All the Ways to Make Bubble Tea, Taiwan's Pearl-fect Drink by Julia Janicki

This interactive data-driven visualization has the goal of showing off the bubble tea varieties and the culture around it in Taiwan. This topic was chosen to be the first for the “Taiwan Data Stories” series as a friendly stepping stone with a relatable subject.

One of the most interesting things about bubble tea is the customization potential of the drink with many possible combinations of ingredients. This piece is set up as a make-your-own-drink adventure where the user is guided to create their own custom bubble tea drink by selecting a base, toppings, the sweetness, the ice level, as well as options related to bags and straws. Through this process we introduced the Taiwanese unique tea culture, local ingredients and texture preferences, as well as including recent environmental efforts to reduce single-use plastics.

The main visualization, the bubble tea tree, was created based on the list of unique drinks found in the top five most popular drink stores in Taiwan with google trend data, which are then categorized first into main drink types then further broken down by base, milk, flavor and texture, with different combinations of components leading to 157 unique drinks. It was then visualized using the tree layout in D3. The rest of the page was also created using JavaScript and D3, while the illustrations were created using Procreate and the UI/UX design done using Adobe XD.

For more in depth process, we wrote a blog post about it! Check it out here: