Saturday, February 21, 2015

Drink Post 1: 珍珠奶茶 zhen zhu nai cha (lit. precious bead milk tea) "pearl milk tea" aka "boba milk tea" aka "bubble milk tea"

It's hard to believe that the first stand to sell zhen zhu nai cha was in the 1980s in Taiwan.  Now it has spread all over the world, and it can often now be found in shopping malls in America or in any city with a significant south-east asian population.  But in Taiwan you can not walk down a street without finding a tea store, and if you are a tea store you also are most likely selling zhen zhu nai cha.

Served with a big straw and a top that has been heat sealed to the plastic cup, one must take the pointed straw and poke it through the lid and then take big gulps of milk tea mixed with fat chewy starchy balls of tapioca.

Here is a picture of the menu.  Can you find 珍珠奶茶?:

In the first video below you see a lady fill the shaker with tea, ice, and a sweet syrup.  In the next video they put the milk tea in the cup with zhen zhu and place it in the machine that heat seals a plastic top on.  In the third video, William drinks it!

I asked William 好吃嗎?  hao chi ma? (lit. good, eat, and "ma" indicates that it's a question)  "Is it good to eat?"
He replied, 好吃阿!          hao chi ah!  (lit. good eat  ah!)   "It's good ah!"
I guess with zhen zhu nai cha you can ask if it is good to drink OR good to eat! 

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