Bubble tea gets Hanfu makeover

China’s marketing space has become saturated with brand collaborations recently, forcing brands to think outside the box when it comes to choosing a collaboration partner. For many brands, this looks like teaming up with museums to beat consumers’ collaboration fatigue, with historical themes particularly popular as Chinese New Year approaches.

One local tea purveyor has found a clever way to incorporate cultural heritage whilst standing out from the crowd. The Shanghai-based tea brand Lelecha partnered with the hanfu clothing brand Shisanyu, uniting tradition and modernity in the run-up to the Year of the Dragon.

The Lelecha x Shisanyu campaign of course delivers a refreshing and luxurious new menu option for tea lovers.  The exclusive beverage is a bamboo-infused oolong tea, mixed with coconut milk and topped with chunks of fresh Dragon’s eye (a lychee-like fruit) and costs 19RMB (2.67 USD). Besides the themed beverage, there is also a host of Year of the Dragon exclusive gifts on offer, including a Shisanyu embroidered wall decoration and a set of Buddhist prayer beads.  

Hanfu is historical clothing from China’s Han dynasty era, which then evolved into a youth subculture in China during the mid-2010s. With the rise of more manifestations of guochao (China chic) – especially New Chinese Style fashion – hanfu has continued to grow in popularity (even some pampered pets get to wear it!).

Shisanyu jumped on the trend early – the brand was founded in 2016 when hanfu was still a niche activity reserved for enthusiasts and far from a common sight on China’s city streets. Since then, Shisanyu has risen to become the most well-recognised hanfu specialist, snatching up awards and major deals with the likes of Disney.


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