When Hong Kong meets Taiwan

Back when I was about 11, when bubble tea was the rage, when it sold like hotcakes, and when it was the in thing, I snubbed it. I thought, what’s the deal about bubble tea? I mean, it’s just tea, milk, and huge marbles of tapioca that might just choke you, right?

Well yeah, that’s a possibility.

But all of that changed last summer. The group of us were pretty tired walking through the streets of San Francisco. Thanks to somewhere in the midst of Chinatown, we got to share a cup of bubble tea.

Right there and then, I changed my opinion in a heartbeat.

I frequently dine at Hong Kong cafes and when I do order a drink, I make sure it is a steaming cup of milk tea. It’s not just your average cup of lipton, but a drink that derives from black/ceylon tea and evaporated milk.

The same tea is mainly sold in Taiwan, only with the addition of chewy tapioca pearls that’s all in the name of fun.

When I made this, I didn’t use exact measurements, but played around to taste. I can only give you the ingredients you need.

Bubble Tea

Black Tea, brewed
Evaporated Milk
Tapioca Pearls (you may purchase them. They are to be cooked in boiling water)
Condensed milk/Honey/Sugar, to taste (however, condensed milk gives the tea a richer and fuller taste)

note: It is easier to mix in the sweetener when the milk tea is hot

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18 thoughts on “When Hong Kong meets Taiwan

  1. Aw I love bubble tea. Unfortunately, working at a Chinese restaurant where we made amazing bubble tea in like 20 flavors has totally spoiled me. I can’t even find an equally good version in Washington, D.C.! I like the simplicity of this, though, so it may be time to give it a try at home :).

  2. I never tried the Taiwanese version with ‘Bubbles’, but ever since I first read about HK Milk Tea, it has become a morning tradition in my family, albeit always on ice!

  3. I LOVE bubble tea! It is so fattening so I cannot get it every day though >_< I did not know that bubble tea was not so popular in America any more… when I lived in MN, it just wasn't available, and one cup was around $4.50!! And that is only maybe 400-500cc size. The L size cost over $5! Here (in Taiwan) I can easily get fresh, delicious bubble tea for NT$25 for 700cc :) The more expensive ones are NT$30 or NT$35, but still so good! I used to make my own at home, too.

    There is instant milk tea powder available for people like me who are too lazy to make the milk tea portion :P

    Now I am craving bubble tea D:

      • !! is the instant powder more expensive than making it? I think the kind I bought recently (in Taiwan) is more expensive than just making it too…. ^^; But I like it because it is in teabags :P

        In MN it was cheaper to get a big bag of powder (no teabags) than to get the evaporated milk and condensed milk! So different… but still very tasty! ♥

  4. I love bubble tea! I always complained to the seller that their bubble tea is simply way too sweet! I will definitely look out for some bubbles next time when I am out shopping! I hope I can find some …

  5. Id change my opnion in a heart beat too , i lovveee those tapioca pearls in lods of stuff and this is so interesting , i feel like lods of bubble goodies now:-)
    Cute blog!!

  6. I love the tea! I got it with the pearls the other day cause the young girls in front of me did, and everyone I see has them. I wasn’t the biggest fan of them though. Maybe it’s an acquired thing, like durian. :) But since I can just walk down the street and get it for under 2$, I probably won’t be making it myself.

  7. Hey There! That BubbleTea looks ahh-mazing! I was just in San Fran for Halloween and we spend quite a bit of time in Chinatown! It was my favorite part of my trip. It was raining and we sat in this tea shop and did tastings and learned so much. I’m going to try your recipe. XOXO

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