has exploded in the last 6 months here in Germany. In Berlin alone, I have a bubble tea shop in every larger train station. Someone told me that as many as 100 bubble tea shops open in large German cities each month since January. This is why McDonalds is offering it here. 

  2. Oh wow... That's a lot. I don't think it's as popular in the U.S., we do have quite a few in some areas though.

  3. It is certainly extremely popular here in Cologne, I know two such shops dedicated to bubble tea and have been told of another three which I haven't yet been to but know their location. That makes at least five shops within a fairly small area, and it is not uncommon to see on a daily basis people with a cup of bubble tea. I think McDonalds is playing a very smart game by tapping into such a huge (and yes unexpected) market.

  4. I should add that I only know of three McDonalds here, compared to the five specialist bubble tea shops.


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