Archive for the ‘Taichung’ Category

Chun Shui Tang Tea House 春水堂 (Taiwan – Taipei)

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.

Chun Shui Tang (33)

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?

Chun Shui Tang (26)

Chun Shui Tang (21)

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Coffee Area Coffee House 珈琲院 (Taiwan –Taichung)

On the 3rd day of our sponsored Whirlwind 5D4N trip to Taiwan, we arose bright and early to make the best of a beautiful day. Seriously, a blue sky day with cold crisp air just makes my heart sing! I was all raring to venture out, but we had to pack our tummies with a little something first because the 1st stop of the day was to go coffee tasting!

Coffee Area Coffee House (15)

Actually, we didn’t just get the opportunity to sample freshly brewed coffee, we got to witness the ENTIRE coffee roasting process from bean to brew!

Coffee Area Coffee House (6)

This is the boss of Coffee Area. He is an extremely jovial character, with a rather humorous streak. The shop is only open from Wednesday to Sunday. We visited on a Tuesday and we heard that he’d specially opened his shop just for our visit. This is a rare treat because we were told that Taichung people are laid back, many of whom work for fun and not for a living. You will find that when you are in Taichung, shops may not open all hours of the day just to cater to customers or to generate the most amount of profit. On the contrary, people are friendlier than in Taipei.

Don’t mind the camera man at the back. He filmed us the whole of our third day in Taiwan. Felt a little like a celebrity! Smile

Coffee Area Coffee House - Portable mini coffee roasting machine (4)

This is the portable roaster. I used to think that coffee roasting was a very complicated process best left to the experts, but after viewing this contraption work its magic, I feel compelled to purchase one of these babies.

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Carton King Creativity Park 紙箱王 (Taiwan – Taichung)

After our dinner at Quan Hotpot Restaurant (寬巷子) near Shilin MRT Station, we got onto Taiwan’s High Speed Rail 台灣高鐵 and made our way to Taichung. The distance from Taipei to Taichung by High Speed Rail is about 160km, but it took just an hour to get there!  I wish we had High Speed Rails in Singapore! It takes a bloody hour to get from Pasir Ris to Boonlay for god’s sake, and that’s only 36 km! Of course, the price is very different. The trip from Taipei to Taichung cost NT700 which is about SGD$33. But still, sometimes it would be nice to have a choice.

After our massive eating the last 2 days, Day 3 of our Whirlwind Trip to Taiwan courtesy of iSee Taiwan Foundation turned out to be a very hands-on day, of which I am quite thankful. I’m going to be blogging about Carton King Creativity Park first, which is where we had our lunch. Will blog about our coffee roasting and sampling experience in the upcoming post.

Carton King Creativity Park is a pretty little garden with adjoining restaurant, honey store and souvenir store. As the name suggests, cartons are the rule here. It’s actually quite unbelievable that most of the things you see here are really made of cardboard!

Carton King - (23)

Carton King has been in the paper industry for more than 20 years, engaged in the development and design of paper. They have more than 2000 products and over 100 patents. So it was only natural that they showcase some of their interesting and creative designs in their very own park.

Carton King - (27)

Check out the tables and chairs in Carton King’s restaurant. They are all made of cardboard. We tend to think of paper materials as being rather flimsy and easy to tear apart. However, if you pack them together into thick cardboard form, they hold their strength pretty well! I was just a tad apprehensive sitting down for the first time, but you soon forget that they are not “real furniture”.

Carton King - Boston Herb Roasted Spring Chicken NT360 SGD17

Boston Herb Roasted Spring Chicken NT360 SGD17

More about the cardboardy stuff later. First up, LUNCH! Carton King’s restaurant serves up a pretty good variety of food. The set lunches are rather affordable, at about NT350 (SGD$15) so that’s what we all had. The set lunches come with mains, side dishes like rice, soup and dessert, and also a drink in a nifty little cardboard box. All the meats are from Taiwan Agricultural Livestock Industry.

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