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Invention of Taiwan Bubble Tea

The serendipitous fusion of tapioca pearls and milk tea finds its origins in the rich history of tea consumption, where it has been proven that our forefathers added various ingredients to tea.

Guided by the expertise and leadership of founder Mr. Liu, Han-Chieh, Chun Shui Tang's R&D team was empowered to unleash their creativity and explore new culinary frontiers. In 1986, during a testing phase, a bold decision was made to blend childhood memories with traditional flavors by adding a popular Taiwanese street snack ingredient, “tapioca pearls”, into fragrant milk tea. In 1987, this revolutionary concoction was officially launched and named “Bubble Tea”, breaking the boundary between snacks and tea beverages.


Within months, it ignited a sensation across Taiwan, swiftly ascending to the pinnacle of product rankings, where it remains to this day. Reflecting on this remarkable journey, the R&D team remarked, “We never envisioned that a serendipitous experiment would yield such a profound global impact”. With an average annual sale surpassing a million cups, Bubble Tea has emerged as a shining emblem of Taiwan on the global stage.

Leading the Trend

Cultural Impact of Bubble Tea
Leading Global Trends

Driving Taiwanese Tea Towards Globalization

Internationally, it is variously known as “Bubble Tea”, “BOBA Tea”, “BOBA”, “Pearl Milk Tea”, and “Tapioca Tea”, captivating taste buds across borders as a contemporary beverage without boundaries. In Japan, related terms associated with bubble tea appeared in the annual buzzword awards in 2018 and 2019. The act of drinking bubble tea even has its own verb: “Tapiru”.


Over decades, propelled by waves of migration and tourism, bubble tea rapidly gained popularity beyond its Asian origins, with continual innovation in ingredients and flavors. What began as a regional trend in Asia has since transcended borders, spreading its influence on other countries worldwide.

chun shui tang togo
chui shui egg pancake
Bubble Tea Soft Serve Ice Cream

Innovation and Fusion

At Chun Shui Tang, tapioca pearls are not limited to being added to milk tea; they are also wonderfully integrated into other dishes, creating a perfect harmony of flavors. Offerings like “Xiaochun Wheel Cake”, “Xiaochun Egg Pancake”, and “Bubble Tea Soft Serve Ice Cream” ingeniously incorporate tapioca pearls into dessert items, elevating the dining experience with their unique texture and taste. Previously, the “Bubble Tea Hot Pot” was introduced, transforming bubble tea into a savory hot pot dish by adding tea leaves to the broth, resulting in a delightful fusion of creamy milkiness and fragrant tea flavors.


The popularity of bubble tea has transcended Taiwan, inspiring waves of creativity worldwide. Numerous brands and tea enthusiasts have ventured into crafting innovative “Bubble Tea Creativity”, ranging from bubble tea pizza to bubble tea ramen and tapioca pearls over rice, etc. These inventive concoctions have generated excitement and added richness to the ever-evolving world of bubble tea.


Professional Tea Mastery
Certification and Quality Assurance


At Chun Shui Tang, every cup of tea is meticulously prepared to rigorous standards.


Only partners who have passed the “Tearista Certification” are qualified to work behind the bar and prepare beverages.


Becoming a master Tearista starts with acquiring comprehensive knowledge about tea leaves and undergoing rigorous in-house brewing training. Regular sensory tests for taste and aroma recognition are fundamental to the process. Tearista must skillfully observe the color, discern the aroma, and taste the tea, honing their abilities to perfection. They adeptly adjust their techniques in response to changes in climate and temperature, meticulously recording the subtle variations experienced at different times.


Consistent rigorous insistence on quality has shaped today's achievements.


Quality Assurance for Peace of Mind

Stringent control measures are meticulously implemented to guarantee that tea enthusiasts can confidently savor delicious beverages, from the careful selection of tea leaves and ingredients to the meticulous presentation of products


Fundamental principles encompass the exclusion of additives such as flavorings, essences, or preservatives. Meticulous taste tests are conducted daily at Chun Shui Tang stores to uphold quality standards, showcasing decades of commitment to tea connoisseurs.

How Chun Shui Tang Prepares Bubble Tea

Black Tea, Brewed Fresh Everytime

Black Tea, Brewed Fresh Everytime

Each batch of tea exhibits significant variations due to various fermentation levels and processing methods. Tea masters must observe the color, smell the aroma, and taste the tea, adjusting according to climate and temperature changes and carefully documenting the differences at different times.

Cooking Tapioca Pearls

Cooking Tapioca Pearls

The pearls are stored at low temperatures throughout the process, strictly adhering to defrosting times. Crafted from tapioca flour, these delicate pearls are prone to crushing and are thus boiled in hot water before being gently simmered. They are only supplied within three hours to maintain the best quality.

Precise Blending

Precise Blending

Using a shaker, black tea, milk, cane sugar, and ice are combined to achieve the perfect harmony of tea richness, milk smoothness, sugar aroma, and ice coolness. This meticulous blending process results in the creation of a fragrant milk tea that tantalizes the senses.

