Taiwan (100 reviews)

Chen Kou Wei Passionfruit Green Tea

Chen Kou Wei Passionfruit Green Tea

If you’ve never had the joy of trying bubble tea, let me try and explain it for you. It starts off with a nice black or green tea (I personally always go for the green), then a shot of syrup or powder flavoring is mixed in. These flavors can be all over the map, there are fruits such as kiwi and guava, there is chocolate, there is even taro root. I’ve never had a flavor that I haven’t liked. There are some that are milk based as well, but who really needs to mess with something like that?

One would think that this would be enough to have a nice flavored tea, but one would also be wrong. The true joy of bubble tea is the “bubbles,” which aren’t bubbles at all but pearls of tapioca. I understand that it sounds completely disgusting and I was hesitant to try it at first myself, but they are wonderful and incredibly fun. The tapioca balls are fairly flavorless, so they just add a texture and entertainment (they make the best spit balls you have ever seen). The first time I had bubble tea I didn’t realize you were supposed to chew the pearls, so like the idiot I am I swallowed them whole and felt terrible afterwards. After a whole lot of mocking from my friends I tried it again and with some chewing I grew to love it. I bet you will too.

Why am I talking so much about this Asian delicacy? Well that would be because this tea tastes exactly like my flavor of choice at my local bubblery. 95% of the time when I get bubble tea I’m going to go with the passion fruit. What can I say? I have a weakness. I was shocked at how much this tasted exactly like bubble tea, which tastes slightly different than just normal flavored tea. It probably has something to do with the way they flavor it. If this had been poured into a glass with some pearls in it and served to me I would never have guessed that it wasn’t from a bubble tea place. It’s a very sweet green tea, with a flavor that tastes exactly like passion fruit. It’s one of my new favorites. Too bad I’ve only found it at a market in Toronto.

Also, when I was entering the company information for this review I saw that the web address www.bubbletea123.com was listed on the packaging. It’s good to know that my taste buds are working just fine.

Website
http://ckw.hoki.com.tw/
Country
Taiwan
Sweetener
Sugar
Categories
Iced Tea
Rating
4/5
Reviewed By
Jason Draper on November 3rd, 2012
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Famous House Pink Guava Juice

Famous House Pink Guava Juice

I am out on tour again and this is the first time since we started Thirsty Dudes that I am not coming across an obscene amount of drinks that we have yet to review. Where the van would normally be ankle deep in assorted beverages only bottled water takes its place. I was wandering around Montreal, going in various shops and coming up empty handed. You see I was a man with a thirst, but it's been so programmed into my brain that if I'm out of town I can only purchase unreviewed drinks that I could not settle for less. After about five bodegas I found this can of guava juice. Not a bad find at all. I believe guava has actually taken over the top spot in my list of fruits. Yes, I make top five lists for everything. I am a thirty something year old man who is obsessed with music, dumb movies, comics and non-alcoholic drinks; would you expect anything else?

This is a light guava juice. Normally they are very thick and nectar like, but this is very fluid and not as overly sweet as others I've had. I'm just waiting for this fruit to have it's day in the sun. Pomegranate and acai have been in the spotlight for far too long. They need to discover some crazy health benefits for guava so that everything can be flavored with it. The world needs more guava in it. Pray for Mojo.

Website
http://famoushouse.com.tw
Country
Taiwan
Sweetener
Refined Cane Sugar
Categories
Juice
Rating
4/5
Reviewed By
Jason Draper on October 20th, 2012
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Uni-President Black Tea Drink

Uni-President Black Tea Drink

I find it odd that "drink" is appended to the title of this drink. Is this drink not a tea of the black variety? There are like four ingredients. There are so few ingredients that I will list each and every one. And I read: Water, sugar, black tea, and barley. Done. End. It seems odd that they wouldn't just call it "Black tea with barley" or "Barley Black Tea" like Uni-President did with one of my favorite drinks.

How does this taste? Like cereal. Like if you ate Cheerios with water and drank the milk afterwards. It's not that bad. Perhaps a little too sweet for me, but it's not bad. I don't get a strong black tea taste as the barley cuts right through pretty strongly.

I also don't particularly understand the "The Noir" title of this. Is it a sub-title? Black Tea Drink The Black like people would know what it is. Code name? I don't think there is a line of "Black Tea Drink" drinks that there is a need for another one. This drink is an enigma filled with unanswered questions.

