Khun Thai Tea Officially Opens At SM Megamall Manila; Global Business Franchisor Named

Jan 25, 2017

This update reports on the opening of Khun Thai Tea Shop’s 3rd outlet in the  Philippines; introduction of new beverages and menu items, announcement of Auntie Marlee’s retirement, and the naming of Khun Thai Tea LLP Singapore for global expansion of the franchise.

Manila, Philippines, 25th January 2017 – After months of preparations, Khun Thai Tea, the “cha-yen” (Thai ice tea) sensation that set the Philippines capital of Manila abuzz in 2016, has officially opened its 3rd outlet. The new counter is located at SM Megamall, in Metro Manila’s bustling Ortigas business district.

This opening makes it the third outlet launched by Khun Thai Tea in the Philippines. The other two Khun Thai Tea outlets are located at SM Mall of Asia Manila and at Star City Manila.

Thai Ice Black Tea Rocketing In Popularity

Since the opening of the first outlet at SM Mall of Asia Manila, the Khun Thai Tea franchise has piqued the interest of Filipinos, enjoying a surge in popularity with shoppers. Word of mouth has spread via fans who have taken a firm liking to the traditional and mouth-watering tea: many believe it to be extra thirst-quenching in Manila’s hot and humid weather and make it a point to frequent the outlet at least once a week.

The Manila resident’s affinity for Khun Thai Tea’s ‘cha-yen’ is not down to its taste alone. It also takes advantage of a trending wave of interest in the cuisines of other cultures in South-East Asia, as Filipinos become increasingly well-travelled, discerning and sophisticated – a trend that the Khun Thai Tea franchise is positioning itself to ride as it pursues expansion in the Philippines.

New Flavours, New Menu Items …

Khun Thai Tea is where these Filipinos can enjoy a taste of other South-East Asian cultures, said Mr. Jeremy Lee, who together with Ms. Elis Chai and Ms. Nancy Padilla, created the first global Khun Thai Tea outlet.

On the menu are variations of Khun Thai Tea’s Thai ice tea inspired by drink recipes from around the region, such as a mix of coffee and tea (‘Yuan Yang’), which was first brewed in Hong Kong; ‘Ice Bandung’, inspired by the popular Malaysian beverage recipe that combines the alluring taste of rose syrup with the velvety smoothness of milk; and Taiwanese bubble milk teas, which feature small chewy tapioca balls (‘boba’, or bubbles) for added textures and flavours.

The opening of the new outlet coincides as well with the announcement of two new beverages, Ice Cappuccino and Ice Mocha, plus new items on the snacks menu influenced by Thai tastes – Tea Toast and Crispy Kangkong.

These new items reflect the franchise’s efforts to keep updating its menu to suit the changing tastes and sensitivities of consumers. The original cha-yen recipe, for example, featured a black ice tea made from strongly brewed ceylon tea. It has since been modernised with a Thai-grown assam tea known as ‘Bai Miang’, that is infused with spices to maintain the headiness of the original and bring out its complex flavours.

As a result, the traditional sugar, condensed milk and evaporated milk-heavy recipe has today been transformed into a more contemporaneous and healthy version suitable for modern health-conscious global consumers.

Seeking New Franchisees

These regionally-inspired additions to the original Thai ice tea offerings are expected to create even more demand for Khun Thai Tea outlets at malls across the Philippines.

“2017 is looking to be a good year for Khun Thai Tea,” said Mr. Lee. He added, “We are expecting to see more Khun Thai Tea franchises open in Singapore and Malaysia.”  This aligns with plans to bring the signature Thai ice tea recipe to every mall in Manila, as well as to Jakarta, Indonesia, and Taipei, Taiwan.

Meanwhile, even as a new chapter begins for Khun Thai Tea, its origin story will soon be coming to an end.

Khun Thai Tea began life with Auntie Marlee, the proprietress of the original push-cart, who has zealously honed and guarded her Thai ice tea recipe on the streets of Bangkok for 61 years.

Her original Khun Thai Tea push-cart located at Sukamvit Sol 11 will cease operations at the end of January 2017, as Auntie Marlee is finally ready to retire and enjoy her old age.

The Khun Thai Tea enterprise will continue however, in the form of Khun Thai Tea LLP Singapore HQ, which will see to its global expansion via the franchise business model. Meanwhile, Ms. Nancy Padilla has been named as the sole business owner of Khun Thai Tea Shop Philippines.

Khun Thai Tea LLP is actively looking for franchisees who are interested in opening their own Khun Thai Tea outlets. Said Mr. Lee, “Franchise opportunities will be open from March 2017 onwards.”


About Khun Thai Tea

Khun Thai Tea is a premium franchised Thai Ice Tea company in the Philippines. The brand aims to bring the authentic taste of traditional Thai ice tea, made from Auntie Marlee’s closely-guarded 61-year old secret family recipe, to cities all around the world.

To get a taste of authentic Bangkok street Thai ice tea, drop by the Khun Thai Tea outlets at Star City Amusement Park, SM Mall of Asia, or SM Megamall. Or, visit for more information.

Contact Information
Khun Thai Tea LLP
Jeremy Lee
Co -Founder of Khun Thai Tea LLP
+65 8292 3955
[email protected]