Everything You Need to Know about Bubble Tea in the UK
Bubble teas prepared in plastic cups.

Bubble tea has become increasingly popular in the UK over the last few years with dedicated bubble tea stores cropping up all over Britain. Most of these stores are in the capital, such as Biju Bubble Tea. As a result, you’ll no doubt have a vague idea of what bubble tea is already. Just in case you don’t, we’ll be covering the basics of bubble tea, as well as its origins and where to get it. As a takeaway packaging provider, we’ll also go into detail about bubble tea cups and other essential items. So, if you’re a seller of bubble tea, stay tuned until the end.

Does Bubble Tea Come from the UK?

Bubble tea didn’t originate in the UK, even though the scene in London is strong with plenty of places to try new bubble tea flavours.

The birth of bubble tea was actually in Taiwan. This tea-based drink has recently taken hold of the UK yet in Asia dates back to the 80s.

Bubble tea is still made in the original Taiwanese way. The drink usually consists of a type of tea — more often than not herbal — mixed with flavouring, tapioca balls, milk and sugar. The tea and tapioca balls are the key ingredients in the recipe — the tea allows this drink to qualify as a type of tea, while the tapioca balls give the tea that bubble effect. Tapioca balls are sometimes known as tapioca pearls or boba. These gel-like balls are made from a type of starch and appear black. When water, sugar and flavouring are added, they can sometimes turn white or clear.

The pearls soak up any flavouring, giving the bubble tea an intense taste with different varieties such as honeydew, lychee, mango, passion fruit, peach, plum and strawberry.

Plus, the tapioca pearls are fun to pop as you drink from a bubble tea cup. It’s this that has spread the craze for bubble tea across the globe as more of a beverage experience than a standard refreshment.

Yet the reason behind the bubble tea name is nothing to do with the tapioca pearls — that is a bit of a myth, understandably believed by many people. Instead, bubble tea is named after the bubbles and froth that form on the surface of the tea when shaken.

How to Drink Bubble Tea

You can order bubble tea hot and cold — but chilled bubble tea is by far the most popular.

If you opt for chilled bubble tea, the drink can be shaken or blended, much like an iced coffee. Similar to coffee, you should choose blended if you want a thicker consistency equivalent to a frappe. Most people will choose shaken as this is the original way to serve bubble tea. Remember, shaken bubble tea gives the drink its famous frothy bubbles, as well as the tapioca pearls.

Bubble tea should be served with a wide drinking straw so you can suck the pearls through the straw. So long as you’ve been served bubble tea in the right way, you should be able to enjoy your experience by doing the following:

  • Shake your drink — If your bubble tea is pre-packaged with a sealed lid, you’ll want to shake the contents to create that classic foam effect. Shaking will also help the pearls to lift from the bottom of the cup and make it easier to consume.
  • Stir while drinking — For similar reasons, you’ll want to continually stir the drink using your straw in between sips to encourage the boba to rise from the bottom of the cup. Use a similar approach to drinking hot chocolate to stop the drink from congealing at the bottom.
  • Use your straw — Like drinking a slushy, you’ll want to move your straw up and down to drink the tea-like liquid and suck up the boba equally. You don’t want to be left with a pile of tapioca pearls at the bottom of your bubble tea cup.
  • Enjoy the experience — Above all, just enjoy the drink. Although there is a tradition for drinking bubble tea, you don’t have to take it too seriously. The joy of bubble tea is it’s an experience you can take your time over. So, devour those pearls, slurp that tea and relax.

Where to Drink Bubble Tea (In the UK)

In Asia, it’s common to see bubble tea stands on the street, at a local market or in a small town. However, in the UK, you’ll most likely have to visit a major city to enjoy this exciting delicacy.

Most bubble tea locations in the UK are in London, but we’ve also included a few Northern locations on this list.

Bubbleology — London, Essex, Kent, Leeds, Bristol, Cardiff, Birmingham, Manchester, Oxford

This is the bubble tea brand that is killing the UK market right now with over fifteen locations nationwide. The brand has standalone shops and several retail concessions.

