First up readers, bloggers and internet users, I owe an apology but it ain’t my fault thankfully! Being a travel blogger is glammed up as being an awesome job and I do my best to make it sound double cool, but believe me that’s only because we only cover the good stuff – when we actually get sightseeing done, have a beer and board night buses. I haven’t been online for 3 days hence the lack of new posts this week. This has been the real side of travel blogging and how things get so frustrating and go wrong – I have managed to break BOTH my laptops, buy a new one with no internet and somehow book another trip to Yunnan in China. Anyway without further ado, and with a delay, here is this week’s Thirsty Thursdays! No time for a beer today, we’re off to Taiwan for some Tapioca Tea…as I bloody well need one.
My Taiwan trip of 2009 still ranks as one of my top travel experiences, mainly because we avoided Taipei for the most part. Taipei, for all it’s splendour and tall buildings is easily the worst city in Taiwan to visit. I based myself in Shinying and indeed it was in lonely, unattached Shinying where I first sample Tapioca Tea. The city of Shinying in Taiwan will always rank highly with me. A little bit of my travelling spirit was revived and rejuvenated here. From day 1 in Shinying, I found myself drinking Tapioca Tea by day (and beers at night). Just for a change though, we’ll talk about the non-alcoholic option on today’s Thirsty Thursdays. Why did I become obsessed with Tapioca Tea in Shinying? And even more bizarre whay haven’t I drank it much since?
What is Tapioca Tea?
It’s a cold milky tea with bit of what I call “tapioca” nestled at the bottom. It is normally bought in Asia – Taiwan and Hong Kong are particularly fond of this. It is most often drank through a straw in a sealed plastic cup. The tapioca is commonly left at the bottom. It is normally served from street vendors and specialised tea shops throughout Taiwan and Hong Kong. Parts of China and Macau also have it.
What does it taste like?
Personally I love tea and this one is no different – I love tapioca tea. It tastes like a cold milky tea with bits of jelly in it. That’s all there is to it!
What flavours can you get?
Tapioca Tea has spread its wings into many different flavours. Don’t be surprised to find vendors selling over 20 different types. Having tried a few of them, my top three are the original one (milky tea and Tapioca), strawberry (which is more like milkshake than tea sometimes) and mint (I’m a sucker for anything green – it’s my favourite colour). The range is seemingly endless…
Where is the best place to try Tapioca Tea?
I’m biased here so I’ll say Shinying in Taiwan, but anywhere is good. A really refreshing day time drink. My other stuff on Sinying (Shinying) is highly detailed, off the beaten track and worth checking out, for example Friday Night in Shinying .
Why Haven’t I drank Tapioca Tea much since 2009?
1. I got a stomach ache the last time I had Tapioca Tea in Hong Kong (2011)
2. Tapioca Tea for me seems to be trapped in my Taiwan vacuum. It was the drink for that trip and I loved it. I will get back into it when I hit Taiwan again!
Thanks for reading today’s installment of Thirsty Thursdays which is non alcoholic for once – the odd thing is I rarely drink Tapioca Tea at night. I’m normally a tea by day, beer by night sort of travelling Northern Irishman! On a final note a big shout out and thanks to my travel buddy, ex flatmate and global nomad Neil Macey (AKA Millwall Neil), it was Neil that first introduced me to Tapioca Tea and it was his awesome flat in Shinying that I was able to make my home for a few weeks.
Here’s a video from my 4,200 strong YouTube Channel from the tea shop in Shinying (once my local!):
Thirsty Thursdays is an ongoing regular feature on Don’t Stop Living – a lifestyle of travel. If you have a bar, pub, drink, restaurant, brand or idea that you would like featured on Thirsty Thursdays, please get in touch via my contacts page or my advertising page. I’d love to hear from you, and I’d also love a free tea or a beer! Cheers!