Ever wondered about the origins of bubble tea? The innovative concept of adding tapioca balls (bubbles) to a beverage came from an established Chinese restaurant in Taichung called Chun Shui Tang (春水堂) which has since expanded its network of branches in Taiwan. In this installment of our Taiwan Travel Guide Series, we bring you to the original Chun Shui Tang store in Taichung and introduce the best things to eat there.

The Creator of Pearl Milk Tea – 春水堂

Many of us are familiar with cafe and tea houses specialising in bubble tea. But do you know that bubble tea was invented by an established Chinese restaurant Chun Shui Tang (春水堂). The innovative owner of Chun Shui Tang introduced the first pearl milk tea in an attempt to break out from the norm. This sparked the beginnings of bubble tea which is now popular all over the world.

Original Chun Shui Tang outlet in Taichung
The original Chun Shui Tang outlet in Taichung, Taiwan
Chun Shui Tang Taichung
Chun Shui Tang in Taichung is where the pearl milk tea originates

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What to Eat at Chun Shui Tang (春水堂)

Most reviews online focuses only on Chun Shui Tang’s bubble tea. However, given its origin as a Chinese restaurant, their Chinese cuisine is also something worthy to rave about too. Today, we have the privilege to experience it at the Taichung original store. Here’s our top recommendation of what to eat while you are at Chun Shui Tang (春水堂).

Inside of Chun Shui Tang
Dine at Chun Shui Tang’s original store to experience its great ambiance

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1. Bubble Tea (from NT70 to NT190/SGD$3 to SGD$8.30)

The one thing you must try at Chun Shui Tang is their bubble tea, of course. It is after all, the originator of the pearl milk tea. Reviews can be rather mixed about the quality of Chun Shui Tang’s bubble tea. However, we find that it is much superior to versions offered by other food establishments.

Chun Shui Tang's Pearl Milk Tea
Pearl Milk Tea

The tapioca balls are of perfect size – neither too big nor small and provides the best texture for chewing. The beverage itself complements the tapioca balls completely. Made from high quality milk and tea, the sweetness level is just right without leaving a sugary after-taste in your mouth.

Most milk tea carries the dominant flavor of milk in it. However, Chun Shui Tang’s version of the pearl milk tea is refreshingly cool and taste just like spring water!

Chun Shui Tang Bubble Tea
From left, Signature Black Tea and Pearl Milk Tea. These are the two highly recommended bubble teas to order at Chun Shui Tang

The bubble tea at Chun Shui Tang comes in 2 sizes – S and M only. At the time of writing, the medium sized pearl milk tea cost NT130 (about SGD$5.70) which is fairly expensive as compared to other bubble teas in Taiwan. However, if you are having it in-house, the portion is huge and can easily serve 2. If you are however buying it as a take-away, do order the medium size as the small size is really minute.

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2. Brown Sugar Mochi (三沾小麻吉) (NT65/SGD$2.80)

This little snack is perfect as an appetizer. It may be coated with brown sugar, but the brown sugar only serves to provide the aroma without being overly sweet. What is best about this dish is the texture of the mochi – very chewy and addictive. Definitely one of the best mochi we ever had in Taiwan! If you are a mochi lover as I am, you’ve got to order this!

Chun Shui Tang Brown Sugar Mochi
Brown Sugar Mochi is a must-try

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If you are interested in a Chun Shui Tang bubble tea making workshop, you can check out the details of joining the workshop here.

3. Herbal Soup (當歸藥膳湯) (NT135/SGD$5.90)

We just had to order some soup because we are in a Chinese restaurant. There are two varieties here worth trying – the Chinese Herbal Soup (當歸藥膳湯) or the Premium Black Bone Chicken Soup (帝王十全烏骨雞湯). We tried the Chinese Herbal Soup and it was great without having too much of an overwhelming herbal taste. The taste of ginger however is a little strong and it takes you a few spoonfuls to acclimatize your taste buds to it. At only NT135/SGD$5.90, it is a great price to pay for a bowl of premium herbal soup.

