Taiwan: Bubble Drink Madness!

by - November 27, 2018

Tasting bubble drink is one of the main reason for me and Mira to visit Taiwan. Many reputable bubble drink shops in Indonesia are originated from Taiwan, which made us eager to taste them in their home turf.

As soon as we got out of the airport, we realized how shortsighted that goal of us, indeed. It was hard to turn a road in Taipei without finding a bubble drink store from many different brands, a lot of which can’t be found in Indonesia. Not to mention, we observe that everybody on the road seems to hold some kind of milk tea or bubble drink instead of a cup of coffee. Knowing that, we immediately switch our goal into tasting as many brands as we could during our stay, preferably those that can’t be found in Indonesia.

Bubble drink everywhere! They even have a customized bubble drink cup holder, so it could be easily carried everywhere.

By the time we got back home, we’ve tried 7 different bubble drink brands in our 4 days there. Quite an achievement, isn't it? Therefore, in this occasion I’m going to list 5 brands that we liked the most, sorted ascendingly.

50 Lan (50嵐)

Price: 40 NTD (around IDR 20k)

This yellow iconic brand is hard to miss.

Preparing our drink.

This is one of the shops that seems to be everywhere. In some other countries, they are renamed as KOI, which exists in Indonesia as well. While the one in Indonesia seems to be more popular on their Cafe Macchiato, the one in Taiwan seemed more popular on their tea-based drinks instead.

Oolong Tea with Coconut Jelly and Pearl

We tried their Oolong Tea with Coconut Jelly and Pearl, which was one of the 5 recommended drink based on the poster that we saw at the shop we visited. The taste was good but not exactly special. We ordered it with 30% sugar and less ice, but still, Mira found it too sweet to her taste bud. I like the taste that those coconut jellies added. The good thing is, the price is reasonable.

Liang Liang Hao

Price: 45 NTD (around IDR 22.5k)


A very nice egg tart! Pretty close with the one that we've tasted in Lisbon!

This is the first brand that we tried. After we were shown Maokong and Taipei downtown by Guan, we went to Taipei 101. There was a large foodcourt on the lower ground and we were intrigued by this place due to the smell of Portuguese egg tart (which tasted really great!). Upon ordering egg tart, we quickly realized that they offer bubble milk tea as well. The fatigue after walking long distance make the decision easy for us to order one. The milk tea had original taste and the bubble also tasted nice. We ordered this drink with 30% sugar and it suited us well. I wonder how sweet it is if we order with full amount of sugar. Beware of the diabetes, guys!

Coco

Price: 55 NTD (around IDR 27.5k)


Coco is known to be one of the high profile bubble drink in Indonesia. One of the shop can be found in Pacific Place, Jakarta, so you can imagine. In taiwan though, they are another brand with lots of branches. Seems like they're one of the most famous one, in the same level with 50 Lan.

Pearl Milk Tea with Egg Pudding and Grass Jelly. Slurrp~

We tried Coco in the middle of 12 KM cycling from Dazhi MRT to Shihlin Night Market. Our water was running out quickly, and Coco was the first shop that we found when we decided that we need hydration. Pearl milk tea with egg pudding, and grass jelly was our choice because it was the number 1 recommendation. I really like the taste of various toppings in one slurp, and they all have different textures as well so it was like a party in our mouth. It was actually hard to decide number 3 between this one and Liang Liang Hao. But Coco definitely won for the triple toppings.

Milkshop

Price: 65 NTD (around IDR 32.5k)

At first glance of their menu list, we could easily say that the average price of the drinks here are higher than other shops, but don’t let that discourage you from trying. We found this shop as it was located just around the corner of our Airbnb, and there was always a queue in front of it.


So, before we embark to Jiufen, we decided to try a drink here. And boy, apparently, the drink easily worth the price tag and more. Firstly, they use a high quality tea. Secondly, they use a super fresh milk on their drinks, which produced on the very same day. I decided to order the earl grey pearl milk tea, so that I could have different taste other than the original milk tea.

Earl Grey Pearl Milk Tea

After a sip, I could easily taste the unique fragrance of earl grey on it, since me and Mira are the avid earl grey tea drinker (we drink it almost every morning, with milk). And lastly, the pearl has unique taste that blend really well with the drink. I thought this was the best bubble drink until I tried the eventual first place.

Chen San Ding (陳三鼎青蛙鮮奶)

Price: 40 NTD (around IDR 20k)

Walk from Gongguan MRT station to Gongguan night market, and you can find this shop immediately due to the long queue in front of it. Just from the queue alone, me and Mira has a high expectation from this. We came a bit early, so the queue was not very long, and we could get our drink within 2 minutes. I reckon that even in their busiest hour we don’t have to wait really long in the queue as the shopkeeper served the drinks really quick. They don't have english menu so we just ordered the same thing like everybody else ordered. 


Now onto the drink itself, it was simply the tastiest pearl drink we’ve ever tried. This shop put a freshly made pearl in front of you so you can be sure that it was fresh. They also use fresh milk instead of powered one, and they use the black sugar, which made it really different to the others. The texture is really unique in a very good way. It has a perfect chewiness. Not too easy to break, but not too firm either. It was the kind of taste that you have to try by yourself to fully understand.

Look at that beauty, when the black sugar blends with the fresh milk.

We also didn't have time to adjust our drink (like I told you previously, we always opt for 30% sugar), since the shopkeeper spoke too fast and didn't speak english much. Therefore, we got the full level of sugar! Mira looked a bit hesitate to took a sip, as she doesn't like too much sugar on everything, but after a sip, she immediately asked me to buy another cup. We planned to share a cup as we thought we already had to much sugar in Taipei, but to this one, no one can say no! Even though the level of sugar is 100%, the level of sweetness suited us really well. I guess cause they use different kind of sugar. 

If you happened to visit Taipei, do spare your time to come here and try this heavenly drink! You'll thank us later.

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A Honorable Mention:

Nameless shop in Raohe Night Market.



We don’t remember the name of this shop, but we really think that this shop worth a honorable mention in this post. This shop was not a bubble drink shop per se (or maybe they sell some, I'm not quite sure), but they sell a really nice honey dew milk tea. The price is 50 NTD for a biggest cup that you will find in Taiwan (just about the size of your head!).


So, which one do you want to try?

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PS: This post is written by Junda

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