Travel Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for road warriors and seasoned travelers. Join them; it only takes a minute:

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

I love bubble tea and I've seen it many places for sale while walking through Hong Kong.

I've read mixed reviews on the safety of Hong Kong's tap water supply, and so I am wondering whether this is safe for a foreigner to drink, since it is neither (1) hot or (2) pre-packaged.

share|improve this question
Somewhat related: Is it safe to drink tea / coffee in India? (The basic principles for safety are the same.) – Ankur Banerjee Jan 26 '12 at 14:40
up vote 10 down vote accepted

I drank bubble tea in Hong Kong practically every day when I was travelling there but never fell ill. (Love bubble tea!) The way bubble tea is packaged in machines that seals the drink in means it's usually sold in shops with fairly good standards of hygiene. Besides, while the drink itself is not hot, bubble tea is prepared using chilled tea - and the preparation of any kind of tea does involve a stage where water needs to be boiled. That should effectively kill germs, if any, that remain in water.

share|improve this answer
did you mean 'practically every day'? – Peter Hahndorf Jan 26 '12 at 15:07
Whoops. Thanks! – Ankur Banerjee Jan 26 '12 at 15:12
I'd imagine it's not an issue for bubble tea (since non-boiling methods take far longer) but I feel it should be pointed out that not all tea involves boiling water: – dbmag9 May 22 '13 at 10:06

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.