Taiwanese Tea Beverages: Bubbles shake tea

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Stop here with a cup of tea, read what I think, sip some Chinese culture knowledge, perhaps…makes your life change.

                                                                                                                                    -by Hsiao-Yu Liao

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台灣茶(tái wān chá -Taiwanese Tea) has been developed for 200 years or so. It’s one of the traditional beverages for Taiwanese people and has a strong connection with their lives. 烏龍茶(wūlóngchá – Oolong Tea), 高山茶(gāoshānchá – High Mountain Tea), 日月潭紅茶(rìyuètán hóngchá – Sun Moon Lake Black Tea) are some famous flavored tea brands of Taiwan. Besides the traditional way to drink tea with an exquisite tea set, Taiwanese tea blends with its unique culture and appears in every tea house on the streets, making it into a special popular culture.

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泡沫紅茶(pàomò hóngchá – Foam Ice Tea)

泡沫紅茶(pàomò hóngchá – Foam Ice Tea), originated from a small beverage shop in Taichung, the central part of Taiwan during the 1980s. The shopper found that tea added with syrup and shaken by the so-called shaker can produce a creamy foam, surprising him with its unexpected smooth taste. He then decided to make it as the special drink of 茶飲店(cháyǐndiàn – Tea House) and it has soon become popular among Taiwanese people of all ages. Its feature is to shake the tea with some syrup and ice in a certain proportion by manpower but later there came the shaker machine, invented especially for this kind of beverage making. Since then, the tea house has become the rage and expanded into a chain of retail stores.

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茶飲店(cháyǐndiàn – Tea House)

茶飲店(cháyǐndiàn – Tea House) is usually run by a complex management. there are not only general ordinary beverages such as 紅茶(hóngchá – Black Tea), 綠茶(lùchá – Green Tea) and 奶茶(nǎichá – Milk Tea) but also all kinds of special blended beverages featured by the tea house on the menu. These special blended beverages add in chewy taste toppings, ranging from 粉圓(fen yuán – Tapioca Pearls), 椰果 (yēguǒ – Coconut Jelly), 布丁(bùdīng – Pudding), 愛玉(ai yù – aiyu Jelly or Vegetarian Gelatin) to 仙草(xiāncǎo – Grass Jelly). the most popular topping is粉圓(fěn yuán – Tapioca Pearls) which are widely known as 珍珠(zhēnzhū -Bubble or Boba) for 珍珠奶茶(zhēnzhū nǎichá – Bubble Milk Tea). Except for the toppings, customers also have additional options, that are the sugar and the ice. Whether you want your drink “with sugar or without”, or “no ice, regular or extra ice”, the shopper can customize their drink. Pudding milk tea with half sugar and less ice or bubble black tea without sugar and ice? You decide.

珍珠奶茶-曉榆-已製

珍珠奶茶(zhēnzhū nǎichá – Bubble Milk Tea)

Nowadays, people take珍珠奶茶(zhēnzhū nǎichá – Bubble Milk Tea) as the representative of all kinds of foam ice tea and products of the tea house, due to the extraordinary taste, flavor and much more than a drink, it turns into a snack and a drink all in one, as a convenient non-leaking-great-for-take-away beverage and has been considered Taiwan’s most famous export as it has successfully made its way across borders into east Asia, Europe, America and even some countries in The Middle East. 珍珠奶茶(zhēnzhū nǎichá – Bubble Milk Tea) moves effortlessly into every part of the world because it can adapt easily into different cultures. Its flavors and options have no limits and are virtually borderless. Its adaptations will conquer even the pickiest and most traditional palates.

Next time, when you see a Taiwanese茶飲店(cháyǐndiàn – Tea House) on the streets, don’t hesitate to give it a try! Order your special beverage to enjoy one of the world’s 50 most delicious drinks from Taiwan!

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