Hot Black Milk Tea

On the recommendation on my friend Ann, now one of the Island’s freedom and privacy gurus, and previously a CBC impressario, I visited the Formosa Tea House on University Avenue this afternoon for a Hot Black Milk Tea. I needed something to combat winter, and also an environment evocative of southeast asia, for which I have a mild case of homesickness.

I’m happy to report that the hot black milk tea is very, very good, and the perfect antidote to wintertime. I had two. It’s served in a very nice square-mouthed mug. It’s sweet. We decided, Ann and I, that’s on the beverage spectrum it falls halfway from hot chocolate to tea. Highly recommended.


Oliver's picture
Oliver on February 26, 2002 - 23:51 Permalink

Point taken. But I have to put a plug in for iced black milk tea with tapioca pearls, a.k.a. “bubble tea.” I find it all but impossible to make at home, unfortunately, even though I’ve found a source for the pearls and the fat straws.

Alan's picture
Alan on February 27, 2002 - 12:17 Permalink

Sounds a bit like Indian Chai. If you are having a Thai food wothdrawl, get a copy of Seductions of Rice by Canadian authors Alford & Duguid from a few years ago. They travel world wide and write thematic cook books that are among the best to read. The explanation of Thai home and street cuisine is very good. Any ingredients not available in PEI — red rice, lime leaf — are usually found in the Asian grocery store at Queen and Victoria in Halifax near Schooner Books. Flatbreads and Flavours by them is also wonderful.

Peter Rukavina's picture
Peter Rukavina on February 27, 2002 - 13:54 Permalink

Alan — it would be useful to me, and probably others, if you could expand your guide to Halifax “ethnic” food stores to include all the bounty available — Indian, eastern European, etc. Could you do that? I’d post it here.

Alan's picture
Alan on February 27, 2002 - 14:32 Permalink

Iqbal’s on Windsor near Almon (up from Lion’s Head) has good Indian supplies and will bus them over — brown basmati and Lalah’s madras curry powder are a favorite. They also give or at least used to give cooking classes.

The Asian shop at Queen and Victoria has Chinese, japanese, Thai supplies. Every summer I buy 20 kg of sushi rice from them which lasts me a year. They have stuff that I would have seen in Canada only in the Preston Street area of Ottawa. [I remember seeing canned gourami which you may recall as a fish in childhood aqauriums (shivers)]. A bit of a mess but a good Asian market usually is.

The Italian Market near the Port of Wines off of Spring Garden has cheese and dry pastas that you cannot find here. Though the JC Superstore has introduced a lot of better forms of pasta and usually the Root Celler has ok cheese, though perhaps a bit less lately.

Pete’s Fruitique in Bedford has everything a immigrant family from Scotland could want — penguin bars, Typhoo tea, Iron Brew. They also have the best fresh fruit and vegetables in the Maritimes as well as airshipped in (possibly in fact by zeppelin) real Montreal Bagels! Many other things there, too, including Libery dairy products: plum and walnut yogurt!

On the corner of the road up from the old bridge and Agricola there is a middle eastern supply shop whose name escapes me but where you can find anything. I have yet figured out where the local Lebanese community here on the island supplies itself. Much broader selection than here. If you get the Flatbreads book I mentioned, there are ingredients there you can use.

If you are at all interested in homebrewing, go to one of the three Brewing Centres in Metro. I go to the Burnside one on Akerly up from the big Leons. Ask Ogg whether you can make good ale from their supplies. Again, they will bus and have a good website at

And — perhaps most importantly for the idle islander — the best place to buy wine and imported beer on the way home to PEI…the Sackville NBLC. Due to the university, they have a special wine corner, good cheap Ontario reds and a wider (and in fact different) range of UK ales than the best NS shop. The best and handiest NSLC is at Elmsdale in that strip mall right off the highway — they are used to seeing PEI customers of a regular basis. If you are going through Maine, a mere eight hours from here is RSVP liquors which has the best selection I have ever seen in one place and the best prices. Near the University in Portland. They will pack ahead if you call or if (as I am most lucky to have for many reasons) your good pal in Portland is visiting. Fullers ESB!

Mitch's picture
Mitch on February 27, 2002 - 17:47 Permalink

Hi there:

I just returned from a trip out west where I picked up some Chai tea as packaged by the Stash Tea company.

They do have a online store, not enough of a tea drinker to know if it is sold in Charlottetown.

The real stuff is made with milk and lots of sugar. However, being a Maritimer, I can’t seem to get past drinking all tea black.

I spent a wonderful evening at The King and I in Calgary last week.They opened in 1988, the first Thai restaurant in the city.

The Tiger Prawn Curry was excellent, it was served with a side of coconut rice.

Actually Peter your name came up as I mentioned to my table mates I was following your trip while documenting my own online.

Edwin's picture
Edwin on April 26, 2003 - 05:53 Permalink

Hey, did you know that Halifax now has a bubble tea cafe? Cool! Located in the Vietnamese restaurant at 1284 Barrington St. (corner Morris). It’s also an Internet hotspot (wireless hi-speed access). I think that this’ll be my new fave spot when I’m next in Halifax!

boba lover's picture
boba lover on March 9, 2004 - 02:33 Permalink

BobaPals (boba characters)?

What will they come up next? There are new toy characters out there that are coming to the market. Supposedly, these characters have been drinking so much boba that they have evolved to beautiful BobaPals and have special feng shui powers of some sort. Can’t wait to see how they look like! I guess we can find these bobapals at boba stores or maybe Anyway, if you love boba, you gotta check out these bobapals.


kess's picture
kess on June 3, 2004 - 02:17 Permalink

can somone tell me where the bubble tea place is near preston e-mail me plz

kess's picture
kess on June 3, 2004 - 02:19 Permalink

can someone tell me where the bubble tea store is near preston e mail me

mugu's picture
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mugu's picture
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dave's picture
dave on September 4, 2004 - 05:19 Permalink

Nigerians offering millions