Day 4 in Taiwan

We are spending another day training with Ms J today, and we will actually be filming some of our videos! Armed with the knowledge that Ms J had bestowed on us, we begin our shooting at the BBT counter bar in the office. Being able to train here is great, as we have all the relevant equipment all set up, with all the necessary ingredients, so we really get a feel of what it would be like to run a BBT cafe, and can roughly estimate how long it would take to make the drinks. It isn't long at all, all the products are very simple to use, it isn't rocket science! 

Watermelon-Juice
Watermelon Juice made with fresh fruit and powder
Star Jelly
Strawberry star jelly - new product? Let us know if you're interested
Sealing Machine
Sealing Machine

If you are quick, a BBT can be made in less than 60 seconds, if you're really good, even less than that! We hope that these videos we make will make this clear, anyone can make BBT, it is that simple!

BBT is big business here in Taiwan, within the first 5 years of inception there were over 7000 places selling BBT in Taiwan. Our manufacturers estimate that to be three-fold now, so thats over 21000 places. Many BBT places are not licensed, so the number could be even higher than that. The population in Taiwan is 20 million, so that's over one BBT place for every 1000 people!

 gg
One of many, many cafes

Some may regard BBT as a fad, but fads don't usually stick around for as long as three decades! There are numerous places where BBT is very common; hose of you who have been to the US and Canada will be able to verify this. It is massive in Asia, and also very popular in Austrailia. It did used to be restricted to areas with a high asian population, but now BBT is enjoyed by everybody, not just by Asians! It's appeal could be that it is just so versatile, there is a BBT to suit everybody!

The morning flies by, and before you know it, its time to eat again! Ms J takes us to a different tea-house, a 10 minute drive away from the office. Sitting in the car can make you feel really edgy if you are not familiar with Taiwan, as the traffic can be really crazy!

The place we are going to is called Shui Wei, and Ms J tells us it is a well known chain, which also has hotels. The walk up the path to the tea-house is delightful, there is a wooden walkway over a pond, complete with Koi carp and lily pads.

Stunning Decor
Beautiful Scenery
 Fishies
Fishes

The décor has a very eastern feel to it, with cherry blossom prints on the wall and bird cages hanging down from the ceiling. Upstairs there are display cabinets with Taiwanese figurines inside. The waiter leads us to the table, which has a great view of outside overlooking a mini waterfall.We really couldn't ask for a better spot.

Eastern Inspired Theme
Decor

When you go to a tea-house in Taiwan, the ordering process is somewhat different. A lot of places require you to pay first, which is actually very convenient as when you finish your meal, you don't have to wait around for someone to bring your bill, just finish eating and off you go. It makes the staff's life easier too, as they don't have to worry about people pulling an eat 'n run.

Deep Fried Squid
Dim Sum - Deep Fried Cuttlefish
Taro Rolls
Dim Sum - Taro Rolls
Dumplings
Dim Sum - Dumplings

The menu at Shui Wei has a great selection, from set meals to hot pots, you can have dim sum and small eats, even fried eggs sunny side up, cooked through or runny, you get to choose. Some of the cups that the drinks are served in are enormous, they can hold up to a litre! I guess this is also one of the reasons why you have the option of taking away your drink!

Steak!
Beef platter
Red Wine Steak
Absolutely delicious

Another thing is the drinks don't usually arrive till the meal is almost finished. Again, we thought it was a great idea, as you will be able to eat your meal without feeling full on drinks, and if you can't finish your drink, the waiter can put it a cup for you to take away, so you don't waste it.

 Kiwi Drink
Kiwi Juice
Yummy Tea
Large tea
Vanilla Milkshake
Vanilla Shake

 

We wrap up the shoots at the office after lunch, and we go to explore some of the BBT cafes around the area. Many of the BBT places here are all take out places, people are always on the go, and having a seating area means increased costs in rent, so again, it just makes sense.

Hard at work
Wrapping up our notes for the day

All BBT cafes will give you your cup of BBT sealed and  placed in plastic bag, with the mandatory fat straw. This is because a lot of people are on the go here, having it in a bag means you can get your drink, jump on your moped, and go about your life. Because of the humidity here, it also stops the condensation on the cup dripping everwhere and also lets you carry it around with ease until you find somewhere to dispose of it.

 BBT Store
Da Yung's Tea Shop
Tea Store
Magic Tea Shop
Fruit Tea
Da Yung's Fruit Tea

Mr H and Ms J have kindly offered to take us out to dinner again tonight, their hospitality knows no bounds and we feel kinda sad that this is the last time we will see them on this trip! We opt to go for a Korean meal. There is also a wide variety of cuisine available here in Taiwan, not just Taiwanese food, not that we would complain, as everything we have tried so far is so good!

BBQ Table
Korean BBQ

Theres Korean, Japanese, Italian, Steakhouses- anything and everything, so in the unlikely event that you don't enjoy the nations food, you have other options.

 Raw beef
Hot Stove and raw meat to cook

The Korean restaurant is a BBQ one, where you have a mini charcoal grill on the table complete with an extractor fan. This place has a young, hip feel to it, playing the latest MTV offerings. Seating also includes the option of a tatami sort of table, where you take your shoes off and kneel around the table.

 Make your own sauce
Make your own sauce...

Once you are given a table, there is a section of the restaurant where you can go and make your dipping sauce, with satcha sauce, minced garlic, chillies, spring onions etc.

Hot Pot
Hot Pot Cooking
Hot Pot 2
Our second hot pot

It is a buffet, so we are given a menu to pick what we would like and the waitress brings the raw ingredients to the table and you cook it yourself. Also available  is Korean hotpot, where all the ingredients are in a pot of hot soup, and placed on a stove to simmer until cooked. For dessert there is an ice cream bar.

Beef waiting to be cooked...
Raw Beef
Chicken...
Raw Chicken
Om nom nom
Cooking the meat
Korean BBQ
Om nom nom

The waitress brought plate upon plate of fresh marbled beef, chicken, pork, vegetables and seafood and we just kept on eating.

BBQ Fish
Yep - that's a whole mackerel fish
BBQ Bread
Bread to wrap the meat up in

By the end of the meal we were so full we could have rolled our way back to the hotel, no problem!

Ms J leaves us to go home after, and Mr H drops us off at the hotel. We are truly grateful to them and the rest of the team, Mr A, Ms G and Ms J, for being so kind and teaching us so much!

Thanks so much guys! =)

 


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Bubblelicious Tea

Established in July 2010, the Bubblelicious Tea team have built our reputation up in the UK and Europe as having superb quality products with a customer service reputation to match. Now with more clients springing up internationally, we strive to ensure we always keep one step ahead of the trend. Our research and product sourcing has already taken us all around the world from the USA and Canada to Hong Kong and Japan that you can read about in our personalised blog - come and join us on our bubble tea adventure!

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