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Hi, i'm Max
I'm the founder of Joy Milk Tea. I grew up in an Asian family and had the privilege of wandering the aisles of asian markets, where I discovered milk tea. I started Joy because I love milk tea, and wanted to drink it everyday.
In June of 2019 I was faced with a tough decision. Parked outside a coffee shop, I was debating walking in there and getting my third coffee of the day.
I was beyond tired of drinking coffee everyday, but I didn’t have any other options.
At that moment, I thought of how wonderful it would be to have a great milk tea instead of coffee.
Unfortunately for me, there was nowhere I could go to find a great milk tea near me. Everywhere near me made it with powdered tea, powdered creamer and tons of sugar.
Frustrated that high quality coffee was everywhere, but milk tea wasn’t. I pulled out of that parking lot and started making my own.
Making a special milk tea
I wanted to make a milk tea that I could drink instead of coffee. Something that would give me the energy I needed with a complex flavor profile that I could enjoy every day.
This meant we needed to use real tea, no powders, cut back on sugar and keep it all natural. With this vision in mind I started making a my own milk tea, paying homage to the traditional Taiwanese milk tea that I know and love.
We sourced and tasted hundreds of blacks teas until we found two very special teas that played incredibly well together. The type of tea for us was critical, it was the most important part of this whole thing. I was determined not to use any artificial flavors or additives to artificially engineer a “perfect milk tea” flavor. The idea was to let the tea speak for itself, and to let the tea express it’s own flavor. Fully, without adulteration.
From a kitchen.
To a bigger kitchen.
We moved into a shared commercial kitchen, where for the next year we made each and every bottle of Joy Milk Tea by hand.
Slowly but surely we grew into more stores in and around Chicago while selling at the local farmers market.
The idea was simple, to introduce more people to milk tea and make sure they understood that you can drink milk tea instead of your morning or afternoon latte.
The energy is better, it is as strong as coffee without side effects.
The flavor profile is equally as complex if not more enjoyable than a latte.
And it’s all natural!
We made so much milk tea each week that we ran out of room to chill and store it. We we’re filling up every fridge in the kitchen.
Near the end of 2020 we stopped manufacturing the perishable milk tea and set course for making the first domestically manufactured shelf stable all natural milk tea in America.
Our unwavering commitment to quality and use of real ingredients and real tea made scaling very difficult.
By early 2021 we finally succeeded and launched our first product, Black No. 1 | Dairy.
Where we go from here.
Joy Milk Tea is dedicated to creating the best milk tea possible. While our first product pays homage to a typical Taiwanese milk tea, there is so much more we can do with such a simple concept.
Cultures all over the world enjoy milk + tea, and we intend on exploring all sorts of exciting combinations.