Sno Tea

At the age of 25, Kevin Drawe wasn’t satisfied by playing it safe or putting off his dream. “If I don’t do it now, I won’t do it later,” he said, before opening up his own Taiwanese-inspired dessert shop in Plano, Sno Tea.

Creating snow ice // photos Esther Huynh

Sno Tea’s specialty is the snow ice (also called shaved snow) – “a combo of ice cream, yogurt and shaved ice,” as the entrepreneur puts it. It’s a healthier alternative to ice cream, carrying fewer calories but still retaining the creamy texture everyone craves. It’s like “ice cream cotton candy,” Kevin says – and how often do we get a chance to try that?

Kevin’s sticking strictly to desserts, offering crepes, bubble tea and more recently shaved ice. Shaved ice is the dairy/gluten free option for customers who aren’t in the mood for snow ice. It’s crushed ice – not creamy, but still a fun, guilt-free Taiwanese dessert to look for.

Sno Tea’s minimalist interior

Kevin’s parents are Taiwanese, so a lot of his influence originates from there. Every time he’d go back to Taiwan, he’d buy at least two cups of bubble tea a day, and he even had a go-to store for snow ice called “Coco.” Dessert is his passion, so opening up a shop featuring his favorite ones didn’t seem so out of the ordinary. It was a natural next step, to start something new and of his own. Eventually, he wants to franchise and make Sno Tea big – hopefully at the level of something like Yogurtland.

Sno Tea’s vibe matches the vision Kevin had in mind: minimalistic. The color scheme is simple, and the logo is calming, with Sno Tea written in bold white letters with a baby blue border. There’s a metallic sign on the wall that says, “Treat Yo’ Self” – something everyone deserves to be reminded of every now and then.

Taro Sno Ice with red beans and mochi, drizzled with condensed milk

Walking in, Sno Tea doesn’t come off as cozy exactly, but it certainly feels classy. The orchids in the shop contribute to that. According to Kevin, orchids are part of the family tradition. In fact, his father, a businessman himself, owned an orchid greenhouse. He’s also owned many other businesses, including one that sells camping supplies.

Sno Tea owner, Kevin (right) and James, shift leader (left)

With his expertise as an entrepreneur, he was quicker to support Kevin in his goals and served as his mentor. “My mom worried, ‘If it fails, he’s going to be in so much debt, but my dad [said], ‘If he never tries it, he’s never going to succeed,” Kevin says. He and his dad share this mentality; if you see the opportunity, just go after it.

“Treat Yo’ Self” is the motto at Sno Tea

Though unintentional, Sno Tea’s grand opening happened to fall on Father’s Day this year (June 18). The soft opening was in March – long enough for Kevin to settle in and train his new employees, who tend to be high school and college students. For a lot of the new hires, Sno Tea happens to be their first job. So training can take up to a month rather than ten days, as Kevin had planned originally.

In snow ice, Kevin’s first picks are the coffee and honeydew flavors, but he admits they’re not for everyone. The more popular flavors include mango, chocolate, strawberry, matcha and passion fruit. There’s also a milk flavor that comes with cereal toppings and a taste of your childhood.

Rose Milk Tea and Strawberry Milk Tea

In crepes, the strawberry cheesecake is incomparable. For bubble tea, the newer options are the rose milk tea, which is faint but flavorful enough to taste the rose, and the strawberry milk tea. Another addition to the menu are the cool-looking, caffeine-free Elixir Lemonades.

Some possible add-ons Kevin’s working on are waffles, a Nutella milk tea, lavender milk tea and – best of all – rainbowcolor crepes! So stick around, and something new and appealing will certainly come around just for you.

Sno Tea > [codepeople-post-map]
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