Bubble Tea
Travel, Travel Stories

A Visit to a Bubble Tea Creator’s Place in Taiwan

Who doesn’t like a good bubble tea, also called pearl milk tea or boba? I just love it. And I had the pleasure of enjoying the precious drink with a visit to a bubble tea creator’s place in Taiwan.

Background to My Taiwan Visit

I was in Taiwan, mostly in the capital Taipei, for three days as part of my four-nation Asian tour which was also to take me to Singapore, Australia and Papua New Guinea. During my trip, I enjoyed great massages, a visit to a hot bath, the Taipei 101 Tower, which was once the tallest tower in the world, and some great food.


It’s About Bubble Tea

I love bubble tea. It is such a heavenly feeling on a hot summer day (alright, even on a cold winter day) to hold the cup, pinch a hole on the seal with the provided straw and take a few sips of the iced milk tea concoction with tapioca balls.

Bubble Tea
Bubble Tea

It is Taiwan’s gift to the world.

The Origins of Bubble Tea

First, a little about the bubble tea.

According to this report on CNN, in the forties, a Taiwanese mixologist called Chang Fan Shu created an iced tea made in a cocktail shaker which yielded, among other fine tastes and textures, bubbles.

But the real story began in the eighties and there are at least two stories related to the origins of the bubble tea.

According to one story, the owner of the famed Hanlin Tea Room, Tu Zonghe (also written as Tu Tsong-He) created the first bubble tea in 1986.

The second story puts that ‘inventor’ status on Liu Hanjie (also written as Liu Han-Chieh) of the Chun Shui Tang tea house. As the story goes, Mr Liu got the idea of the bubble tea after watching coffee being served cold during a visit to Japan in the eighties.

Chun Shui Tang Tea House in Taiwan
Chun Shui Tang Tea House in Taiwan

The battle for the esteemed inventor status even went to the court though after ten years of legal battles, the court, in 2019, determined that the bubble tea belongs to anyone who can make it.

My Visit to the Chun Shui Tang Tea House

During my short stay in Taipei, I was determined to taste the bubble tea from at least one of its source joints. Fortunately for me, there was a Chun Shui Tang branch at the Taipei Shin Kong Mitsukoshi Department Store building which was about a kilometer away from where I was staying so one day I just walked there. They also served food but my main focus was to taste the famous pearl milk tea.

A Visit to a Bubble Tea Creator's Place in Taiwan.
A Visit to a Bubble Tea Creator’s Place in Taiwan

Chun Shui Tang certainly deserves the reputation they have. The ingredients were fresh and while it is not a refreshing drink in the traditional sense because any drink of this nature tends to be on the heavy-on-the-tummy side, it did sate my hunger for a fantastic tasting bubble tea.

Here is the Thai Milk Tea based bubble tea I had this weekend.

Thai Milk Tea-based Bubble Tea from Toronto
Thai Milk Tea-based Bubble Tea from Toronto

BTW, bubble tea can also be had warm.

Here is a short video of my bubble tea experience.

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