When visiting Bubbleology, you’ll find a wide variety of milk tea, fruit teas and alcohol-infused cocktail bubble teas.

While slurping on a bubble tea, you can also snack on an indulgent waffle since the brand has paired the two. Yes — this isn’t a traditional bubble tea accompaniment, but it’s a fun British equivalent.

Visit Bubbleology

Biju Bubble Tea — Soho, Westfield, South Kensington, Camden

London-based bubble tea brand, Biju has four locations so far in very different areas of the UK’s capital.

Its refined branding and simple menu appeal to many city-goers looking for a quirky break.

You can choose from a small selection of fruit teas, milk teas and toppings including signature cups such as Matcha Milk Tea and Iced Honey Green Tea.

Visit Biju Bubble Tea

Cuppacha — Soho, Sheffield

Despite its selective locations, Cuppacha manages to create a real hype with locals and awarding bodies like the Golden Chopsticks Awards.

From here, you can get bubble tea delivered to your door via the Deliveroo app. Choose from decadent Oreo milk teas and signature ombre drinks — both of which are completely insta-worthy.

With a strong social presence, you might want to snap a picture of your bubble tea moment.

Visit Cuppacha

Bobo Tea — Manchester, Sheffield

Bobo tea also had the genius idea of pairing bubble tea with waffles as well as frozen yoghurt.

Their extensive menu is packed with imaginative and authentic flavours such as coconut, red bean and jasmine. Got a sweet tooth? You might enjoy a cookies ‘n’ cream, vanilla or chocolate variety even more.

Visit Bobo Tea

How to Package Bubble Tea

Thinking about selling bubble tea in the UK? You’ve landed in the right place.

We sell sustainable packaging products suitable for your very own biodegradable bubble tea.

Bubble Tea Cup

Taking pride of place is a bubble tea cup. For this, you can use our eco clear cups made from PLA bioplastic. You must purchase a transparent cup for bubble tea so you can show off those flavoured pearls and ombre design for the experts amongst us. That’s why bubble tea cups are commonly made from plastic. To avoid an environmental nightmare, we sell transparent cups without the use of plastic. They look and feel like plastic but are instead made from natural resources.

Note, as these are designed to be takeout cups they aren’t reusable yet are still a perfect alternative to plastic cups.

Shop our eco clear cups here

Bubble Tea Lid

To pair with your bubble tea cup, you’ll want to buy a matching lid. If possible, you should choose a domed lid, rather than a flat lid or a lid with a sip hole. Our lids are made from the same sustainable material as our cups.

Shop our range of bubble tea lids

Bubble Tea Straw

True bubble tea connoisseurs know that a suitable straw is key to serving the best bubble tea. Having a fat or a wide straw helps your customer to retrieve those all-important pearls as well as to take sips of the delicious tea contents.

You’ll need to choose a straw with a wider diameter than on average. If an average straw is about 6mm in diameter, a bubble tea straw should be around 12mm.

You’ve guessed it — our straws are also biodegradable to help you build an environmental bubble tea package.

Shop our range of 12mm straws

Bubble Tea Cup Holder

As with any liquid product, you’ll need to offer a takeout cup holder to help customers transport several bubble teas at a time.

For this, you can use a classic carrier with space for either two or four drinks. Our version is made from cardboard completing your sustainable bubble tea vision.

Shop cardboard cup holders

Need something else for your sustainable store? Browse our online shop where you’ll find our entire range of products available for next day delivery.

How Do Designer Food Packaging and Caring for the Environment Mix?
How Do Designer Food Packaging and Caring for the Environment Mix

If something is a designer item, it has to be overboard and all about the image — and it absolutely cannot be considerate towards the environment, right? Wrong. Despite some high-end brands giving the luxury market a bad ethical reputation, designer packaging can cater to the conscious consumer in any sector — including food packaging.

If something is designed, it simply means is that it has been developed with great care and a clear target customer in mind. This is the case for our bespoke packaging, which is developed by our in-house teams of designers to create environmental food packaging that stands out for the customers of quirky brands. In this blog post, we will discuss how a careful design process can tackle our food packaging problems by offering sustainable yet stylish alternatives.

