Taiwan is the home of bubble tea and you will find bubble tea on every corner offering the same basic teas and each bubble tea chain branches from there. The name of the drink comes from the chewy tapioca balls (also known as ‘pearls’) commonly added to the drink.
Apparently connoisseurs can tell which tea shops are better than others. I have had a small handful of various teas, but to me they seem the same. On hot days, it is always good to drink something cold and freshing to cool the body down and nothing does it better than bubble tea.
Basic items include black tea, green tea, milk tea, flavoured tea, smoothies, slushies etc. Below is a list of some chains which I have visited where each store you can choose how much ice and sugar you want added.
Coco – This was the store where I first tried bubble tea in Taipei. I was thirsty and I just so happened to be standing right in front of Coco.
I ordered Matcha tea with milk and pearls. The drink was fairly creamy which left milk residue on my tongue which I was trying to battle to get rid of. The pearls were nice and soft which made it quite nice to chew on as you sipped your way through what seemed to be bottom less drink. The drink itself was sweet even though I requested it to have 25% sugar.
Tea Pa Tea – This place seems to be quite popular, as I see many people carrying these around in their hands, so I decided to give it a try.
I ordered a black tea with pearls. Even thought I requested the drink to have 25% sugar, it was still pretty sweet, however very refreshing on a hot day.
Drink Monopoly Shop – located within the Shida Night Market this place seems to fairly popular.
I decided to purchase a black tea with chrysanthemum. It was a very fragrant tea, which was not too sweet but good enough to quench the thirst on a hot evening. . However I would have thought that at a night market, the prices would be cheaper due to lover overhead costs. This was not the case. I think all bubble teas in and around Taipei are roughly the same price.
Lemon 2000 – This store offered bitter melon juice. Which I thought was interesting. I am generally not a fan, but with honey added to the mix, it make it quite a nice freshing healthy drink. I forced my mum to give this a try and she just loved it. And was hoping that we would pass another store selling bitter melon juice.
Happy Lemon – its good to see there you never to far away from a bubble tea stand when your in Taipei. I noticed a flavour which I had not seen at other stores and that was kumquat. I had very little sugar as i wanted something tart, and boy was it tart but freshing at the same time.
All in all I could not taste any difference in each of the teas ( mind you I did try different flavours each time) trying to get different flavours that you cannot get back home.
All the bubble tea’s cost roughly the same amount and offers similar if not the same items. If you want something different to try instead of Coke and water, give bubble tea a try.