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Mi's Taiwan Xian Cao Tea
10:30am - 10pm
1/F, Times Zhang Hua Square, 188 East St., Jinjiang District
0512 6665 4223
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Susan Johnson (more chengdu)
The specialty at Mi's is xian cao, which translates into something like 'immortal herb' and is a familiar offering at most Taiwanese drink places. Xian cao is usually served as a cool brown jelly, and is slightly bitter so is usually sweetened or served with syrup or honey. At Mi's the xian cao is available as a drink (xian cao mi), as a kind of warm sweet soup (shao xian cao), or packed with other goodies over ice (xian cao zong he bing). When I visited I tried the packed ice style, which is a great treat for hot weather. The black rice pearls were nice and chewy. The sweet red and green beans were tasty and had good texture. The taro and sweet potato rolls had real flavor and were much better than the Styrofoam cylinders that you usually get at lesser places. The treat came with a small cup of real condensed milk to pour over it, which was delicious.

Besides the xian cao offerings, you can order milk tea (nai cha). There is also an enormous cooler in the back full of fresh fruit that gets blended up into juices (xian guo zhi) and smoothies (sha bing). There is a definite emphasis on fresh and healthy fare.

The proprietor spoke to me in English, took time to go through the menu, explained all the ingredients including their sources, and afterwards asked if I enjoyed the snack. He said there is usually someone who speaks English on hand, but not always. He also brought over a few English magazines to browse. (Customers are encouraged to bring their old magazines.) The air conditioner cooling the small and pleasant room makes Mi's a very comfortable place to while away an afternoon. It's a unique place and good enough to make a trip for, but as a bonus is conveniently located right on Dong Da Street, steps away from Chunxi Road. Expect to pay around 20RMB per person.

Mi's Taiwan Xian Cao Tea
Mi's Taiwan Xian Cao Tea