Chun Shui Tang Chinese Herbal Soup
Chinese Herbal Soup

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4. Kung-Fu Noodles (功夫麵) (NT80/SGD$3.50)

Chun Shui Tang is also famous for their noodles, most notably, their beef noodles. Unfortunately since we have sworn off beef, we had to try their Kung-Fu noodles instead. It comes as a dry version with minced meat and a mixed sauce at the bottom of the bowl. What is most delectable about this dish is the texture of the noodles – QQ and springy. Definitely a must-try for those who prefer a simple staple dish that is not too overwhelming for the senses.

Chun Shui Tang Kung-Fu Noodles
Kung-Fu Noodles

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5. Tofu Skin Rolls with Shrimps (鲜虾腐皮卷)(NT90/SGD$3.90)

Out of the 9 deep fried dishes available on the menu, we chose this Tofu Skin Roll with Shrimps because it sounded special. The taste itself does not disappoint at all. Best eaten when piping hot, it is crispy on the outside, soft and tender on the inside. The shrimps used are of the finest quality – fresh and large. Those of you who like fried food will love this dish.

Chun Shui Tang Tofu Skin Rolls with Shrimps
Tofu Skin Rolls with Shrimps

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6. Siu Mai Duet with Pork and Shrimp (雙拼燒賣) (NT130/SGD$5.70)

This comes under the ‘Platter’ category in the menu. We ordered this dim sum dish to add variety to our spread. For those who prefer solely pork or shrimp, there are also individual dishes for them. This dish was a little on the oily and heavy side but it was still very tasty.

Pork and Shrimp Siu Mai
Pork and Shrimp Siu Mai

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7. Taro with Egg Custard Ball (金沙芋泥丸) (NT75/SGD$3.30)

Those of you who love your yam will love this dish. What more can I say except that it is fried perfectly with the most smooth taro and custard paste inside. Must-try!

Chun Shui Tang Taro with Egg Custard Ball
Taro with Egg Custard Ball

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8. Oolong Rice Cake (烏龍米血) (NT70/SGD$3.00)

This is the most adventurous and exotic dish out of the lot. Whoever heard of Oolong tea-flavoured rice cakes, especially one that turned out to be brown and showered with sesame seeds and bonito flakes sauce. This dish deviates from the traditional and deserves a spot on your table.

Chun Shui Tang Oolong Rice Cake with Bonito Flakes Sauce
Oolong Rice Cake with Bonito Flakes Sauce

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Total Cost of a Meal at Chun Shui Tang

Our meal for 2 consisting of 7 dishes and 2 beverages came up to only NT885. That translates to only SGD$38.60. It is not too bad a price considering that this is a premium restaurant and we ordered quite a lot for 2 persons. Chun Shui Tang is definitely worth a visit if you are in Taiwan!

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The places of interest in Taichung are not easily accessible by public transport.  If you are looking for convenience, why not consider a day tour to Miyahara, Rainbow Village, Gaomei Wetlands and the National Taichung Theater.  This day tour is value-for-money and covers the above best attractions in Taichung all within a day.

Why go to Chun Shui Tang Original Store

Chun Shui Tang originates from Taichung and there are currently more than 40 outlets in the whole of Taiwan. You’ll definitely find one outlet in the capital city of Taipei. However, the original store is where it all started. For a bit of history, the original store of Chun Shui Tang has developed its basement level into some sort of exhibition. You can purchase souvenirs here, and have a look at the founder’s favorite corner in the restaurant.

Exclusive souvenirs from Chun Shui Tang
Bring back some exclusive souvenirs from Chun Shui Tang as a remembrance of your visit
Favorite corner of founder
The favorite corner of the founder

Tucked beneath an aging building, the original store of Chun Shui Tang looked humble and unassuming from the outside. However, nothing beats the ambiance of having a meal at the birthplace of bubble tea. If you are in Taichung, make this one of your stops!

Chun Shui Tang original store in Taichung
Chun Shui Tang original store in Taichung

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How to Get to Chun Shui Tang Original Store

Chun Shui Tang (Original Store)
No. 30, Siwei Street,
West District,
Taichung City, Taiwan

We hope you find this article useful in your trip planning. We love to hear from you. Please drop us your comments in the comments box below.

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