This drink is made from matcha powder, which is finely ground green tea leaves that are grown in Japan. Chatime’s powder comes from Uji, which is a place in Japan that is very famous for producing matcha. The powder is mixed with hot water and topped with red beans that have been cooked with sugar. Matcha powder is a unique balance of bitter, vegetal (think seaweed or edamame) and malty flavours, while the red beans add a sweetness to the drink.
The culinary philosophy in Taiwan is to eat often and eat well. In the capital, Taipei, there are about 20 long streets dedicated to just food. Due to its geographic location – just a few hundred kilometres from the Chinese coast – Taiwanese food has a mash-up of different cuisines from mid to southern provinces of China, but most notably from the Min Nan, Teochew and Hokkien Chinese communities.
Japanese food influence also exists from the 50 year period when Taiwan was under Japanese rule, and many Japanese cooking techniques are used. Pork, seafood, chicken, rice, and soy are very common ingredients. Beef is far less common, and some Taiwanese still refrain from eating it.
Taiwan also produces a huge variety of vegetables and tropical fruits. Living on a crowded mountainous island, the Taiwanese had to look away from farms for sources of protein, and as a result, seafood is prominently used and is plentiful and very fresh.
In many of their dishes, the Taiwanese have shown their creativity in their selection of spices and rely on an abundant array of seasonings for flavour. Along with flavour, Taiwanese people love texture. They especially crave the “QQ” food texture, which is a phrase that refers to something that is especially chewy, like tapioca balls in bubble tea.
Bubble tea haven, Chatime, has been producing its signature iced tea drinks for more than 12 years.