How Does Food Packaging Affect the Environment?

There is plenty of evidence to show that food packaging and the environment have a strained relationship, to say the least. As a result of our throwaway culture and reliance on convenience comforts, we have created some shocking food packaging waste statistics. Most notably, there is predicted to be 12 billion tonnes of plastic waste in landfill by 2050. The most severe food packaging problems affect the earth’s natural environment, polluting our oceans and negatively impacting sea life.

In short, something needs to change in food packaging to protect the environment for future generations. Crucially, we need to eliminate the use of harmful plastic in food containers and other packaging products so that Brits can feel less guilty about their takeaways. But on top of this, brands still want to use their packaged products to inject some personality into their offering. Environmental packaging needs to be designed with care so that it both protects the environment and promotes the supplier.

Can Designer Food Packaging Still Be Recycled? 

Yes, designer food packaging can still be recycled. In fact, basic packaging from your average takeaway is most likely made from harmful plastic.

A tip for consumers deciding to buy: a brand is less likely to put its name on something if it would be ashamed of its impact on the environment. In this sense, designer food packaging is more likely to be 100% recyclable, biodegradable and compostable (but always check for certified UK recycling symbols to make sure).

By using different packaging materials for food, such as the Ingeo™ PLA Bioplastic used in our biodegradable coffee cups, we can create food packaging that is 100% recyclable. We use vegetable-based inks to print bespoke designs on these cups (and various other products in our range) so that designer food packaging can blend seamlessly with caring for the environment.

How Can We Reduce Plastic in Food Packaging and Make Sure It’s on Brand?

Others are now understanding the importance of packaging to the environment and rephrasing what luxury means by prioritising sustainable strategies. The purpose of food packaging is shifting from simply being a container for food to being a driver for change and an effective tool for promotion.

Some of our most successful clients have embraced the traditional eco look by sticking with brown paper cups and a simple logo, like Cobbs Farm. Others have stayed true to their roots, embodying their iconic designs while using sustainable packaging, although you wouldn’t know it unless you were told (much like Ferrari’s 70th birthday burger boxes). This proves that sustainability never has to get in the way of style and that opting for environmental food packaging is a choice that won’t tarnish your brand image — in fact, it might even enhance it.

Create your own stylish and sustainable food packaging that doesn’t harm the environment by booking your free design consultation. Our expert team of in-house designers will help you to develop a creative brief for food packaging that pops.

The Problem with Recycling Cups
Paper Cups for Coffee

There are so many misconceptions surrounding the recycling of plastic packaging. Many brands tend to promote the fact that their cups are recyclable, but currently, less than 1 percent of coffee cups are actually recycled. Why? Because it is extremely difficult to recycle cups that are lined with plastic.

Paper Cups - Takeaway Packaging
Recycling Plastic Lined Coffee Cups

Unfortunately, cups that are lined with plastic cannot straightforwardly be recycled.

The polyethylene that lines a coffee cup is tightly bonded to the paper in order to make the cup waterproof and able to contain liquids. To recycle a plastic lined coffee cup, the lining needs to be separated from the cup.

It doesn’t end there…

By the time the cup reaches a recycling bin, it has most likely already been contaminated with a liquid.

Standard recycling plants cannot recycle anything that has come into contact with food or drinks; there are only a select few specialist facilities in the UK that can separate the lining from a cup that has come into contact with liquids.

One of the biggest issues surrounding disposable plastic lined coffee cups is their alleged recyclability. These cups are technically recyclable, but the vast majority of coffee cups do not end up being recycled. Most will end up in landfill, but consumers are often not aware of this.

The Solution

There is a solution! Cups do not have to be lined with plastic, they can also be lined with Ingeo™ PLA.

Ingeo™ is a biodegradable polyester derived from renewable plant material. The material itself is completely biodegradable, compostable and has a carbon footprint up to 75% less than traditional packaging materials such as PS or PET.

