It’s official – the bubble tea craze is back (if it even left our shores in the first place). With all the recent “Brown Sugar” hype in the bubble tea universe and multiple specialised stores popping up within a span of a few months, bubble tea has made it to be the “It” drink for a second time in millennial history. As the saying goes, “true love never dies”, and deep inside, we all know that the brown sugar variants will eventually be a fad and join the lines of our well-loved classic concoctions.
Regardless, Taiwan birthed this magnificent drink and any true bubble tea fanatic will need to visit the country for a bubble tea pilgrimage to rightfully claim that title. Simply having a cup of KOI every other day doesn’t mean your taste buds have tasted all there is to this beloved drink.
A little history – it’s not known who invented bubble tea but it is said that the very first cuppa tastes a tad different from the flavours we’re familiar with today – tapioca balls were added to hot milk tea! As the drink gained popularity in Taiwan and other parts of Asia, new flavours emerged and newer flavours, like the latest Brown Sugar, are created.
So go no further. Here are some of the best bubble teas in Taiwan you need to visit and taste as part of your journey to bubble tea nirvana:
Chun Shui Tang 春水堂
No one really knows who invented bubble tea but Chun Shui Tang claims to be one of the first bubble tea shops. Chun Shui Tang has around 40 chains all over Taiwan and their popularity is justified by the delicious flavours on their menu. A hot favourite is the Mango Pearl Coconut Milk Tea! Chun Shui Tang retains its traditional tea house image while serving up modern variations of your favourite milk teas – a pretty neat balance of the ageless past and the modern F&B culture.
Chen San Ding 陳三薡
Known for their original drink, 青蛙撞奶 (literal translation: frog meets/hits milk), Chen San Ding one of the most unique bubble tea shops in this list. That’s because their bubble teas don’t contain any tea in them… say what?! Drinks served by Chen San Ding are milk based and topped with boba pearls or any other topping of your choice. The long queue at Chen San Ding is a telltale sign of the amazing drinks served here.
Yi Fang Fruit Tea 一芳水果茶
Health conscious? Here’s a guilt-free alternative to the milky bubble tea – Yi Fang Fruit Tea! Fruit teas served here are filled with chunks of fruit, giving the drinks a sweet, natural flavour. The menu here consists of both milk tea flavours and fresh fruit tea flavours which is great for those who prefer to stick with good ol’ milk tea. The signature drinks of Yi Fang Fruit Tea include Passion Fruit Green Tea and Sugar Cane Mountain Tea.
Tiger Sugar 老虎堂
We can’t leave this out just because it’s not exactly a classic (yet). Tiger Sugar just entered Singapore a while ago and the queues were crazy! So if you’re headed to Taiwan for a holiday, it only makes sense to give it a try in its home country. Their signature brown sugar fresh milk tea gives the drink a unique fragrance and the “tiger stripes” running along the cup makes for a great Instagram moment!
Ten Ren 天仁茗茶
Using 100% natural ingredients, Ten Ren delivers one of the most authentic tasting milk teas. Although their flavours are more conservative and less vibrant than newer, hip bubble tea shops, you’ll still be satisfied with the quality beverages they serve. 913 King’s Oolong Milk Tea is their signature drink so if you’re not sure what to order, start there. Besides the oolong milk tea, their Taro Green Milk Tea is worth a shot too.
If you want to try something less commercial, you can drop by this under-the-radar milk tea shop – SOMA. Serving both milk teas and mocktails, you’ll be delighted with the wide range of selections available! Some of the interesting flavours you should try at SOMA are Black Sesame and High Mountain Milk Tea.
Since Taiwan is the home of bubble tea, it shouldn’t come as a surprise that you can get a taste of so many different bubble tea flavours there! Bubble tea shops can be found in almost every corner of the streets in Taiwan but if you’re going to get yourself some bubble tea there, might as well try something unique on this list.
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