[Taipei] The trending drink in Taipei continues to be Brown Sugar Bubble Milk.
The peculiar thing is, the drink has been around for the longest time, available in many night markets. It only enjoyed a resurgence after more modern chains had more fanciful packaging, effective marketing and expanded beyond to Hong Kong, Malaysia, Singapore and other international countries. (Also read:
20 Brown Sugar Milk Tea In Singapore)
The drink is sometimes called 青蛙撞奶, directly translated to “frog knocking against the milk”.
No frogs are harmed in the process, as the boba (tapioca pearls) used are thought to resemble frog’s eggs.
Here are some of the best places to get Brown Sugar Bubble Milk in Taipei: (Can’t believe I drank THAT many cups in a trip.)
Chen San Ding 陳三鼎黑糖粉圓鮮奶專賣店
No. 2, Alley 8, Lane 316, Section 3, Roosevelt Road (Luosifu), Zhongzheng District, Taipei City, Taiwan 100
Tel: +886 2 26200160
Opening Hours: 11:00am – 10:00pm (Tues – Sun), Closed Mon
Google Maps – Chen San Ding
Chen San Ding 陳三鼎青蛙鮮奶 has been widely reviewed to be the best brown sugar bubble milk drink in Taipei.
It is located near Gonguan Night Market, an area where the university students typically hang out.
What you get is a cup of boba pearls, caramel-like brown sugar, cold milk, with choice of ice. All drinks are affordably priced at NT$40, which works out to be SGD1.80.
This is what you call cheap and good.
The tapioca pearls are cooked on the spot in brown sugar, giving them the soft texture and lingering sweetened and caramalised taste. The pearls were indeed soft, sweet, chewy and you just couldn’t resist having more. Like having a mini-party in your mouth. Chen San Ding 陳三鼎青蛙鮮奶 (Zhongzheng District, Taipei)
Tiger Sugar Taipei 老虎堂
Available near Taipei Train Station, Nanyang Road No.1
Shilin Night Market, Da Bei Road No. 38
Ximending, Ning Nan Road Lane 50, No. 15-1
Zhong Shan North Road No. 9, Lane 140, Section 1 中山北路一段140巷9號
The brand originated from Taichung in Taiwan, known for its milk drink added with dark brown sugar syrup, and ‘tiger stripes’ formed as a layer of sugar is coated on the inner side of the cup.
One thing I noticed was its price, with a drink between NT$40 to NT$55 (SGD1.79 to SGD2.46).
The signature cup is SGD5.30 back home, more than double the price in Taipei. Anyway…
If you are unsure what to get for a first timer, get the Brown Sugar Boba and Pearls Milk with Cream Mousse 虎虎生风厚鲜奶含奶霜，波霸加珍珠混搭 (NT$55).
This includes both the large Boba pearls for a chewier bite, and smaller pearls (slightly bigger than sago). The added cream mousse at the top gives a layer of richness.
The brown sugar was indeed fragrant with that distinct caramel flavour here. Have to say it is indeed more prominent and tastier than what I previously drank. Tiger Sugar 老虎堂 (Taipei)
No. 215, Section 1, Beixin Road, Xindian District, New Taipei City, Taiwan 231
Tel: +886 2 2918 0338
Opening Hours: 10:30am – 10pm (Mon – Sun)
The brand started out at the Shinlin Night Market way back in 2010, specialising in Brown Sugar Pearl Milk drinks.
There are several outlets around Taipei such as in Shilin, Da-an, Fu-xing, Zhong Shan and Xinyi.
Soaked in brown sugar, the boba pearls were chewy and soft, a stress-reliver to chew on, with that lingering caramelised sweetness.
With that said, if you cannot handle too much sweetness, then this may not be the cup for you.
Compared to the other branches, the “brown-sugarness” was considered more mellow, not as strong and full-flavoured. Those who are looking at that full-on kick, might leave disappointed. Jenjudan 珍煮丹 (Taipei)
幸福堂 Xing Fu Tang
Various parts of Taiwan. Stores in Taipei include Jiu-Fen, Kee Long Miao Kou Night Market, Da’An’ Shilin Night Market, Gong Guan, Shi-Da, Rao He Night Market, Ximengding (Chengfu Road), Ximending (Hang Zhong Road), Taipei Train Station, Tong Hua Night Market
What is especially noteworthy is that 幸福堂 Xing Fu Tang only first opened in Taiwan in January 2018, and has more than 40 stores by the end of the year.