We can manufacture cups with a PLA lining, these cups are also fully biodegradable and commercially compostable. When commercially composted, the lining of this cup does not need to be removed. We can produce these cups in your desired styles, sizes and we can print them with your chosen artwork and logo.

Our Design Services

If you don’t currently have artwork for your cups, our talented creative team can produce designs just for you. We can tweak it as much or as little as you wish, and all artwork produced is completely unique. Read more about our design services here. Talk to us about branded EcoCups.

Get in touch with us today if you are looking to move away from plastic packaging. Like this blog? Read more about our environmentally friendly packaging range here.

News & Events

We’re exhibiting at the Restaurant & Takeaway Innovation Expo this September. If you’d like to view our products and have a chat with us, get your free tickets here and visit us on our stand.

Keep up to date by following us on social media.
@TakeawayPack on Twitter
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Advantages of switching to Eco-Friendly Packaging
Black EcoCup
The Advantages

There are so many advantages of switching over to eco-friendly food packaging. Plastic packaging is currently at the forefront of criticism due to the damaging effect it has on our environment. At Takeaway Packaging, we are committed to driving this message as a business. We are encouraging customers to take some time and look at the future friendly alternatives available to them.

EcoCup - Clear Cup
Biodegradable Smoothie Cups, Shop via Takeaway Packaging

We’ve recently introduced a new range of completely compostable and biodegradable packaging which, so far, has gone down very well with the environmentally conscious business we deal with. Its important to us to spread the word about this range as not only does it offer a sustainable solution, our products are also extremely affordable.

Switching to compostable packaging aids in lowering your companies carbon footprint. Plastics can take up to 400 years to decompose, and some plastics will never break down. We use materials that are both sustainable and kind to our environment, Ingeo™ PLA being our go-to. Our products made with PLA will decompose completely in less than 12 weeks when commercial composted.

What is PLA made from?

Ingeo™ PLA is a biodegradable and compostable substance that quite literally is ‘Made from Plants’! The material is produced from naturally occurring and renewable resources found in plants, such as corn starch.

Ingeo™ has very similar physical characteristics to plastic, which makes it perfect for the takeaway packaging products we produce.

We use this material in two different ways

Our first use of Ingeo™ PLA is as a Lining. Coffee cups needs to be lined to increase their water resistance and deter leaking.

We line our coffee cups with PLA as opposed to plastic because it works in the same way, but the lining does not need to be removed in order for it to decompose. Being that Ingeo™ is a compostable and biodegradable substance, cups can be commercially compostable without the trouble of removing the lining first.

Coffee Cups that are made from plants ? Shop Online now!

A post shared by Takeaway Packaging (@takeawaypackaging) on

Our second use of PLA is as a ‘Bioplastic’. Ingeo™ can also be used to manufacture products such as clear cups, deli containers, and even straws.

These products look like plastic, but they are fully compostable and biodegradable.

Using eco-friendly packaging will add merit to your business. You are sure to stand out from competitors if you are the only one using future friendly packaging. Our eco-friendly alternatives give you the chance to shout about the work you are doing to prevent the use of single plastic packaging.

Get in touch with us today for a full consultation on switching to eco friendly alternatives, we are more than happy to assist you.

News & Events

We’re exhibiting at the Restaurant & Takeaway Innovation Expo this September. If you’d like to view our products and have a chat with us, get your free tickets here and visit us on stand 1938.

Keep up to date by following us on social media.
@TakeawayPack on Twitter
@takeawaypackaging on Facebook
@takeawaypackaging on Instagram
Contact Us
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What is the Edible Water Bottle?
Edible Water Bottle - Takeaway Packaging
Have you heard of the edible water bottle?

The ‘Edible Water Bottle’ is a blob-like bottle, made from Sodium Alginate Gel. Skipping Rocks Lab created them in an attempt to produce a more environmentally friendly alternative to single use plastic bottles. They have named their creation Ooho.

“The aim of Ooho is to provide the convenience of plastic bottles while limiting the environmental impact.”

