10 Milk Tea Shops in Taiwan
Milk tea, “nai cha”, bubble tea, boba tea – whatever you call it, this seemingly innocuous blend of tea and milk (or fruit juice) topped with tapioca pearls (and many other topping options) has become a worldwide phenomenon. In recent years, the bubble tea industry is now generating billions of dollars annually selling creatively concocted tea-based beverages – and it is all thanks to a little Asian nation where it all started: Taiwan.
You may have tried the most popular milk tea shops of them all – brands which have established a strong milk tea-loving fanbase in countries around the world: Coco, Gong Cha, and Chatime have branches that are most ubiquitous. Other more traditional brands are gaining traction as well: Yi Fang, Tiger Sugar, Xing Fu Tang (which has opened shop in Canada).
In this article however, is a list of eleven relatively less commercialised Taiwan-based milk tea shops you might want to check out, each with their own special blend of tea or milk tea drinks.
Editor’s note: While this is not a comprehensive list, the writer has personally tried all of these shops except for Bobii Frutii and SOMA; all of these are definitely must-try tea places when you visit Taiwan.
1. Kebuke Tea Company 可不可熟成紅茶
Kebuke is a tea shop originated from Taichung, Taiwan, where most of their drinks are infused with black tea and topped with signature white pearls. Kebuke’s branding is oriental with a touch of quirk and playfulness, letting you be more open to try out a new drink or two.
Try: Wintermelon Black Tea with White Pearls, Black Tea with White Pearls
Location: Taipei Station Front Store (No. 34, Nanyang Street, Zhongzheng District, Taipei City)
2. TP Tea 茶湯會
In 2005, TP TEA was started to honor the tea-drinking practice of the Tang and Song Dynasty, bringing forth decades of history in blending tea to create quality drinks easily available to the modern public.
Try: Tieguanyin Tea Latte, Pearl Black Tea Latte with Red Bean
Location: Taipei Xinyi Store – No. 3, Songcin St., Xinyi Dist. Map
3. Wanpo Tea Shop 波島嶼紅茶
The founder of Wanpo Tea Shop grew up in a Taiwan military village, where he opened a humble tea shop to help his family earn a living. Today, the brand has expanded to three Asian countries and dozens of cities, serving a wide variety of regular and seasonal tea and fruit-based drinks.
Try: Brown Sugar Bubble with Milk, Wintermelon Lemon Tea
4. Jen Ju Dan 珍煮丹
Established in 1999 at Taipei’s famous Shilin Night Market, Jenjudan has perfected its brown sugar pearls through over a year of research and development. Jenjudan is fast expanding to many cities, including Seoul, Tokyo, Manila, and Singapore.
Try: Brown Sugar Pearl with Milk, Brown Sugar Grass Jelly with Milk
5. Bobii Frutii 珍珠水果特調
Founded by a young couple in 2016, Bobii Frutii seeks to promote healthier bubble tea drinks, making use of natural ingredients, including premium cane sugar which is made in-house. Bobii Frutii combines traditional Taiwanese tea culture with modern elements, serving not just your regular milk tea.
Try: Mermaid’s Tears (mango + lemon + milk + butterfly pea pearls), Extraordinary Bubble Milk Tea (black tea, fresh milk, brown sugar pearls), Uji Snow (matcha with milk and pearls)
Location: No.8, Ln. 13, Yongkang St., Da’an Dist., Taipei City 106, Taiwan
6. Rabbit Rabbit Tea 兔子兔子茶飲專賣店
A milk tea shop that calls itself Rabbit Rabbit must not be taking itself too seriously – and yet, this brand makes seriously great quality tea drinks. From simple black tea to those that have unique ingredients like buckwheat and tiramisu, there is a drink here that will best suit every type of tea drinker.
Try: Blue Lady Earl Tea Latte, Jinxuan Oolong Tea Latte
Location: Xinyi Weixiu Store: 2/F, No. 20 Songshou Road, Xicun District, Xinyi District, Taipei
7. Day Day Drink 日日裝茶
If you are looking for classic Taiwanese tea and pearl drinks, Day Day Drink is for you. They serve a wide array of fresh tea and fruit drinks with consistent quality and simple aesthetics.
Try: Brown Sugar Pearl with Fresh Milk, Matcha Milk Tea with Red Bean
8. SOMA: Tea and Mocktails 特調飲品
SOMA is an upscale tea brand that differentiates itself from other tea brands by adhering to the spirit of French cuisine with an R&D team dedicated to concocting the perfect drink. Their black tea base is made from tea leaves sourced from Taiwan, Sri Lanka, and India. They offer not only tea-based drinks, but colorful mocktails and fruit drinks as well. If you are in the hunt for unique drinks at premium prices, SOMA: Tea and Mocktails is worth a try.
Try: Kyoto Matcha Milk Tea, Natural Black Sesame Tea
Location: 106, Taipei City, Da’an District, Lane 187, Section 1, Dunhua South Road, 23號
9. Hua Da 樺達奶茶
One of the oldest tea milk tea shops from Kaohsiung City in Southern Taiwan, Hua Da is a very simple, no-nonsense milk tea brand where you get a seamless blend of chilled tea and chilled milk – no ice needed – and you’re all set!
Try: Milk Green Tea, Oolong Milk Tea (tip: order your drink with half or quarter sugar)
Location: Eslite Bookshop, Taipei Main Station Second Floor
10. Dream Color 夢之飲
Dream Color’s rainbow-colored drinks are guaranteed to taste just as good as they look. The secret to these multi-colored flavored drinks is butterfly pea flower tea – a type of tea that is steeped to create a deep blue tea that changes color based on the drink’s acidity.
Try: Butterfly Pea Milkshake (milk + butterfly pea flower tea), Pearl Green Tea Latte
Location: No. 2, Lane 50, Hanzhong Street, Wanhua District, Taipei, Taiwan
🌱 A friendly green reminder 🌱
While we all love our tea and boba, we can still enjoy them while not producing waste in the end. To avoid single-use products, try to bring reusable straws in ordering drinks from outside. To go on a step further, why not try bringing a reusable tumbler to save on plastic cups as well? Once you try it once, it will be easier to make it a habit. In a world where resources are limited, let us all be conscious of what we consume.