Website
http://www.uni-president.com/
Country
Taiwan
Sweetener
Sugar
Categories
Iced Tea
Rating
3/5
Reviewed By
Mike Literman on October 10th, 2012
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Hey Song Sarsaparilla (Orange Can)

Hey Song Sarsaparilla (Orange Can)

Mike gave me this can of sarsaparilla, and I thought it was the same as the one I had reviewed early on in the history of the site. The can looks pretty much identical, except it’s orange instead of red. I can’t read the writing so I don’t know if there are any subtle differences. I had intended to just sit back and relax with this nice fizzy drink, but when I tried it, it tasted a lot different than I remember. The first can I had tasted very woodsy, with a generic root beer undertone. This one has a light bubblegum flavor with a healthy heaping of licorice root mixed in. It’s a weird combo. Some sips I think it’s okay and then others I absolutely love it. It’s definitely a unique flavor that is worth checking out.

Now the only questions are, “Is this the same stuff as I had before? Am I crazy to think it tastes so wildly different?

Website
http://www.heysong.com.tw/web_en/index.htm
Country
Taiwan
Sweetener
Couldn't Read Ingredients
Categories
Root Beer, Soda Pop
Rating
4/5
Reviewed By
Jason Draper on October 8th, 2012
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Kuang Chuan Frozen Green Tea

Kuang Chuan Frozen Green Tea

Global warming is running rampant. You don’t believe me? Well then perhaps you should look at the shifting weather patterns and talk to your local displaced penguin. As a result of it glaciers are melting left and right and scientists have headed north on a mission to find all sorts of things left in their soggy wake. Some of the greatest rewards discovered during “Operation: Encino Man” have been bottles of Kuang Chuan green tea. I mean the government is keeping the whole thing hush hush, but that is the only explanation I can think of as to why this would be called “frozen green tea.” It tastes just like a decent quality unsweetened green tea. There is nothing out of the ordinary about it, but you now what? It doesn’t need anything new or different. This is a classic taste that is perfect the way it is. Drinking it right out of the fridge is like pulling it straight from the semi-solid melting ice of the glacier. It’s cool, refreshing and just a bit bitter. Who could ask for anything else from a green tea?

Website
http://www.kuangchuan.com/
Country
Taiwan
Sweetener
No Sugar Added
Categories
Iced Tea
Rating
5/5
Reviewed By
Jason Draper on October 4th, 2012
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Mr. Brown Iced Coffee Blue Mountain Blend

Mr. Brown Iced Coffee Blue Mountain Blend

I'll take a coffee, please. One sugar. Thanks. Ahh! This coffee is far too hot. Can I put this in your fridge to cool it down? Thank you very much. It smells great, but I just can't sip it without the fear of burning my mouth. We all know that nothing ruins your day like burning the roof of your mouth. Sure, I'd love to go to the mall.

[four hours later]

Did you see the great deal I got on these slacks? It's like I stole them from the store. Oh crudbuckets. I forgot my coffee in your fridge. You know what? I'll drink it. No, you don't need to make me another one. I drink iced coffee at work. What's the difference between that and this? Ice and some fancy but unnecessary syrup? I'm fine with this, thank you very much.

You know what? They must be adding something else I'm missing out on at the coffee shop because this just tastes kind of like cold coffee. I know, I know. It is cold coffee. You know, when I was in Taiwan, they had these tiny but near indestructible cans of coffee by some dude who looked like Dom Delouise called Mr. Brown. This is that, or that is this. Regardless of what it is, I have just created it in your home and now have no need to ever but it again.

Website
http://www.mrbrown.com.tw
Country
Taiwan
Sweetener
Sugar
Categories
Coffee
Rating
3/5
Reviewed By
Mike Literman on October 2nd, 2012
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Mr. Brown Iced Coffee (Blue Mountain)

Love the Taste Multigrain Decomposition Tea

Love the Taste Multigrain Decomposition Tea

This happens all too much. I go somewhere, read the ingredients, get stoked, drink it, and feel instant sorrow. This is a good tea, but don't lie to me. What is the lie? One word that is a secret key to my heart: capsicum. When I read that work, my eyes light up like when you say "boney" or "walk" to a dog and their ears shoot up like tiny, furry radars. Why are they liars? There is no burn in this tea at all. Once again, that's fine, but why add the ingredient if you aren't going to use it to its full potential. Burn my mouth off or at least sting me a little bit.

This tea tastes like a bitter jasmine tea. It's very fragrant and nicely bitter. I like it and would drink it again and again. Also, I would get to drink the whole thing because no one wants to drink anything titled "decomposition tea."

