Bubble Tea Ice Machines

Bubbleteaology bubble tea ice machine

Making bubble tea requires ice, a lot of ice!  One of the most frequently asked questions we get is…

What is the Best Ice Machine for a Bubble Tea Store?

The type of ice machine that you want will largely depend on how many customers you will have.  You can expect to use about 1-1.5 lbs of ice for each drink that you make.  So if you make 300 drinks/day you will want an ice machine that can make at least 450lbs of ice/day, maybe more to handle the busy times.

Most ice machines will have the actual ice making machine on the top and a separate ice bin on the bottom.  You can use a unit that has the condenser and bin together but they will typically have a lower capacity.


Other requirements:

Water filtration system

Depending on the size and voltage, many ice machines need to be hard wired(they don’t have a plug) and may require 115v or 220v.

Floor drain (or condensate pump)

City Water Supply with a separate water line and shut off valve

Water cooled vs air cooled bubble tea ice machines:

We recommend using air cooled bubble tea ice machines.  They use a comparable amount of electricity but the water cooled units use a lot more water.

Type of ice:

Most bubble tea shop owners and customers agree that “crescent” shaped ice produces the best bubble tea.

bubble tea crescent shaped ice

Bubble Tea Ice Machine Brand:

Hoshizaki is the industry leader and the only brand that we recommend.

Ice Machine Cost:

An Ice machine for your bubble tea store will be one of your biggest investments.

A unit with a 500lb capacity will cost about:

$3,100.00 for the Ice Machine

$250.00 for the Water Filter

$900.00 for the Ice Bin

$4250.00 Total

Renting an Ice Machine:

Another option that has become popular is renting an ice machine.  Rental subscriptions usually include installation and a water filter.  This could be a good option for a new bubble tea shop that is unsure of the demand and who is on a budget.

Rental Cost:

The rental terms are flexible with a one-year lease and then month to month after that.  Renting will typically be less than $150/month and a one-time setup fee of $200-300.

Bubble Tea Machines - Free Guide!