Bubble tea is a popular drink worldwide that originated in Taiwan. Chun Sui Tang, loosely translated as Spring Water Meeting Place, is a bubble tea house that serves bubble tea and small snacks. The owner invented the first bubble tea in Taichung, Taiwan in 1983. He wanted to find a way to popularize traditional Chinese tea. So instead of hot he served it iced, with milk and chewy tapioca pearls. There are multiple Chun Sui Tang locations throughout Taipei. The bubble tea is great here, as is the food menu, with excellent radish cakes, kung fu noodles, and chicken wings.
50 Lan is a popular chain in Taiwan that I went to almost daily. They serve dozens of varieties of bubble tea. Ask for the English menu if it is not displayed on the counter. I really liked one with pineapple and thin strips of coconut jelly. Like at Starbucks, one can customize the drink by choosing the size of the pearls, small or large, the amount of ice, and the amount of sugar. So instead of a venti skinny vanilla latte no whip, one would order a medium milk tea, less ice, 70% sugar, large pearls. While these drinks might cost $3-4 USD in the US, they are much more reasonably priced in Taiwan at 25-45NT, at an exchange rate of 30NT per USD.
TenRen uses real milk instead of milk powder, and it makes a big difference; this place was a favorite of my local relatives. Sadly, it’s much harder to get my daily bubble tea fix back in the States! Boba Guys in the Mission, San Francisco, make a good one, with freshly brewed tea, Straus Family Creamery milk, and chewy boba.
Chun Sui Tang website here.
50 Lan website here.
Ten Ren website here.
Boba Guys website here.