ah, the land of bubble tea! 😍 once you find the perfect balance of ice, sweetness and chewiness, it’s probably one of the best drinks out there. and to think we’ve been suspicious of the british all this time for putting milk in their tea… maybe they were missing the bubbles!
in taiwan, tea and drinks shops are everywhere, and so we’ve been having it as much of it as the fancy strikes. our airbnb in taipei has both a 50岚 and a tenren nearby, and they’re both really good. you order what you want, and the people prepare it for you in a couple of minutes — making the tea, mixing the right amount of sugar and ice, adding the little tapioca balls and shaking everything before pouring it into a cup. i’ve almost managed to make the whole order in chinese, but there always seems to be something tripping me… last time i got through almost to the end, only for the lady to ask me what size of tapioca pearls did i want. this is the issue with chinese: vocabulary acquisition is ridiculously time-consuming, and i can really feel that my vocabulary is not up to snuff.
anyway, it’s worth the learning curve for the joy that is walking around while sipping and chewing slightly sweet bubble tea on a hot day. and sometimes, it doesn’t even need to have tea inside — our favorite variation of the drink was just milk with brown sugar pearls, topped with burnt sugar, with taro flavor being a close second.
the only bad thing about it is all the disposable cups and plastic straws. most of the cups now are made of a kind of cardboard (since taiwan banned single-use plastic cups last year) but the straws are still problematic. if i stayed longer, i’d definitely consider a reusable cup, but they’re kind of useless back home… :( oh well.