Friday, March 23, 2012

Taipei: Originators of Milk Tea - Day 1 (Pt. 2)

This time in Taipei, I also got to try two of the originators of boba milk tea! Why two? Well, the Taiwanese government officially recognizes Han Lin 翰林 and 春水堂 Chun Shui Tang 春水堂 as the inventors of milk tea! Both started out in Taichung 台中 and now they have locations throughout Taiwan. Han Lin I had after the buffet with my grandma, aunt, and cousin, while I had Chun Shui Tang with a few friends. Somehow things worked out and I had both places on the same day!

A little backstory. Skip this part if you want :P

If you know me, then you know I'm a huge HUGE milk tea fanatic. Even this blog's name is oolong milk tea. I don't really know when this obsession started, but I think it was due to the lack of selections when I first moved to the States that made me realize how much I love this drink.

It really was a common thing when I lived in Taiwan as a kid, and I'm sure most of the population don't think too much of it, but when I moved here, I can honestly say there was no good milk tea around the South Bay area in LA. I had to wait until the weekends when my parents would drive my sister and I over to the 626 area to do errands, grocery shopping, or visit family friends to get milk tea from Tea Station or something. I never liked the "chain" tea shops like Lollicup and TapEx cause... well they are horrible! Nothing in the States was close to the milk tea in Taiwan so that just made me want it more. Tea Station did alright to satisfy to cravings, and only these last few years did legit tea shops pop up (Half & Half, Le Arbre, Oh My Pan etc).

My sister probably also fueled my obsession for milk tea, since like me, she's also crazy about it. It is funny to see people's reaction when they hear how I've driven 40-50 minutes to San Gabriel just to get milk tea, and how she's done the same, but really, we just want a cup of milk tea. I see it as.... our coffee obsession?

This year, I've decided to keep a tally of how many milk teas or any similar Asian tea drinks I've had and so far I've tallied around 40? Yes.. I admit it is a bit much, for AMERICANS! Talking to my cousins in Taiwan, they are either around the same as me or more! Some people in Taiwan have it at least once a day, so I'll just use the Taiwanese milk tea average and say my consumption rate of these drinks is just average :]

milk tea
Han Lin 翰林 Milk Tea. The location I went to is the one located inside Uni-Hanyu Department Store 統一板急. It is just a tea stand but there's always a line. It's also quite expensive for Taiwan's standard with a regular size drink at around $55NT! But it is definitely worth it... there's just something about the tea and the way they make the milk tea that makes the drink almost.. creamy.

That night, I met up with Hubert & Tina for dinner and they suggested Chun Shui Tang. Comparison purpose, it is like the Tea Station in the States. They have various of Taiwanese dishes and a drinks menu.

boba milk tea
I went for the large boba milk tea. This was even more expensive at well over $100NT! I guess they justify it since this is a sit down place. Again, VERY GOOD milk tea. Creamy, frothy, and you can still taste the tea. Boba balls were cooked in brown sugar and smaller than the usual ones. Pretty damn awesome how big it is hahaha.

small size
Small boba milk tea.

you fan
Tina went for the you fan 油飯.

3 cup chicken
Hubert and I ordered the 3 Cup Chicken Plate 三杯雞.

Definitely had better 3 cup chicken before :P

What the plate comes it. Pretty healthy meal actually! Plenty of veggie and there's a braised egg as well.

Multigrain rice is a nice touch.

red bean soup
After the meal they also serve red bean soup as dessert. Suuuuper sweet so perfect for the ones with a sweet tooth.

After having both on the same day, I got to say... I might like Han Lin's better, just because it's not as expensive but both were very good and are exactly how a traditional milk tea tastes. Strong milky flavor that's shaken so well that's it's somewhat creamy and frothy... damn... I can go for a milk tea right now.


S.O.F.A.T. Blog said...

The tally of milk tea is very awesome! Let's see how many you've had at the end of the year! I have tallies of how many times I've eaten at Porto's and King Taco in a year!