Located in a back alley near downtown Hualien sits an otherwise unassuming breakfast spot, Miaokou Black Tea (廟口紅茶 / miao kou hong cha). This spot, open 24 hours, has been a mainstay in the community for decades.
When I was in Hualien, I got a chance to check out what the hype was about. We arrived late in the evening, but there was still a small crowded outside. We elected to get the namesake, black tea, and one of each of what they call macarons (馬卡龍 / ma ka long).
The macarons are a little different than what we’re used to in the US. They’re longer, more like bread, and have a thin layer of cream in between.The macarons are apparently more like a pastry called Xiaoxidian (小西點 / xiao xi dian). Miaokou sells them in three flavors: strawberry (草莓 / cao mei), coffee 咖啡 (ka fei), and original.
Miaokou Black Tea also sells a variety of breakfast foods including various egg dishes and sandwiches (三明治 / san ming zhi).
The black tea is special in terms of how it is prepared. In particular, beverages like their black tea (紅茶 / hong cha), almond (杏仁 / xing ren), and sour plum (酸梅 / suan mei) drinks are delivered through dual metal tubes leading down from large tanks above. The inner pipe contains the beverage while the outer pipe circulates cool water. The result is a refreshingly cool drink that does not require ice.
The black tea had a nice sweetness that tasted more concentrated due to the lack of ice. The macarons were a little odd texture-wise. They were about as sweet as one would expect a macaron to be though. I would be interested in checking out more of their other breakfast foods in the future.
If you find yourself in Hualien, don’t forget to drop by Miaokou Black Tea for a unique, refreshing drink and a breakfast food or two (even if it’s not breakfast time, no one will judge).