Bubble Tea Bubbly

Taipei

Bubble tea (also called milk tea or boba tea) is a tea-based drink mixed with either milk or fruit juices, served with tapioca balls (known as pearls). Its origin stems from Taichung, Taiwan in the 1980s. Chun Shui Tang storeowner Liu Han-Chieh started the practice of serving Chinese tea cold. The idea of adding pearls came in 1988, after Liu’s product development manager, Lin Hsiu Hui, poured her fen yuan (粉圓, a Taiwanese tapioca dessert) into her refreshment. Today, the unique beverage combo is found on practically every corner of the country. Taipei spoils you with choice, but we’ve rounded up the capital’s best!

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Updated 2 years ago


Chun Shui Tang (Shin Kong Mitsukoshi A9)

春水堂

3 saves

Taipei, China • Recommendation • 

Taste bubble tea where it all started—at the legendary Chun Shui Tang! The original is in Taichung and deserves a visit by staunch milk tea fanatics. However, at 160 to 170 kilometers away (two hours by car or 40 minutes by high-speed rail), it becomes a true pilgrimage. Luckily, the store has opened multiple outlets in Taipei, and most of them even serve Taiwanese fare to go with their best-selling Pearl Milk Tea. Snag a table to have your beverage delivered in its iconic long glass; or, take it to go and watch the baristas expertly concoct your creamy drink by the take-out counter,

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Yi Fang Fruit Tea (Yongkang)

一芳水果茶

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Taipei, China • Recommendation • 

Get a refreshing burst of flavors at Yi Fang Fruit Tea! The chain primarily sells fruit-infused teas, made using locally-sourced ingredients. They also refrain from using concentrated liquids (and instead applies fresh fruit extract), which makes their selection a generally healthier option. Keep it simple with their Yi Fang Fruit Tea, a blend of passion fruit, pineapple, orange, and Longjing tea.

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50 Lan (Ximen)

50嵐

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Taipei, China • Recommendation • 

You’ll spot 50 Lan’s distinct bright blue and yellow signs all over the city. Stop by any of its branches to savor their high-quality bubble tea. Hot or cold, as a juice or a latte, or with big or small pearls—they have a combo fit for every mood. The store’s drinks are so beloved that it’s practically a local accessory! Don a cup of your own; we suggest starting with either their Pearl Milk Tea (for the classicist) or any of their ice cream teas (for the self-indulgent).

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Presotea (Ximending Chengdu)

鮮茶道

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Taipei, China • Recommendation • 

Each beverage at Presotea is made fresh after you order. The store prides itself in bringing out the aromatic flavors of their tea by brewing them using an espresso-like machine. Our favorite order is the Pineapple Pouchong Tea, which includes a generous amount of pineapple bits. Be careful when you take a sip, it’s a mouthful!

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DaYung's (Taipei Mansion)

大苑子

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Taipei, China • Recommendation • 

DaYung’s is a local gem that’s favored by students from the nearby National Taiwan University Shuiyuan Campus. The shop concocts their fruit teas using local natural ingredients, giving each cup a rejuvenating zing! The Grapefruit Green Tea is the way to go, but keep an eye out for seasonal drinks which come and go throughout the year!

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Ten Ren's Tea (Fuxing North Road)

天仁茗茶復興店

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Taipei, China • Recommendation • 

Ten Ren Tea’s claim to fame is actually its range of boxed teas. Enjoy their first-rate leaves steeped into yummy variations of hot and cold boba teas. Don’t expect any frills on your refreshment; the shop lets every decoction shine on its own. They highlight traditional favorites, such as the must-have King’s Oolong Milk Tea. Before you go, grab a pack of teas to give as gifts to friends back home!

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Oregin (Zhongshan Liaoning)

(圓石禪飲

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Taipei, China • Recommendation • 

Every order at Oregin comes with a neat souvenir! The brand delivers their bubble tea in chic plastic bottles that are non-toxic, acid-resistant, heat-resistant, and, most importantly, recyclable. Adding to their efforts towards environmental responsibility, Oregin cuts back on additives. They’ve even made the bold leap to serve their drinks sans the pearls; that means you get an entire sip-full of your tea!

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Chen San Ding (Roosevelt Road)

陳三鼎

4 saves

Taipei, China • Recommendation • 

Join the long queue at Chen San Ding to get your hands on one of Taipei’s best bubble teas! The humble shop’s famous drink is 青蛙撞奶 (qīngwā zhuàng nǎi), which literally translates to “frog knocks milk.” Rest assured, no frogs were harmed in the making of your beverage; it was named so because the pearls look like frog eggs. It consists of cold milk topped with freshly cooked tapioca balls previously soaked in brown sugar. The combo presents a satisfying balance of temperatures and flavors, starting a delightful party in your mouth!

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About Taiwan, China

Don’t let its size fool you, Taiwan is home to a 23-million strong population that keep its spirited traditions and luxurious culture alive

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