Balanced Fusion

Balanced Fusion

Finally, the tea is delicately poured into a cup from the shaker, with the pearls evenly stirred in. Following the golden ratio of “7:2:1”, the tea, ice, and foam are meticulously presented, culminating in the creation of a world-class bubble tea that exemplifies perfection.

Q&A of Bubble Tea

Ten Common Questions about Bubble Tea

When was Bubble Tea invented?

It was developed and sold on trial in 1986 and officially launched in the spring of 1987.

Where was Bubble Tea invented?

At the original Chun Shui Tang store in Taichung (Siwei branch).

Who invented Bubble Tea?

It was invented by its founder, Mr. Liu, Han-Chieh, who led the product development team known as the “Golden Tongues”.

Why add ingredients to milk tea?

Throughout the historical evolution of tea, there have been precedents of incorporating various ingredients since the Wei, Jin, Southern, and Northern Dynasties. Enhancing tea with spices, grains, and flowers was not uncommon. Serendipitously, the founder and the product development team decided to revisit their childhood favorite, “tapioca pearls”, and experimented with them in the shop. They initially consumed warm food, but they later sampled cold food. Discovering the unique chewiness and distinct texture of the chilled pearls, they made the decision to incorporate them into their best-selling iced milk tea and iced lemon black tea, thus giving rise to the iconic Bubble Tea.

Was Bubble Tea originally the store manager's “secret tea”?

The development team aimed to gauge the reception of tea enthusiasts towards teas with added ingredients. They decided to test the market by selling milk tea with tapioca pearls, initially labeling it as the manager's “secret tea” for a week. Encouragingly, customers responded positively, and as there was no official menu for this beverage, it became universally known as the “secret tea”. Buoyed by the enthusiastic feedback from tea enthusiasts, the decision was made to formally introduce this tea for sale. Subsequently, the founder was approached to rename the “secret tea” as “Bubble Tea”, and it was officially launched in 1987.

Why was it named “Pearl Milk Tea”(as known as Bubble Tea)?

The name was chosen to evoke the image of “large and small pearls falling into a jade plate”. The tapioca balls were renamed “pearls”, meaning “Pearl Milk Tea” as known as “Bubble Tea”.

How did Bubble Tea become popular worldwide?

Within six months of its launch, Bubble Tea quickly climbed to “the top of the sales charts”. Its unique and enjoyable taste, which can be both a beverage and a snack, was well-received by “tea enthusiasts”. In 1990, it became a nostalgic remedy for overseas immigrants, with stories even emerging of people bringing it from Taichung to Canada, making headlines when discovered by airport customs. Subsequently, as ethnic Chinese people migrated around the world, bubble tea spread globally.

What is Bubble Tea called abroad?

Internationally, this beloved beverage is known by various names such as “Bubble Tea”, “BOBA Tea”, “BOBA”, “Pearl Milk Tea”, and “Tapioca Tea”. Much like Coca-Cola, it captivates taste buds across borders, transcending cultural boundaries as a contemporary beverage popular worldwide.

Why are the tapioca pearls at Chun Shui Tang relatively small?

Within six months of its debut, bubble tea quickly spread across Taiwan, leading to the emergence of large-sized “boba” pearls and white pearls made from sago rice. However, the original recipe used tapioca pearls with a diameter of 8mm, made from tapioca flour. To maintain the classic flavor, this tradition continues to this day.

How many cups of Bubble Tea do Taiwanese people consume in a year?

If we tally up all the shops selling bubble tea in Taiwan, Taiwanese people drink around 100 million cups of bubble tea each year. If we were to stack these cups, it would be equivalent to 1700 Mount Everests, allowing for a round trip between Earth and outer space 250 times.

Innovative beverage with Bubble Tea

  • The Creator of Bubble Tea

Tapioca balls are made and delivered under low temperature, without the use of artificial flavors, colors, or preservatives; using specially selected milk powder blend.

The world's first Bubble Tea - a match made in heaven! First created in 1987, our rich and flavorful milk tea, perfectly paired with chewy tapioca pearls, delivers an unparalleled taste experience. Each sip unveils layers of flavor, enhanced by a hint of sweetness from cane sugar.

  • Ice Level is Fixed
  • Fresh Milk Tea

Images shown are for reference purposes only, the actual products served may vary from the photos.

Premium black tea ice cream paired with brown sugar crafted from locally sourced cane sugar simmered to perfection. Its captivating aroma lingers, while every spoonful delivers a symphony of flavors. Paired with chewy tapioca pearls and crispy caramel cookies, it's a multisensory delight that leaves a lasting impression.

  • Milk Tea

Images shown are for reference purposes only, the actual products served may vary from the photos.

Creamy milk tea infused with the aroma of jasmine flowers, offering a fresh, vibrant, and rich flavor. Paired with chewy tapioca pearls, it provides a multi-layered and delightful sensation as they roll in the mouth, creating a rich and charming experience.

  • Milk Tea

Images shown are for reference purposes only, the actual products served may vary from the photos.

The lingering notes of roasted Tieguanyin, paired with the delightful chewiness of tapioca pearls, crafts a flavorful mouthfeel that's irresistibly captivating and truly unforgettable.


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