Food For Fun #6: Chun Shui Tang (春水堂) – Make your own Bubble Tea
Traveling is not solely about visiting tourist attractions or sceneries. Understanding the culture plays an important part too. That is why I have great passion talking about my experience in Taichung. It is not just about eating everyday, but we get a hands-on experience which helps to understand the lifestyle of this often overlooked city.
Taichung is often ignored by foreign tourists due to its lack of natural scenery. According to CNA, Taiwan’s Tourism Bureau and local businesses have been setting up tourism activities in Taichung that let tourists get an in-depth understanding of the local culture. Spearheaded by the iSee Taiwan Foundation, the campaign offers tourists a different experience instead of just sightseeing and shopping. I am sure you have read my post on learning how to roast coffee in Coffee Area, and this time round, I am learning to make the city’s most famous beverage — BUBBLE TEA.
So we arrived at Chun Shui Tang Cultural Tea House @ National Taiwan Museum of Fine Arts, a famous maker of bubble tea, to make my own bubble tea. There has been many versions on who is the actual creator of bubble tea. We will leave this research to the historians because I am more interested in drinking the tea itself.
Chinese people love tea. The history of tea party lasts over thousand years. In Chinese society, people are gathering to drink tea, and thus developed a unique tea culture. In past 300 years, making tea with small teakettle is popular in Taiwan.
The founder of Chun Shui Tang, Liu Han-Chieh, first came up with the idea of serving Chinese tea cold in the early 1980s after visiting Japan where he saw coffee served cold. In 1983, he made the traditional tea become the popular ice drink by introducing foam black tea (or bubble tea).
For those of you who aren’t familiar with the term “bubble tea” or “pearl tea” (zhen zhu nai cha), they are derived from the black pearls added in the tea. These black pearls are made from tapioca starch and look like “bubbles”. Today, bubble tea shops occupy nearly every corner of Taiwan’s streets. They spread to neighboring countries like Japan, South Korea and China and then to the rest of the world.
Chun Shui Tang is very proud of their bubble tea. And they should be. I don’t really care if they are the pioneers for bubble tea, but they take pride in producing their own chewy black pearls instead of getting the factory made ones, and that is already commendable.
So you shake and shake your drinks for about 20 seconds…
Pour it into the cup and enjoy!
Chun Shui Tang can roughly be translated to “Spring Water Haven,” and there’s no doubt that their teas offer a refreshing taste. It is the perfect place to relax and enjoy a cool drink under the comfort and shade of a traditional tea house.
If you prefer to have a traditional pot of Chinese tea, you can hop over next door and visit “Qiu Shui Tang”. It has a really nice traditional mixed with modern art decor with soft lighting, creating a great atmosphere for chatting with friends over some tea and side dishes.
If you are visiting Taichung and would like to have a DIY bubble tea making session, you can drop an email to: [email protected]eetaiwan.org
The National Taiwan Museum of Fine Arts is located on the corner of Wuquan West Road and Meicun Road. It houses the world’s largest collection of Taiwanese art. There is a stream and an area outside of the museum that is very popular with families when there is good weather.
春水堂 (Chun Shui Tang)
How to go? From Taichung train station, take either 59 or 89 (operated by Renyou) or 71 (Taichung bus) or U Bus (Tunglien). Chun Shui Tang is located at the basement of the museum. For other branches of Chun Shui Tang, click here.
* Food for Fun (食在有趣) gourmet tour is proudly organized by iSee Taiwan Foundation. Only airfare, hotel accommodation and selected meals are sponsored. For other Food For Fun blogposts, please click here.
If you are someone who loves visiting the museum, loves to drink bubble tea and loves to visit thematic restaurant, you can probably spend a day exploring around this place! Across the road of National Museum of Fine Arts, is this beautiful street called 綠園道 (Address: 五權西四街). Here, there is a quiet park and many many thematic restaurants. Because they are all so pretty, alot of wedding couples love to pop by the different restaurants for their wedding photoshoot. Here are some of the restaurants:
Restaurant name: 聖托里尼－地中海式美食風情
Restaurant name: 吉凡尼花園
Restaurant name: 小義大利莊園 Little Italy
Restaurant name: 南瓜屋－紐奧良義大利餐廳
Hope you enjoy my Food For Fun Taiwan blogposts. Here are the Food For Fun posts which I did:
- Food For Fun #1: Tien Ming An (天命庵) – Ex dormitory turned Japanese restaurant
- Food For Fun #2: Shuang Ren Hsu Noodles & Bar (双人徐概念店) – High Class Zha Jiang Mian!
- Food for Fun #3: Quan Hotpot (寬巷子) – When food combines with floriculture
- Food for Fun #4: Coffee Area (珈琲院) – Make your own coffee!
- Food For Fun #5: Carton King Creativity Park (紙箱王創意主題園區) – Everything is made from Cardboard!