For as long as any millennial can remember, young Singaporeans have been split neatly into two major factions: Team KOI and Team Gong Cha.
In an age where your milk tea drink order is more detailed than your LinkedIn page, you quietly pick a side and a sugar level, and remind yourself that those from the other team are simply incapable of enjoying the better things in life. Like an Earl Grey Milk Tea with pearl and 30% sugar.
When news of Gong Cha’s imminent rebranding broke on Monday (May 29) morning, many loyal fans of the franchise were caught by surprise.
Speaking to The Straits Times, Mr Rodney Tang, owner of the Singapore branch of the Gong Cha brand, announced that all 80 outlets here will be rebranded to LiHo by June 5.
This follows the expiration of his agreement with Gong Cha’s parent company in Taiwan at the end of last year.
The change in name is accompanied by an entirely new menu, with the homegrown brand introducing something it refers to as “cheese tea”. An intriguing pairing, to say the least.
When Popspoken visited Gong Cha outlets on Monday, some popular menu items, like Earl Grey Milk Tea with pearl and 30% sugar, were already unavailable. Increase my sugar level, because I’m salty.
Like any healthy support system, Popspoken took to Twitter to ask how you’re coping with the news. Our poll results say it all.
Will this rebranding affect your consumption habits?
— Popspoken (@popspoken) May 29, 2017
We also received a lot of impassioned cries for help.
Awww man that sucks ): I want my gong cha milk alisan tea with white pearls ): https://t.co/RHGHmS1A9D
— ลีโอน่า (@leeohnuh) May 30, 2017
every time i see something about this another small part of me inside dies https://t.co/NGncTUOgmq
— rachel✨ (@ruhchur) May 30, 2017
— Jeremy Sim (@mimi_dumbright) May 29, 2017
so apparently there's cheese tea, like why…. https://t.co/zMFwrOggAO
— 凌 (@lingbrandon) May 29, 2017
EXCUSE ME THIS IS SO RUDE https://t.co/o64JxQsavs
— s a r . (@littlewondersxx) May 29, 2017
wHAT OMG NOOOOOOOOO https://t.co/QlcZtPMiIM
— ailema (@haemyel) May 29, 2017
???¿?¿?¿¿????????? EXCUSE ME??????? https://t.co/u5Ht167K9p
— 💜 (@taehyungsyi) May 29, 2017
Finally, a tweet by this soul from the other side.
— AmandaYeo (@SingingmyBblues) May 30, 2017
For now, we will rebuild. Time for Team Gong Cha to trudge on, milk tea in hand, and embrace our vaguely aggressive-sounding future as #TeamLiHo.