My K Teas: The new, different shop in Sawbridgeworth town centre

By Ben Sanderson

An exciting iced tea with a Taiwanese twist has hit Sawbridgeworth after the opening of a new store, My K Teas, serving an international brand, Bubbletea.

Kate Little, 40, manages the store, and described what Bubbletea iced teas are formed of.

Entrepreneurial: Kate Little in her tea shop

“It’s made of tapioca balls, which are like sugar caramel, to make a milky iced tea.

“It’s evolved now so there are fruity teas as well as the original milky tea.

“I used to live in Malaysia, and came back here during lockdown.

“I just knew it was really popular there, because you’d get as many Bubbletea shops as coffee shops, so I started this place.”

My K Tea’s opened up just after the national lockdown enforced due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Speaking of the hardships that the rules made for her, Ms Little said “It was really difficult to work out what we were allowed to do, in terms of masks and COVID rules, which kept changing.

“As my core market are teenagers, this was even harder, as they often flouted the rules.

“Several times, they gathered outside drinking their teas, which the older residents complained about.”

Charming: K Teas shop

Ms Little, who lives in London Road, Sawbridgeworth, wanted to do something different with her shop so that it stood out from the crowd, as there is much competition in the town.

“About the time I opened up, there were other coffee shops opening, like the Workshop and CJ’s.

“Using the Bubbletea allowed me to stand out from the crowd.

“Business is good, and the Sawbridgeworth coffee shop market is growing.

“I expect business will slow down now we are coming into winter.

“Summer was busy but we will struggle too, as not so many people will be drinking iced tea in the cold weather.”

Tempting: Lots on offer

One thing Ms Little is pleased about, though, is that more exciting stores have given a rebirth to the high street in Sawbridgeworth.

“My parents used to run an antiques store, and there were a lot of them in town at the time.

“The core market for antique dealers is other antique dealers and auctions, so it’s hard to get interest from the general public.

“Back when they were running their store, the high street was dead.

“It’s a lot busier now, and stores like {My K Teas] are getting more young people onto the high street.

“The future looks bright for our high street.”

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