Heytea_01

Waiting Two Hours for my HeyTea

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A few weeks ago, my friend, L2 and I had lunch at Joy City after visiting my friend’s new workplace. Even before we decided on a restaurant, my friend was already gushing over Heytea, an extremely popular local cafe serving cheese tea, the most popular kind of milk tea in town. She told me that this place’s milk tea was so popular that people lined up for hours and paid people to line up just to get their tea.

After lunch, she went ahead and lined up for the both of us while I got myself and my daughter ready. When we reached downstairs, my friend sought me out to tell me that she had to abandon the line because she wasn’t sure if she’d get to her meeting on time.

We said our goodbyes but my curiosity still remained. I had around two hours to spare before I had to pick L1 up from school, and this cafe intrigued me. My daughter had fallen asleep in her stroller, and the line didn’t seem that long. I figured I’d get my drink in under an hour, and so I went for it.

HeyTea

The line was divided into two, and I guessed it was so that non-customers didn’t have to go around the whole HeyTea line just to get on the other side. The second line (the one away from the counter) was really short, and within a few minutes I was already in the main line. That line that snaked a few rounds until it got to the counter took quite a while, but all in all under thirty minutes.

Now, here’s the problem I faced when I got to the counter: I had NO IDEA what to order. I didn’t know what cheese tea was, and there were a few options. We could also mix up the flavors, and I didn’t know which flavors to mix up. People behind me were getting irritated; the lady at the counter explained that all their drinks were bestsellers. I finally just picked the one that seemed safest. One of their milk teas:

HeyTea Chinese Menu

Whew. Ordering was done. Now it was time to wait.

I was given a black thing that would light up and buzz when it was time for me to pick up my drink. That was when I looked up at the counter above and realized that I would be waiting awhile before I got my drink. Since I was in a mall, I decided to walk around a bit, but not too far that my buzzer thing might not receive the signal from HeyTea. I didn’t want to wait all that while for nothing.

Eventually, I had run out of shops to visit. I decided to just find myself a seat and wait. Fortunately there was wifi to surf for a bit, but a part of me was starting to regret my decision. I felt deceived by the short lines I had seen earlier.

I was ready to go by the time my drink came. But not being a fan of selfies, I simply took this photo as proof I came:

HeyTea

I finally took that momentous sip and was honestly shocked. It was amazing—it was sweet, but not so sweet that you feel cheated. I’m not a big fan of cheese, but I didn’t really taste it when I drank. I looked down at my sleeping babe and was silently grateful I could have my drink all to myself.

Unfortunately, my original plan of taking a chillax subway ride to L1’s school now had to be abandoned. I quickly booked a cab, jumped in with my younger daughter, and reached my older daughter’s school about five minutes late.

Was it worth it? For the experience, yes it was. But next time, I’m going to make sure I have three hours to spare if I’m going to buy a Heytea drink again.

Want to know more about Heytea? Here are some other stories:
https://www.cntraveler.com/story/cheese-tea-is-taking-over-china-and-invading-the-us
http://www.thatsmags.com/china/post/20862/is-hey-tea-worth-the-wait-we-stand-in-line-for-2-hours-to-find-out

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