By: Annie Guo VanDan, Asian Avenue magazine

Kung Fu Tea
6365 E. Hampden Ave #102 | Denver CO 80222
Tel: 720-370-8888

With a line out the door and around the building from open to close, Kung Fu Tea (KFT) was welcomed warmly during its grand opening on July 2, 2017. That day, the Kung Fu Tea team sold more than 1,500 orders of the Taiwanese-inspired drinks.

With the ability to customize each drink, such as ice level (more ice) and sugar level (less syrup), each drink is created by preference and given a 30-second shake.

The uniqueness of the drinks is what motivated co-owners and sisters, Lian and Shuang Crossland to open the Denver location. Six years ago, the sisters were interested in opening a tea shop in Denver. After trying teas from multiple companies, they found that Kung Fu Tea had the best quality and taste.

In New York City at the KFT headquarters, they trained on how to open a franchise. KFT was founded in Flushing, Queens, New York in 2009.

Supplies and ingredients are shipped from warehouses in New York and Los Angeles. When the Denver tea shop first opened, the staff ran out of two months worth of supplies in eight days and had to get a shipment sent overnight.

Denverites are loving this new addition to the mile-high dessert and beverage scene. High school and college students now have a hang out spot, namely students getting off classes at Thomas Jefferson High School down the street. On weekends, young people bring board games to play, which KFT plans to soon also provide.

“I didn’t realize so many Asian Americans lived in Denver, until Kung Fu Tea opened,” said a customer who frequents the tea shop. The KFT team noticed the same, commenting that nearly 90% of their customers are Asian Americans. Many have heard of the KFT name or visited another location in California, New York or Texas. KFT’s popularity has also boosted traffic for businesses in the shopping center—that have thanked them.

While there are dozens of menu options, the most popular drink remains the tried-and-true Kung Fu Milk Tea, making up 20 percent of all orders. Coffee is also popular, especially in the mornings. At KFT, you can order a coffee milk tea and even add boba, which you can’t get at the the Starbucks next door.

What also makes KFT unique is that they make many of their own ingredients, such as the honey, matcha, herbal jelly and pudding. Teas are brewed overnight and prepped in the mornings.

Desserts such as crepe cakes and steamed cake called mushi pan are also a hit. Seasonal drinks—pumpkin oolong tea, taro milk and brown sugar ginger tea—are coming this fall to keep you warm!