Ooho Features
  • It is 100% made of Plants & Seaweed
  • Biodegradable in 4-6 weeks, just like a piece of fruit
  • Edible can be flavoured and coloured
  • Fresh (shelf life of a few days)5x less CO₂, 9x less Energy vs PET
  • Cheaper than plastic


This product has risen to popularity over the last few months and has already appeared at many events across the world, including London, San Francisco and Boston.

Alternatives to Single Use Plastic Bottles
There are many other alternatives to single use plastic bottles, view some popular choices below!

Reusable plastic bottles are an option, but if you are striving for an eco-friendly future (like us!), we’d avoid plastic all together, including reusable plastic items.

Glass is another viable alternative to single use plastic bottles. Glass can be recycled, and reused time and time again. Of course, glass is heavy and likely to break if dropped.

Metal water bottles are one of the most practical options you’ll find in your searches. They are both reusable and recyclable. You can find metal water bottles all over, especially in coffee shops such as Starbucks & Pret A Manger.

Like this blog? Check out our top eco-friendly products of 2018 here.

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@TakeawayPack on Twitter
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Bespoke Compostable Coffee Cups
Bespoke Compostable Coffee Cups
Did you know that we can brand compostable coffee cups?

Compostable Coffee Cups are no different to regular Coffee Cups, they are just lined with a different material called PLA.

What is PLA?

PLA, short for polylactic acid, is a 100 percent biodegradable and compostable material that we use to line our coffee cups. The material itself is made from a substance found in plants.

Wogan Coffee Compostable Coffee Cups

The Process

If you’re buying your branded coffee cups from us, the process is very straightforward!

Step 1: Initial Concepts & Details

The first step is easy, we simply need to know the size and style of the cup you are after, i.e. 12oz Double Wall Cup or 4oz Single Wall Cup. We will also need to know the quantity you are looking to buy, the larger the quantity, the cheaper the price per unit!

Step 2: The Design

You’ll be please to know that we offer a comprehensive design service, this covers anything from a simple logo placement to full hi-resolution artwork. If you already have your artwork, that’s great! We can also use your artwork to produce your coffee cups.

Bespoke Compostable Coffee Cups
Step 3: Ordering

Once you are satisfied with the design, we will produce your compostable coffee cups. Please note that lead times do vary*.

Step 4: Delivery

Once your cups have been produced we can deliver these to you as and when and as you wish. We can stock hold for up to 3 months dependent on your usage*.

Talk to us today about branded compostable cups, you can call us on 01753 655 344, send us an email on [email protected] or send us a message here.

Like this blog? Read all about our biodegradable ice cream cups here.

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Our website has a new look!
Ecoware Cups - Takeaway Packaging

We are excited to announce the launch of our brand-new website! Not only does the new look of our website support our values at Takeaway Packaging, we also have an exciting new shop full of biodegradable and compostable products.


Eco-Friendly packaging is at the heart our new range, view the products available below.

| Coffee Cups | Ice Cream Tubs | Food Bowls | Food Boxes | Food Trays | Straws | Smoothie Cups | | Deli Containers | Portion Pots | Cutlery | Lids |

Made from Plants - Ecoware

Product Details
All of our products are either lined or completely manufactured from Ingeo™ PLA Bioplastic. Product sizes and specifications vary, please see individual product pages for details.

Shopping Online
We’ve made shopping online as easy as possible for customers looking for a quick fix. Simply add your desired products to the basket and head to the checkout – its that simple.

Your Account
Create an account with us and login to view previous orders, place new orders and track existing orders.


Please contact us for large orders.
View our Terms & Conditions
View our Privacy Policy

Like this blog? Check out our new future friendly clear EcoCups, they are perfect for the summer months ahead.

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How to make your packaging stand out from the crowd
Starbucks packaging

The Starbucks logo is a globally recognised icon and one which surrounds the household name.

A familiar face to crowded high streets with a calming-green background, it’s undeniable that Starbucks coffee cups stand out from the crowd… or is it?

Is it really fair to say that a plain white cup with a green logo jumps out of any picture or view and meets your eye instantly?

Probably not.

What is true, is that when you do see that green logo with the siren/maiden/lady thing, it’s unmistakably ‘Starbucks’.

