Bubble tea shops occupy nearly every corner of Taiwan’s streets. They spread to neighboring countries like Japan, South Korea and China and then to the rest of the world. I admit I never really understood the love of bubble tea since I had one too many mediocre or even terrible cups of bubble tea. It’s either the tea is saccharine sweet or the tapioca pearls (or “bubbles”) textures are off.
Chun Shui Tang 春水堂 is founded by Liu Han-Chieh, first came up with the idea of serving Chinese tea cold in the early 1980s after visiting Japan where he saw coffee served cold. While there are 13 locations in Taipei, we went to the one located in the luxury department store, Shinkong Mitsukoshi in Xinyi District since it’s the closest to us and I came there with an open mind. The sprawling old school tea house ambiance makes it feel charming.
We started off with the brand’s signature (and best seller) original bubble tea and mango and coconut cream pearl tea were simply the best bubble teas I’ve ever had. The tapioca pearls were perfectly chewy and tender and the respective teas were incredibly flavorful without being too sweet.
Chun Shui Tang’s staff employs great precision and only use top-quality ingredients. The teahouse uses only the highest quality Taiwanese-produced milk and tapioca balls are discarded if cooked for more than three hours.
The snacks we started off with were were brown sugar mochi with dipping sauces of coconut cream and black sesame powder and pan fried turnip cakes. The mochi was chewy and barely sweetened. The sauces enhanced the flavors of the mochi. The fresh fried turnip cakes were gently crisp and firm texture.
For something more substantial, the large bowl of braised beef noodles were delicious. The chewy noodles, the slightly spiciness of the beef broth and the abundance of beef and silky beef tendons in the bowl. This bowl of noodles impressed me besides the one at YEN Restaurant.
We did order one more tea before heading out — passion fruit jasmine iced tea. The passion fruit jasmine tea was light and pleasantly sweet and tart from the mixture of jasmine tea and passion fruit juice. We took a few sips in the glass and the staff is more than happy to transfer any leftover teas to a takeaway cup.
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Chun Shui Tang 春水堂
Multiple locations but visited:
No. 9, Songshou Rd, Xinyi District, Taipei City, Taiwan 110