You can find it at various parts of Taipei, from Ximending, Da’an, Jiu Fen, Gong Guan, Shi Da, Rao He Night Market, Shi Lin Night Market, Tong Hua Night Market, Kee Lung Temple, and Taipei Train Station.
They are best known for its “stir-fried” Brown Sugar Boba Milk (NT$55 for iced, NT$65 for hot, SGD2.46 and SGD2.91), with the pearls done the “traditional way”.
The boba pearls are steeped in brown sugar, “stir-fried in front of you, and scooped quickly into the cup.
After adding milk and cream, a sprinkling of brown sugar is included on the top, then torched for a caramelised finished.
I loved that crisp, caramelised layer so that you can taste bits of brown sugar throughout the drink. However, I didn’t quite fancy the milk part – too creamy and rich. Xing Fu Tang 幸福堂 (Taipei)
The Alley 斜角巷
No.206, Section 2, Fuxing South Road
Tel: +886 02 2701 3277
Opening Hours: 10am – 10pm (Mon – Sun)
The Alley (sometimes called “Diagon Alley”) which has opened in many cities, is mostly called 鹿角巷, and 斜角巷 in Taiwan and Malaysia.
Their Brown Sugar Deerioca Series includes Brown Sugar Deerioca Milk, Cocoa Milk Matcha Milk and Crème Brulee Milk (NT$55 – NT$65, SGD2.40 – SGD2.90).
They make their own sugar cane syrup, and boil sugar canes in-house to create sweetness that won’t be overpowering.
Also they make their “Deerioca” (tapioca pearls named after their iconic deers) from scratch, from making the dough, kneading and rolling into small balls.
My cup had chewy QQ boba pearls with slight brown sugar sweetness, and smooth refreshing milk.
However, it lacked that bit of strong, distinct caramel flavour that some of the other brands had.
The process is said to create better texture and aroma for the tapioca pearls. The Alley 斜角巷 (Fuxing South Road, Taipei)
JLD Dragon Ji Long Tang吉龍糖黑糖紅茶
No. 459, Jinzhou Street Zhongshan District, 台北市 10491
Opening Hours: 11am – 9pm (Mon – Sun)
Ji Long Tang, better known as “JLD” uses brown sugar that is hand-fired every day, said to require 3-4 hours every day to complete the process.
The pearls are also hand-cooked, and will be disposed if left unsold after 2 hours.
You can choose the Brown Sugar Bubble base as Oolong Tea (NT$35) or Black Tea (NT$35) or just thick milk (NT$50).
Yifang Taiwan Fruit Tea 一芳水果茶
No. 66, Section 4, Minsheng East Road, Songshan District, Taipei City, Taiwan 105
Opening Hours: 10am – 7pm (Mon – Fri), 11am – 7pm (Sat – Sun
This popular Taiwanese brand serves up two types of Brown Sugar drinks – Brown Sugar Pearl Latte (NT$50, NT$65, or SGD2.20, SGD2.85 equivalent), and Brown Sugar Pearl Black Tea Latte (NT$50, NT$65).
Note that the sweetness and ice levels are fixed.
For the cup, you can experience ’gao gao’ (rich) brown sugar that doesn’t overkill on the sweetness level.
The way to take the perfect Instagram shot, is also to invert the drink over, and for the brown sugar to form patterns as it ‘waterfalls’ down.
Other Related Entries
10 Must-Try Bubble Teas In Taipei
Chen San Ding 陳三鼎青蛙鮮奶 (Zhongzheng District, Taipei)
Jenjudan 珍煮丹 (Taipei)
The Alley 斜角巷 (Fuxing South Road, Taipei)
Xing Fu Tang 幸福堂 (Taipei)
Tiger Sugar 老虎堂 (Taipei)