Tealeaves Folio



“World’s Most Expensive Bubble Tea” Served and Delivered

About the TEALEAVES x The St. Regis San Francisco #WorldsMostExpensiveBubbleTea Project:
In celebration of San Francisco Design Week’s (#SFDW2017) theme “question everything,” the art of tea meets the art of culinary, as TEALEAVES and The St. Regis San Francisco “shake up the status quo” and reimagine bubble tea—from responsible sourcing to five-star culinary techniques—elevating the common beverage to the world of fine dining.


The result is the birth of a new world-class beverage: the Boba Teashake. It’s bubble tea, reimagined.



TEALEAVES and the St. Regis San Francisco hosted a tasting of the World’s Most Expensive Bubble Tea June 22 at Pinterest Headquarters in San Francisco for San Francisco Design Week. The theme? “Question Everything.”


The World’s Most Expensive Bubble Tea project isn’t about masking the ordinary with diamond-encrusted straws and gold chalices, but is a challenge for us all to elevate expectations, quality, and the standards of ingredients and techniques, using bubble tea as an example—to ‘shake up the status quo’ and ‘question everything.’

“Creating the World’s Most Expensive Bubble Tea is not an end destination, but a forever-aspiration. It’s about craftsmanship in the art of tea and culinary, and the never-ending pursuit of perfection,” said Lana Sutherland, CEO of TEALEAVES.

Together, TEALEAVES and the St. Regis San Francisco reimagined the classic Taiwanese drink, using the highest quality ingredients, where the art of culinary meets the art of tea.

The bubble tea tasting brought together bubble tea lovers across San Francisco wishing to try a new experience and learn about the design behind the Boba Teashake for San Francisco Design Week.

“There’s an ease being in a room with strangers knowing that everyone there loves boba. If you’re a boba lover, we can talk!” says Caroline Nave, who attended the event.

The panel included a discussion on tea and design, as well as an iced tea tasting. Chef Franck followed with a culinary demonstration, revealing the culinary process and design behind the World’s Most Expensive Bubble Tea.

“We wanted to add something different. We wanted to make sure that by working with the flavor, the mountain berry with lychee, the passion fruit, the caramel, it’s bringing complexity to the drink. We elevated the drink by adding some flavor that people can relate to,” says Executive Chef Franck Desplechin of The St. Regis San Francisco.

“We wanted to unearth bubble tea’s true potential by using the highest quality ingredients and five-star culinary techniques to create something unforgettably delicious. The tapioca used here is made of tapioca starch. Most bubble tea pearls use potato starch, which makes the tapioca more chewy. I used tapioca starch directly to get a different texture that’s not as sweet and melting in the mouth.”

A black tea blended specifically for ice and infused with lychee and passionfruit oils served as the base for the bubble tea, while TEALEAVES Mountain Berry infused tapioca pearls provided a twist on the classic black pearls found in the beverage. Chef Franck of the St. Regis San Francisco finished the drink with a sea salt caramel foam and passionfruit coulis.

The boba drinking experience was truly elevated says Caroline Nave. “I enjoyed hearing about how the ingredients were cultivated with such responsible quality and care then handed off to a master chef’s artful eye and palette.”

Explore #WorldsMostExpensiveBubbleTea and discover a reimagined classic.



Learn more about the TEALEAVES x The St. Regis San Francisco #WorldsMostExpensiveBubbleTea Project at WorldsMostExpensiveBubbleTea.com.


Shop TEALEAVES Lychee Passionfruit Bubble Tea Blend


Shop TEALEAVES Mountain Berry Blend





If you came here expecting gold bars and diamond-encrusted chalices, we’re sorry to disappoint you. We’re not about the overindulgent and the exorbitant—especially when the standards of bubble tea, and tea itself, are simply not good enough.

It’s a gilded landscape
of which powdered iced tea is the norm.
where backyard growers are trusted, just because they’re small.

We see it all—and make choices, every day, to do things differently.
At TEALEAVES, we’re makers.
With rigorous product-first beliefs, we blend our teas in small batches by hand.
We keep only 1% of the leaves presented to us by the world’s tier-1 gardens.
Comparable to how a skilled perfumer creates bouquets of scents, we create eclectic palates
through curating quality botanicals, herbs, and fruits.
We choose the very best, to make the very best.

We’ve pressed on for the past 20 years and have made like-minded friends along the way.
From five-star hotels to Michelin star chefs,
we train some of the world’s most discerning palates in the art of tea,
because we do things right, and we do it well.

Luxury, to us, isn’t merely about gold, silver, and shiny baubles.
It’s about having the luxury of time and the privilege to practice our craft.

Plastic. Powdered. Questionable.
This is our fight. This is our luxury.
Because tea can be so much better.

We want to share with you what we know—the epitome of blending—by using bubble tea as an example.
Optimizing harmony between color + aroma + taste + texture,
we challenged ourselves and our expert friends in culinary to reimagine this iconic beverage.
How would it taste with unlimited time and unlimited resources?
We wanted to unearth this common beverage’s true potential to create something unforgettably delicious.

The meaning of “World’s Most Expensive Bubble Tea” is a challenge for us all.
It’s not an end destination, but a forever-aspiration.

Let’s up expectations. Let’s up quality.
Let’s up the standards of bubble tea together.





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