Now a worldwide mania for gourmets of all age and nationality, bubble milk tea is a classic example of Taiwanese cuisine that has gone beyond the limit of borders and cultures to conquer your appetite. In fact, it now comes as a surprise if a foreigner has not heard of bubble milk tea! Although of course, you can never say you have had real bubble tea until you have it here in Taiwan.
The myth of the invention of bubble milk tea - also known as tapioca milk tea, pearl milk tea or boba - yet varies from city to city in Taiwan. According to urban legends, more than one tea house owner claimed to have invented the symbolic drink by combining traditional tapioca snacks and foreign-imported milk tea in the 1980s. One of the stories even tells the inventor’s sudden inspiration during a boring meeting in 1988, which prompted her to randomly poured her Fen Yuan snack (tapioca) into the iced tea drink and starting the trend. While the truth is possibly never to be found, the peculiar texture and taste of bubble milk tea quickly took the country by storm after the innovation, becoming the latest food trend hailing from East Asia. The drink is then popularized by overseas Taiwanese, Chinese and other Asian communities around the world, and the rest is history.
Not only is its origin story confusing and mesmerizing, the ways and possibilities to personalize your own bubble tea can also be a challenge for foreign visitors in Taiwan. While the classic order is black milk tea with large tapioca-boba, customers are also welcomed to explore the unlimited options of combination such as Wulong Tea, green tea, white gourd tea, white tea - with or without option of milk - as base, and choose from a variety of toppings such as small boba, bean paste, coconut jelly, konjac, lychee jelly or grass jelly. Last but not least, almost every tea house will inquire you to make a clear decision on the amount of sugar and ice you would like in your tea. Actually, Taiwanese locals would advise you to have your tea with half sugar and less ice - anyone who orders full sugar is usually a newbie!
Finally, we are entitled to remind you that bubble milk tea can be very filling, with its bizarre layered taste of sweetness and chewiness for beginners. It is a common trait that foreigners are at first intimidated and confused by the combination of sweetness, fluidity and al-dente texture. We do however promise it is something that will grow on you very quickly. Before you know it, you will be having one everyday during your visit in Taiwan! Soon after, you’ll be joining us in the bubble tea obsession club! You’re welcome, world!
Taipei Food Tour丨Taste All Kinds of Taiwanese Signature Dish in One Single Tour
Traveling in Taiwan? Why not have a lunch with us!
Through our Food Tour, Like It Formosa takes you to the much celebrated Yongkang Street at Dongmen Station of Taipei, where guests will be shown a glimpse of the Taiwanese gourmet culture that locals take pride in. You are advised to come with an empty stomach, as it will be an afternoon that not only opens your eyes but also challenges your appetite!
Wanna try out authentic Bubble Milk Tea? For the third stop of the Food Tour, Like It Formosa will take you to the best spot in town!
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