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The Art of Ordering Bubble Tea in Chinese

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You are at THE bubble tea shop. Why THE bubble tea shop? Because it is the most fun to stand in line and queue up for the most popular bubble tea i.e. 一点点. Since other people are willing to wait that long for a hyped product, it must be good. While many bubble tea shops have introduced QR codes to conveniently scan and directly order on their WeChat menu, there are times when you have to confront the process in person. With about 5 to 10 people curiously waiting in line behind you, moving closer to witness what and how you are going to order.

It all starts out fairly easy, you pick the tea on their menu and quickly inform the waiter of your choice. The waiter would then go ahead and ask a question such as which tea cup size, followed by which bubbles, which other topping, what level of added sugar, there are four to five levels, and what about the temperature of the tea ~ hot or cold? Ice or no ice? More ice or less ice? Member card yes or no? Finally, after the tea has been prepared and sealed for you to enjoy, your number has been called by the friendly cashier, the last question comes around: “Having now or take away?”

The first time I was shook by the sheer amount of options on the bubble tea menu. The second time I was a bit nervous about pronouncing passion fruit with the right tones in Chinese, luckily my friend was there to help out after I got stuck at question #2. The third time I forgot to say “go away ice” and also accidentally ordered a da bao (take-away) bag, boo for the extra packaging waste. The fourth time I didn’t understand the sugar question and ordered half-sugar level by accident which I immediately regretted but by the time I prepared the sentence for asking less sugar, it was too late for their highly efficient and quick bubble tea processing system. Considering the long queue behind me I thought ~ 算了吧 (whatever). After patiently waiting for the staff to call my number on the receipt, the bubble tea finally arrived, so worth the wait. 



Many bubble tea’s later…the questions are seemingly familiar but somehow I only ordered three types of bubble tea – ever?!  Yes, passionfruit tea is everything. Probably afraid that ordering process might change with a different tea.

Bubble Tea
Taiwanese Bubble Tea


Also, recently, Chinese bubble tea shops such as 一芳台湾水果茶鹿野茶事小摘堂茶 offer rather new concepts such as cheese bubble tea, black sugar tea or cream bubble tea drinks. I baidu’d some of their advertisements and added them into the photo gallery above! The bubble tea menu is seemingly expanding exponentially, and even the new flavours and combinations of drinks increasingly gain popularity here in China.

Ordering a bubble tea in Chinese once in a while, can definitely advance your listening ability and speaking abilities. 😉 This blog post was part of the pop-culture category as having a tea drink is a standard component of 逛街 guang4jie1 – (window) shopping among all ages, however, mostly young folks choose the bubble option due to its high sugar levels…

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