Tag Archives: tea

From Ginger Duck to Bubbletea

There is some huge differences when it comes to eating and drinking. To it feels like people eat about everything. We have had this soup thingy called ginger duck where they put everything from the duck in the pot. There is head and feet but also the heart, stomack and intestine and almost everything you can imagine. Oh, and duck blood. It is like a pudding, a wobbly thing.. Last night my classmate brought me some chicken hearts and pigs ears for late dinner. And the list goes on. They have special tofu called stinky tofu and you can order chiken feet from a teahouse.

gingerduck

Gingerduck.

From the places I have been visiting there is two kinds of places: First is the places where you get a glass of tea first thing you sit to the table. From these places some even fill your cup entire time you spend there. The other kind of places don’t have drinks at all. Or then I just don’t know they have any. To this second series of eating places is included the famous nightmarket. In there locals sell almost every food you can imagine they have from small booths at the street. For me it was funny to notice that many times people have their kitchen on the street and customers go inside to eat (or they take their food with them).

michelin

A table full of food in a famous dumpling restaurant.

Then there is the drinkshops. This is different from the cafes and other places like that. It is a small shop usually selling tea (a lot of different kinds of tea!), bubble tea, juices and maybe coffelike products. From there you can byt a drink o go with you and they pack it to a sealed plastic container that has a film over the top. They have special packing machines in every shop. Then they put it in a small bag, give you a straw to take with you and tadaa! There is the drink you have been missing in the restaurant. ūüėÄ

tee

Bubbletea without bubbles.

Taiwanese speciality in drinks is the bubbletea. It is tea that includes small pearls made of sweetpotato starch powder. It is like a pearlporrige in Finland (if you have tried any). That is made from pearls of potato starch. And there is a ton of different types of bubble tea. Every small drinkshop seems to have their speciality. Other distinctive feature in Taiwanese drinks is that they are really sweet usually. I mean really really sweet! And I like sugar. Today I ordered honey green tea and watched horrifiedly when the girl behind the counter added three huge spoonfulls of honey to my cup. Many times you can choose how much you want sugar in your drink. You can also decide how much you want ice in your drink.. Too many options. ūüėÄ

chocobubble

Chocolate bubbletea (or something like that), you can see the pearls in the bottom.

hunajatee

Amazingly sweet honeytea.

When you go to eat with locals it is customary to order table full of food and then everyone eats everything and price is divided evenly for the whole group. I like this, because I get to try all different kinds of food. Big dinner groups are quite common here also. Especially in weekends. Oh and don’t even think of making food yourself, it is not worth it! It is much cheaper and easier to go out to eat.

jälkkäri

These people put beans into their dessert!

Cha Cha Cha!

Cha is mandarin chinese and means tea. Yesterday we two physiotherapists and one Finnish nurse (my roommate) went to Maokong hill. The trip there was simply amazing. First we took a gondola elevator which went quite fast. First it felt like being in a rollercoaster but after while I got used to it. The view was great. We could see part of the Taipei city and surrounding “hills” (Finn would call them mountains).

gondola

The view from the gondola. Maokong hill stop was about 300 m high.

After we got up there we were a bit hungry so we decided to find a teahouse, since the area is known for its tea. We picked one place at random because it seemed to have a nice terrace facing the cityview. It was just perfect! First we were a bit hesitating because we didn’t need to pay only for tea and snacks but also for the seats at the terrace. I glad we decided that it was worth it because it totally was. And in the end it was only about 370 NTD (about 9 ‚ā¨) per person.

parvekenäkymä

A set to prepare tea and some snacks at the terrace.

Our waitress showed us how to prepare tea properly and after that we just sat there for 3 hours drinking tea. We must have made at least 15 teapotfulls of that tea. We decided to stay to see sunset, because the view was just too great and we left after the citylights went on only to find out that there was a full moon at the other side of the gongola station. The expression on my travel companions face was great when he saw the moon: “wait a minute.. One shining ball just went down there, what is that?!?”

On our way down we admired the citylights on the other side and the fullmoon on the other riding the cabin in almost complete darkness just listening the silent hurring sound of the elevator and chirping (?) of the insects and birds from the forest we were crossing over. Just perfect I tell you!

How to prepare cha: (My tealoving friends, you must not judge me if I don’t remember everything correctly)

huuhtelu

Pour boilig water to the pot and over it to warm the pot.

kuppihuuht

Pour that same water to the teacups to warm them up.

kaato

Pour that water out using wooden pinching thingy so that you don’t burn your fingers.

teentäyttö

Add tealeaves to the pot filling it to 1/4 and add water. Leave it be for about 15-20 s.

kannuun kaato

Pour this first set of tea to another pot through a strainer.

1haudutus

Pour the tea to the cups and then pour it away since you don’t drink the first brewing.

kuppi

Fill the pot again and wait for 20 s. Pour the tea as explained before and then you have your first cup of tea you can actually drink according to all fine rules of tea brewing.

tyhjennys

You can use the same tealeaves for about 6-7 brewing. Then just take out used leaves and start from the beginning.