Studying in Spain – Journal 5: Taiwanese Bubble Milk Tea

Bubble milk tea, or pearl milk tea, is a kind of tea-based drink, often served with toppings. There are usually at least three kinds of tea to choose from: black, green or oolong. Adding milk is optional and there is usually a choice between powdered milk or fresh milk. Some bubble milk tea shops also offer non-tea options like milk shakes or smoothies.

You can also choose the amount of sugar and ice you want with your drink. There are various toppings to choose from, the most famous one is “tapioca”, also known as pearls or boba.

Bubble milk tea is part of the Taiwanese culture and is important to a lot of Taiwanese people, including me. There are bubble milk tea shops around every corner in Taiwan, and I used to drink bubble milk tea at least three times a week. When I first came to Spain, I constantly craved for bubble milk tea. I even went to the Asian supermarkets here to try and find tapioca, but in vain.

ZenZoo – A Taste of Taiwan in Madrid

Imagine my awe when I found out that there’s an authentic Taiwanese bubble milk tea shop here in the city center of Madrid!


The name of the bubble milk tea shop, ZenZoo, is the Mandarin pronunciation for tapioca. The store looks just like any bubble milk tea shop in Taiwan from the outside.

Zenzoo is located near the city center, about a three-minute walk away from metro station Sol and right next to Plaza Mayor. It is open from 11:30 to 23:30 everyday.

They have menus in three languages: Traditional Chinese, English and Spanish. The waiters there speak English and Spanish.

To enjoy a cup of bubble milk tea, the first step is to choose the tea. There are milk tea, fruit tea, milk shake and smoothies to choose from. I would recommend that you choose from the milk tea section to get the authentic Taiwanese experience. My personal favorite is oolong milk tea without sugar and normal ice.

The next step is to choose your topping. This step is optional as some people prefer their tea without toppings. It could seem a bit overwhelming as there are 8 different kinds of toppings to choose from, and some toppings might even have different flavors! I would recommend the tapioca as it is the most classical of all, and if your tea drink is black milk tea, pudding goes really well with it as well.

You will be asked about the amount of sugar and ice you want with your drink. As every cup of bubble milk tea is custom-made, the drink takes around 5 to 10 minutes to make. The wait may seem long, but it is definitely worth it.

Now that your drink is made, just stick the straw in the plastic film and enjoy!