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Innovation in Tea Beverage, Spotted at a Product Release


In this day and age, every business is worth reinventing.

Over the last 5 years, as modern tea beverage embraced rapid development, the coffee segment has been brewing a new life.

Luckin Coffee has singlehandedly translated their slogan of “high quality affordable coffee” to a popular lifestyle. Yihetang, LELECHA, Nayuki, HEYTEA, among other tea beverage brands have kept up by adding coffee elements to their menu, such as yuenyeung and fruity coffee, in response to the growing consumer demand for coffee.

Coffee and tea have come together once again in our day and age. What sparkles will come out of the combination of two world-class beverages? Let’s start with a coffee machine product release.

01PART ——

New consumption leading to coffee machine revolution

From 2018 to 2020, Dr. Coffee Suzhou released 13 fully automatic coffee machines for scenarios including bakeries, convenience stores and office buildings.

On yesterday’s product release event, they launched their latest model which addresses the new demand rising in beverage and F&B market.

Our informant in the industry explains that there are two types of demands in coffee machines.


Some are after the immersive look and feel of preparing coffee on site, to manifest professionalism.

Others seek convenience, simplicity and consistency, so as to roll out a business model to the maximum.

Targeting different demands, Dr. Coffee steps out of the box of R&D for fully automatic coffee machines, and made 6 breakthroughs:

Technological innovation

Smart & digital solutions

Fine material and technique

Highly robust product

Young & chic design

Fast & responsive service

For the purpose of this article, we will look into their technological innovations, as well as smart, digital solutions.

01 | Technological innovation


Technological innovation serves for two purposes: better machine performance, or addressing new consumer demand.

Dr. Coffee’s grinding system is an innovation to boost performance. Using ceramic flat burrs instead of traditional conical burrs, it offers better balanced grounds with more precision and less time.

In response to new consumer demand, the innovative features in brewing and frothing are Dr. Coffee’s highlights.


Regular-volume coffee is among 12oz to 16oz, but value for money has become such an important motivation that coffees are sizing up, just like tea beverages. 16oz was considered a large cup in the past, not a medium. As you size up the cup, you’d better use more grounds to make sure the flavor is still great.

Therefore, Dr. Coffee introduces their 21g single cup ground capacity, which equals the amount used for 3 espressos in a regular coffee machine.

In addition, low pressure extraction, non-steam frothing, among other new techs are adopted. We will discuss their significance for modern beverages later.

02 | Smart & digital


Touch screen, one-click coffee making, time/temperature/water amount configurations, self-service vending… Dr. Coffee’s smart, digital solution offers all of the above, and way more.

This is how they illustrate their smart & digital solution: in the past, whenever there are changes in the menu, all stores should enroll in a training session, online or offline; sometimes an engineer must be sent to site for support. Now, thanks to IoT, it takes one engineer and one computer at the headquarters to change the menu and corresponding configurations for every single store in the chain.

Store staff no longer have to take trainings in order to make standard beverages. This saves a huge amount of time and makes training fairly easy.

At first sight, such innovations seem to be irrelevant to tea beverages; but on second thought, they can be huge.

02PART ——

What does innovations in coffee machine do for tea beverages?


There are two ways to approach this question.

01 | Combination of tea and coffee

There is one classic combo of tea and coffee – yuenyeung, or coffee flavored milk tea.

Nayuki, LELECHA and many other tea beverage brands are now offering variations of yuenyeung, mixing coffee into their milk tea base.

In addition, coffee beverages have evolved beyond black coffee and milk coffee; they are often served with bubbles and jellies to satiate the market taste. Coffee plus fruit is also an emerging trend, for example, lemon coffee.


Reviews can vary for such innovations. One criticism is worth contemplating: many think the bitterness of coffee undermines flavors of the fruit or milk tea. By adjusting roast level of the beans or water temperature, it is possible to extract coffee’s aroma, but not so much its taste.

Dr. Coffee’s new model offers low pressure extraction less than 2 bar, in addition to the regular 9 bar.

Low pressure extraction was designed to reduce the bitterness of americano. But it is also worth trying for making fruity coffee or yuenyeung – maybe there is a way to preserve the fragrant aroma of coffee, without having its bitterness overpowering the drink.


Dr. Coffee’s proprietary frothing technology also offers food for thought for tea baristas. Traditionally, the foam on top of drinks are steam-frothed hot milk. With Dr. Coffee’s machine, you can create thicker, denser and more lasting froth without heating your milk.

Whipped cream and cream cheese toppings are quite common nowadays for tea beverages. But as consumers’ awareness for health grows, they look for a lower-fat topping with similar texture. Maybe Dr. Coffee’s frothing technology has the answer.

02 | Combination of production and management


Tea beverage brands typically have two operational pain points: inconsistent quality, and difficult training.

If all equipment used to prepare tea beverages are like Dr. Coffee’s machines, which can be centrally and remotely managed, configured and monitored, multiple operational costs can be saved, such as labor and training.


Tea beverages have developed a unique system as it rapidly expand. But as consumer demands and market trend evolves, what technological innovation or re-combination can be leveraged to create new competitiveness? Dr. Coffee’s Product Release Event offers great inspirations.


To find out more about Dr. Coffee’s fully automatic commercial coffee machines, visit booth 1.1H E40 at HOTELEX Shanghai.