Chinese coffee chain start-up Luckin Coffee has launched Luckin Tea as an independent brand in the market.

To further expand its presence in the market, the coffee company has also launched a pilot programme for its Retail Partnership model, which aims to collaborate with partners across the country.

Luckin Coffee chief operating officer Jian Liu said: “We have experienced strong growth of our Luckin Tea series since the initial launch in April 2019, which is far beyond the company’s expectations.

“To further capitalise on the opportunity in the freshly-brewed tea market, we are strategically launching Luckin Tea as an independent and complementary brand and rolling out the store footprint nationwide.

“We will continue to maintain the high growth of the coffee business while taking the tea drinks as another important driver to further explore the breadth and depth of the market.”

Liu added that the company anticipates its Luckin Tea and Luckin Coffee stores to complement each other.

Luckin Tea stores will offer a standard range of freshly-brewed coffee to its customers, as well as an assortment of freshly-brewed tea drinks.

Initially, Luckin Tea stores will focus on Tier 2 through Tier 4 cities, while Luckin Coffee’s focus would be on those in Tier 1 and Tier 2.

Liu further added: “The launch of both our independent Luckin Tea brand and Retail Partnership model will significantly bolster our current operational capabilities.

“Through these initiatives, we will cover more cities while substantially improve the number of transacting customers, purchase frequency and operational efficiency.”

Last December, Luckin Coffee reportedly raised $200m in the latest funding round, increasing its valuation to $2.2bn.