Website
http://www.agv.com.tw
Country
Taiwan
Sweetener
No Sugar Added
Categories
Iced Tea
Rating
3/5
Reviewed By
Mike Literman on September 18th, 2012
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Alo Escape Pineapple + Guava + Seabuckthorn Berry

Alo Escape Pineapple + Guava + Seabuckthorn Berry

I pose to you a question: When Kurt Russell was escaping from New York, and later L.A. would he have had an easier time if this drink were on hand? Would it have given him the refreshment he needed in such dire situations? Would he have just been able to trade a bottle of this for the president? I can only imagine that pineapples and guavas would be like gold on a prison island. If you lived in an area that was cut off from the world for years and suddenly someone dangled those fruits in front of you, I think you would be surprised as to what you would do to procure it. The joke would be on you though if you traded something as precious at the president for a bottle of this. You see there are four main ingredients in this bottle: aloe vera, pineapple and guava (which are all incredibly delicious), but then you also have sea buckthorn berry. I’ve never actually had one before, or heard of it until now, but a quick internet search tells me they are extremely healthy an also extremely tart. My question is if they are so tart why does this drink taste like someone took a delicious tropical aloe drink and mixed in a little bit of vegetable soup? There is just this little flavor of soup that makes this whole thing really, really weird. It counters the tropical flavor, and once you realize what the taste reminds you of it’s hard to concentrate on any of the other flavors. It's still enjoyable, but it's just a weird drink. Snake Plissken sure pulled a fast one on those cons. Now he just needs to get the president back to his glider.

Oh yeah, in case you didn’t already realize it this drink also has chunks of aloe in it. I normally love them, but they kind of add to the vegetable soup scenario in here.

Website
http://www.alodrink.com/
Country
Taiwan
Sweetener
Cane Sugar
Categories
Aloe Vera, Chunky
Rating
3/5
Reviewed By
Jason Draper on July 24th, 2012
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Yung-Ho Rice Drink Peanut

Yung-Ho Rice Drink Peanut

Peter loved peanut butter, or as his mom liked to call it “Peter Butter.” It started with PB&J sandwiches. Then he switched to straight peanut butted on bread, and lots of it. Before he knew it he was hooked on the stuff. He was dipping veggies on it. Eating it with dessert. He even became a regular at a local Thai restaurant because he could get peanut satay there. He consumed more peanut butter than any other substance and it was evident in his physical presence. His mother told him he had to cut down, or else he would turn out to be one of those people that you hear about on the news that is so obese that they can’t even leave their bed, and weeks pass before anyone even realizes they are dead. Peter did not want that to be his future, so he started cutting down on his peanut butter intake. It was hard because he loved the flavor so much. His mother worked out a recipe for a drink that would taste like peanut butter, but wouldn’t be so terrible health wise. She took rice milk and blended in some peanut butter. Sure it wasn’t exactly health food, but it filled the void that the lack of peanut butter had created in Peter’s life, while keeping things a tad better for him. At first Peter thought it was strange. He felt like he was drinking a can of the sauce that was on his peanut satay. The more he thought about it, the more it grossed him out. He didn’t want to drink sauce. Only degenerates and junkies did things like that. He thereby claimed that he was off the sauce. He didn’t want to be a peanut butter junkie anymore. He took the rest of his drink and gave it to the cat, which surprisingly loved it. It’s now been ten years and Peter has taken to lying to people about having a peanut allergy, just so he doesn’t have people tempting him with his old love.

ps. My cat totally starting drinking this and I had to physically restrain her to get her to stop. Cats love peanuts.

Country
Taiwan
Sweetener
Sugar
Categories
Other/Weird
Rating
1/5
Reviewed By
Jason Draper on May 10th, 2012
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Hey Song Honey White Gourd

Hey Song Honey White Gourd

When you were a child, you were adventurous. You were not smart but you were curious and wide-eyed. You thought that mixing stuff was a good idea. You would experiment down all the time with orange juice and milk or lemonade and iced tea or iced tea and milk or Pepsi and Coke or milk and mouthwash. Some of them would be good but most of them would be bad but you didn't stop. You would never stop. You are a kid. You just keep going. Youth is on your side and you will forever mix. You are an amateur mixologist. You are a professional mixologist in the making.

When you were a youth, you thought that it would be a good idea to make a drink out of cereal milk. You would drink it and on very rare occasions you would put it in the fridge and save it for later thinking that it will be just as good as if you drank it immediately preceding finishing a heaping bowl of cereal. One time you had a giant bowl of Honey Comb mixed with Honey Smacks and thought that it might be good to drink. You ate the cereal after letting it marinate in the milk and then thoughtfully and carefully strained some of the extra "bits" out and kept the leftover milk in a glass and threw it in the fridge. For dinner, you sat down with your family to eat a pork chop and drink your concoction. You took one sip and you knew you had something. It was intense in its honey quantity and still had some of that cereal-ness to it. You would make this every day for a week before you eventually moved on to something else Cocoa Puff based.

Website
http://www.heysong.com.tw/web_en/index.htm
Country
Taiwan
Sweetener
Sucrose
Categories
Other/Weird
Rating
2/5
Reviewed By
Mike Literman on April 5th, 2012
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