Tea Venues of Taiwan
There are three types of venues for buying ready-made tea in Taiwan: the tea stand, the teahouse/bar/restaurant, and the art teahouse.
Tea stands are everywhere - a typical city block has about 10. They all serve basically the same thing - iced tea to go.
But amazing iced tea! You can get regular bing hong cha or bing lu cha (black or green iced tea), but how about some honey-lemon green tea or grapefruit black tea. These last two are just a notch above the standard, but for more exotic taste sensations try something like caramel pudding milk tea, chrysanthemum black tea or kumquat jelly iced tea.
Then there is the ubiquitous zhen zhu nai cha (pearl milk tea). This was created by a tea vendor in Taichung (Taiwan) back in the 1980s and has since become popular around the world.
The pearls of pearl milk tea are balls of tapioca. They are sucked up through a wide straw to give a chewy texture to your milk tea (black tea with milk and sugar).
There are two types of teahouses in Taiwan. Art teahouses are traditional wooden structures built around a central fishpond. They have several Japanese-style cubicles where small groups can wile away the hours drinking gong-fu style oolong tea. The atmosphere is calm and relaxing. You can read more about this kind of tea house at this link: Tea_Houses
The other type of teahouse is more energetic. They also emphasize wood - (tables, chairs, and wall paneling) - but the decor and atmosphere is decidedly upbeat. Tea houses with more modern styling are called coffee shops, but despite the name they serve more tea than coffee.
These teahouses are a popular place for friends to gather. They serve hot or iced tea as well as beer and light meals. Even though beer is served, not too many people order it. The flow of conversation is fueled instead by tea and tasty snacks such as deep-fried dofu and turnip cake. And of course pot after pot of delicious tea such as dried dragon eye and date tea (a winter favorite), black jelly tea, cranberry and plum green tea, or taro root milk tea.