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Taiwan bubble tea shop a hit in Ireland

2012/06/08 21:30:45

Taipei, June 8 (CNA) Bubblicity, Ireland's first Taiwanese bubble tea shop, has quickly gained a following among Dubliners since opening in May.

The launch of the drink shop has also brought widespread attention to Taiwan's famous bubble tea drink from Irish radio broadcasters and television channel.

Dublin Institute of Technology student Robert O'Hara, who majors in trade and Chinese, said he has been inviting classmates to try out the shop's drinks after class.

O'Hara, who once wrote a report for school on Taiwan's bubble tea market, said he hoped to taste the authentic version of the Taiwanese drink when he begins a stint as an exchange student at National Chengchi University later this year.

The founders of the shop -- Karl Mulvee, Ronan Murphy, and Ivano Cafolla -- were working in different businesses before deciding to give the beverage shop a try.

The three decided to import the Taiwanese drink after stumbling across bubble tea during a visit to London, and they hope to one day be able to visit Taiwan, the acknowledged kingdom of bubble tea.

What makes the shop unusual is the founders' insistence on sticking to traditional Taiwanese flavors and accessories by importing all of their ingredients from tapioca balls to thick straws from Taiwan.

The seals on the top of the cups even come with printed traditional Chinese characters for terms such as "half sugar" and "no ice."

Murphy said Irish people like to try out new things, and the shop will let first timers know that the drink comes from Taiwan and encourage customers to come up with their own flavors.

Through this practice, more Irish people have been introduced to Taiwan's food culture and have found themselves impressed by Taiwan's ability to innovate, Murphy said.

The founders plan to open more branches in Ireland and even expand their business into Germany.

While visiting the shop, Taiwan's representative to Ireland Harry Tseng said that the country's bubble tea has been transformed from a night market snack into an international ambassador for Taiwanese culinary specialties.

(By C.J. Lin)
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