Last December, and piloted initially in the US, Starbucks launched a packaging campaign so great they gained the highest number of video views that season for their campaign advert:

Over 76 million views in under 1.5 months!

They beat all other brands across the whole period of Thanksgiving through to New Year 2018!


They made their already iconic cup unusual and exciting.

Starting with an initial concept for the design of the holiday-season coffee cup, the cup featured seasonal, warming outlines of images of Christmas and merriment; wrapped presents, snowflakes and coca, all nestled around the Starbucks logo.

Starbucks pink packaging
Credit: Starbucks

Their short video, below, simply explained that you can “make the holiday your own” then featured the newly designed cup changing colours – you design your own!

The cups in the advert feature all different colour schemes, vibrant and bold.

Even if the cups were coloured in terribly, they would be an object of humour and still likely standout.

Artists and within-the-lines-perfectionists would have really gone for it, only for the cup to then serve as a work of art and, you guessed it, free, ‘boosted’ advertising for Starbucks!

The campaign ticked all the boxes for the consumer; interaction and engagement with the product/brand, something different, something exciting (adults get to be big kids), and most of all, something personal.


Top Tips For Standout Packaging

As with Starbucks, doing something different to other people similar to you, will go a long way towards making you standout.

Though no longer trading, Californian-based bakers The Crazy Good Bread Co, are an example of a company whose packaging stood out because it was unusual:

standout bread packaging

Doing something slightly ‘against the grain’ will help you to get your packaging noticed, and that includes packaging your bread in a weird card holder thing.

Staying ahead of the curve is another way for your packaging to to stand out.

At a time when environmental concerns have never been higher, ensuring that you fully embrace the green/eco-friendly approach to waste and packaging will serve you really well.

Given that there are many, many businesses yet to do so, you will establish your brand as a conscious and progressive company that listens to its customers and considers carefully its own ethos and attitudes – this is a powerful consideration that certainly doesn’t go unnoticed.

Have a think about keeping it simple.

An effective way to make your takeaway packaging stand out from the crowd is to strip back your packaging.

Consider simple paper-wrapping techniques fastened and sealed with a sticker featuring a strong logo.

Stickers can be custom designed with your logo and the simplicity of the packaging will seem intriguing in its modesty and harks back to a more traditional approach to packaging takeaway food.


If you’ve got some ideas that you’re not sure of or you’re looking for inspiration to build on an already outstanding packaging concept then get in touch with our in-house design time who will be happy to bounce some ideas around and offer some advice.

New Products – Biodegradable Deli Bowls & Smoothie Cups
Takeaway Packaging - Deli Bowls

Our Biodegradable Deli Bowls & Smoothie Cups have landed! We are delighted to share with you this Bioplastic range from Ecoware, NZ. These cups & containers are environmentally friendly and suitable for cold foods/drinks.

Ecoware - Takeaway Packaging - Deli Bowls - Smoothie Cups

Products Available
Biodegradable Smoothie Cups | Flat Lids | Dome Lids
Smoothie Cups are available in the following sizes
9oz | 12oz | 16oz | 20oz
Best for serving Smoothies, Juices, Iced Coffee & Milkshakes

Biodegradable Deli Bowls | Deli Bowl Lids
Deli Bowls are available in the following sizes
12oz | 16oz | 20oz
Best for serving salads, cold pasta & fresh fruit

Biodegradable Portion Pots
Portion Pots are available in the following sizes
2oz | 3oz
Perfect for sauces, garnishes and dips

Biodegradable Deli Bows, Biodegradable Smoothie Cups, Biodegradable Portion Pots

Made from Ingeo Bioplastic™, these clear containers have a carbon footprint up to 80% lower than traditional oil-based plastic containers.


These containers are…

  • Fully Biodegradable
  • Commercially Compostable
  • Printed with Non-Toxic inks
  • Suitable for cold drinks & dishes
  • Oil Free

To order these, email [email protected] or call us on 01753655344, or shop online.

More Products
Our compostable food boxes and trays are also available to order, get in touch with us for more information here.

Like this blog? Read about our new eco friendly ice cream tubs here.

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