Stoke Newington’s bubble tea shop Dot Dot was born out of a beautiful friendship between two local mums, both with Hong Kong heritage.
The business, which launched in November 2020 in the midst of a national lockdown, was something of a side hustle for fashion journalist Susie Lau and art director Yandis Yan.
The entrepreneurs met while their daughters were at nursery together in Stoke Newington.
Susie, 39, said: “Bubble tea is such a standard beverage in Asia – it’s drunk as regularly as coffee and, in places like Hong Kong and Taiwan, you can find it everywhere. Here, there’s definitely a perception that it’s more of a treat.
“With Dot Dot we wanted to bring an authentic flavour to bubble tea – true to our Hong Kong roots. We’ve had a lot of fun in Yan’s kitchen testing and tasting, experimenting and getting the flavours just right – not too sweet!
“We were really good friends before but running a business together has really cemented our friendship. Our daughters Zia and Nico are besties and they’re our brand ambassadors – they try everything out.”
The business, opposite Whole Foods on Stoke Newington Church St, serves a wide variety of bubble teas, with lichee and uszu lime among the most popular flavours. They also serve sweet and savoury waffles. Their customers are mainly young adults and schoolchildren.
Susie added: “It’s the textural element with the tapioca that makes bubble tea so special. There’s the added bonus of jelly chewiness in the drink and our fruit teas have a popping bubble that offers a burst of fruit juice.
“Stoke Newington is a brilliant place for a business like this – local people are up for trying new things and there’s a friendly, unique village atmosphere here,
Dot Dot is about to launch a collaboration with Selfridges - a range of bottled bubble teas made with real fruit purees. The business is also running a pop-up with La Gelatiera in Crouch End featuring treats like Bubble Tea Sundaes and Matcha Crepe Cakes. They hope to expand with new food and drink products for coffee shops and cafes soon.