After our coffee roasting workshop at Coffee Area in the morning, and a lovely lunch at the Carton King Creativity Park, as part of our 5D4N Whirlwind Sponsored trip to Taiwan, it was time to move on to our 2nd hands on event at Chun Shui Tang. Many of us are familiar with GongCha, Koi and ShareTea as bubble tea shops hailing from good old Taiwan. However, I don’t think many of us will have heard about Chun Shui Tang. They are also a Pearl Tea shop, with 30 years of history.
Chun Shui Tang claims to have been the first to invent the Taiwanese Pearl Milk Tea. I’m not so sure if this is true, because one taxi driver we met told us that this is a drink with decades of history. The story has it that because the villagers were poor, they used to add tapioca balls to baby’s milk to help fill up the babies. One day, there was a bit of left over tapioca balls so it was put inside some milk tea which happened to be around. No prizes for guessing what happened next.
Whatever be the truth, it doesn’t detract from the fact that Chun Shui Tang has THE BEST TAIWANESE BUBBLE TEA I have ever had to date! I haven’t tried all that many bubble teas, but compared to Koi and GongCha in Singapore, it’s just WAY BETTER! SERIOUS! I tried both the red bubble tea without milk and the milk bubble tea. Both were fantastic! The tea taste really comes through, especially for the without milk version. For the milk bubble tea, the milk has a lightness to it and the tea taste is also strong. I don’t feel like I’m chugging down a milk drink flavoured with tea. I feel like I am really having tea, with milk!
What’s even more amazing is that I assembled the 2 drinks myself. Considering the fact that I could have put in a little too much of tea, or too much of milk powder, it just goes to show how good the base ingredients were. At least that seems to be the case.
Before I jump into the pictures of the bubble tea making process, let me first showcase a few photos of Chun Shui Tang teahouse. Love the place to bits! The Taichung people believe that a great day is a day spent having afternoon tea. Nothing epitomises that philosophy better than a pretty and inviting tea house, housed in the National Taiwan Museum of Fine Arts. The national museum is located in Taichung, and not Taipei, presumably because the Taichung people are more attuned to the arts?
Hands on Taiwanese Pearl Milk Tea making
Our friendly lost explaining to us the history of Chun Shui Tang as well as the intricacies of obtaining the perfect brew.
All the ingredients and implements necessary to brew a good cuppa bubble tea. Not too difficult to replicate at home I feel, although procuring the best raw ingredients might be a headache.
It’s essential to procure good quality tapioca pearls to ensure the highest chewing pleasure. The tapioca balls may all look similar, but the ones on the top are softer and can be crushed between your finger and thumb, whereas the lower ones can’t.
If you didn’t recognise those grey balls in the picture above, perhaps this may jog your memory. This is how the tapioca pearls look after expanding from being soaked in liquid.
The special milk powder…
Put all the ingredients in this tea making apparatus which has already been filled with lots of ice cubes….and shake it for all you’re worth. There is a technique to creating the optimal amount of fine air bubbles (for the mouth feel), without taking too long such that all the ice melts and dilutes the drink. It appears that shaking it slanted like how I’m holding it, and pumping it towards your chest is the right way to do it.
Voila! The milk tea! I was too eager and drank a bit before I took this shot. Didn’t even realise that I didn’t take a shot of the bubble tea without milk.
Me, the Chun Shui Tang’s boss’s daughter, and MissTamChiak.
Thank you iSee Taiwan Foundation for inviting me on this wonderful trip to Taiwan and for planning so many great activities! This hands-on workshop is open to the public. If you want more information on it, you can contact iSee Taiwan Foundation. They will be most happy to assist, advice and ply you with all the information you need as the iSee Taiwan Foundation’s aim is to promote Taiwan to the world!
春水堂人文茶館 Chun Shui Tang Cultural Tea House
No. 2號, Section 1, Wǔquán West Rd, Xi District, Taichung City, Taiwan 403
National Taiwan Museum of Fine Arts B1
Tel: (04) 2376-3342