Pearl milk tea, or what is more commonly called bubble tea, has become Taiwan’s most popular drink with anyone and everyone drinking a cup or two on a weekly basis. So it shouldn’t be surprising that when it comes to buying bubble tea, there are many options, especially in Taipei. Here are some of the best.
The original Chun Shui Tang store in Taichung is said to be the birthplace of pearl milk tea back in the early 80s, so it’s understandable that its brand has grown in popularity in the years since. There are many locations throughout Taipei where customers can sample the original pearl milk tea of old or opt for one of the many variations on the extensive menu.
Hanlin Teahouse is a Tainan-based company that now has branches all over the island. Some consider the original store in Tainan as the true creator of pearl milk tea, but Chun Shui Tang might have something to say about that. Nevertheless, Hanlin Teahouses are now full-fledged restaurants serving up traditional Taiwanese cuisine alongside an impressive variety of teas.
50 Lan is a chain of tea stores where customers can buy hot and cold drinks to go. This brand is a little more modern in its approach to this classic drink, and the menu and décor reflect this. Fruit teas are popular at 50 Lan, and every drink on the menu has the option of being served with tapioca balls. Affordable, cheerful, and a little different, 50 Lan is a nice alternative to traditional shops.
Ten Ren’s Tea is one of the most popular tea shop chains in Taiwan. Its locations have a more traditional feel to them as they primarily sell boxes of tea. However, since the company has branched out into serving hot and cold drinks, it has become one of the most popular places for fans of traditional variations of pearl milk tea. You won’t find any strawberry milk latte bubble tea concoctions here, but the simple and straightforward teas that are served are very well made.
A store that breaks from the norm, Kenting Dan Dan Milk Tea has an interesting menu with some great options that you will not find anywhere else. Here the focus is more on the things added to the tea, such as toppings and flavored tapioca balls rather than the tea itself. Again, like 50 Lan, it’s a nice alternative to the original flavors of other popular tea shops.
Now, while pearl milk tea is often the most popular option, there’s no reason why it has to contain milk, especially during the hot summer months. Yi Fang Fruit Tea specializes in milkless fruit teas, which are incredibly tasty and refreshing. What could be better than a mango iced tea with pearls on a hot and humid day? We can’t think of much. For those who aren’t fans of milky drinks or strong tea flavors, this place is the best!
Chen San Ding is a tea store located in the lively Gongguan neighborhood. Here students from the local university will queue up to get their hands on any drink from this shop. Like Kenting Dan Dan, this place has a few nice non-traditional options that include sweet pearls and less tea. In fact, you can even buy pure milk drinks with pearls.