2021 Taiwanese American Gift Guide: Shop small businesses, and shop them early!

If you’re a champion of MIT “Made in Taiwan” shopping principles (looking at you, first-gen aunties!), may we suggest a peek into MBTA “Made by Taiwanese Americans.” We’re so proud to bring back this annual gift guide for the second time, highlighting Taiwanese American small businesses, brands, and creators. We know there’s more out there – reach out if that’s you at leona@taiwaneseamerican.org. We’re rooting for each of you!

See last year’s gift guide here.


Support independent bookstores and TaiwaneseAmerican.org by purchasing print books from Bookshop.

Take 5% off Impromptu Beef Noodle Soup with promo code TAORG. 

Take 15% off TWRL Milk tea with promo code TAORG. New customers only and through 12/25/21.

Take 10% off The Formosa Coffee with promocode TAORG through 1/1/21.

Gifts for your fancy auntie

Mogutable | Curated, well-made objects for everyday life

“We are Yingchi and Yuchen, the people behind Mogutable. Originally from Taiwan, we are a Brooklyn-based sister duo. Our shop features a selection of unique, well-designed, aesthetically-pleasing objects, sourced from our favorite artisans, locally and internationally.”

Pictured Editor’s Pick: Spring Forest. Baby Fruit Aromatic Soap | $15 $5

Shop all from Mogutable

Uniqlay Ceramics | Reimagining handmade tableware to celebrate diversity, culture, and deeply-rooted family traditions

“Though the food we eat is a big part of our identity, culture and heritage, tableware options available are falling behind. Even though so many brands have made loud statements on diversity, there isn’t a whole lot of action. Celebrating cultures and representing minority female artists underpins everything we do at Uniqlay Ceramics. I am a firm believer that your culture and how you eat should be a source of comfort and pride. ”

Pictured Editor’s Pick: Matcha Gift Set (Uniqlay x Common Clover) | $98

Shop all from Uniqlay Ceramics
Follow Uniqlay Ceramics on Instagram

Formosa Fine Chocolates | Belgian technique, American artistry, Taiwanese hospitality 

“We at Formosa Chocolates proudly produce luxury chocolates in the San Francisco Bay Area with Belgian technique, American artistry and tastes, and Taiwanese hospitality and gift-giving tradition. Whenever possible, we use local sustainably-sourced ingredients. We aim to create a stylish and sophisticated chocolate experience that gifters will be proud to present to recipients.”

Pictured Editor’s Picks: Candied Ginger | $11+

Shop all from Formosa Chocolates
Follow Formosa Chocolates on Instagram

Yun Hai Shop 雲海 | Premium ingredients for Taiwanese pantries

“Yun Hai 雲海 offers a selection of premium ingredients for Chinese and Taiwanese cooking. We source directly from artisans, farms, and soy sauce breweries in Taiwan. Terrain, technique, history, and humanity come together in the traditional foods we distribute.”

Pictured Editor’s Picks: Su Chili Crisp Trio「甦」辣油三重奏 | $40

Shop all from Yun Hai
Follow Yun Hai on Instagram

Gifts for the minimalist

ILHA Candles | Fragrant, hand-poured soy candles, made with love in Queens, NY

“Shop our custom scent we created in collaboration with TaiwaneseAmerican.org, an organization that connects and represents the diverse experiences of the next generation of the Taiwanese American community.”

10% of net proceeds of Jasmine Green Tea will be donated to TaiwaneseAmerican.org, an organization that connects and represents the diverse experiences of the next generation of the Taiwanese American community.

Editor’s Pick: ILHA Candles Jasmine Green Tea | $28 / ILHA Candles Fig | $28

Shop all from ILHA Candles
Follow ILHA Candles on Instagram

Té Company Tea | Fine Taiwanese tea, sourced from small farmers & showcased in a casual, friendly atmosphere 

Pictured Editor’s Pick: Té Company Brewing Set | $90

Shop all from Té Company
Follow Té Company on Instagram

The Wax Apple | A collection of handcrafted goods and everyday objects from Taiwan

“Grandmother had a driver who had taken her around for thirty years, and he was my ride too if I wanted to go out to the countryside. She would always want to come, though. Grandmother was never a homebody. I don’t think she’d spent a whole day inside her entire life. We’d go out to look around and she’d be on her phone calling people, like cousins and father’s accountant’s wife. How could they say no about joining us for lunch? She had been a teacher in the small town where she met my grandfather, and together they had traveled everywhere. One trip, she brought back gold rings with elephant hair embedded in them. She gave me one, and I found another rummaging through her things, and wear them both every day. If you went over to her house, grandmother would ask, “Did you eat yet?” and suddenly there would be pineapple cake or maybe a sliced wax apple, stuck with tiny forks. The Wax Apple is all the things that are like a day with my Grandmother in Taiwan.”

Pictured Editor’s Pick: Theater Shoes in Solid Black | $80

Shop all from The Wax Apple
Follow The Wax Apple on Instagram

Rae’s Roots | Adaptogen wellness teas

Founded by Chinese and Taiwanese American Joanna Linton, Rae’s Roots is an herbal and supplement brand designed for moms. She came up with the idea for Rae’s Roots after having her second child, when the stress from trying to balance life, work and being a mom to a toddler and a newborn resulted in four trips to the emergency room. Linton realized she had been ignoring her own health, and turned to the Chinese herbal teas she had grown up on, with ingredients like ginger, rosehips, and Hawthorn Berry, to help manage fatigue and burnout.

Editor’s Pick: “Expecting Mama” Pregnancy Tea | $16 / “Milk Flow” Lactation Tea | $16

Shop all from Rae’s Roots
Follow Rae’s Roots on Instagram

Mina Learns Chinese “I Love Boba!” | Bilingual Children’s Books 

Frustrated by the lack of engaging, accessible Chinese books with Pinyin and English, Katrina Liu created her own book series, the most recent of which is “I Love Boba! 我愛珍珠奶茶!” Liu identifies as Chinese and Taiwanese American; her husband is third-generation Chinese American. Katrina can speak some conversational Mandarin Chinese; her husband speaks only English. Neither read nor write Chinese, which is what makes this venture so special: these books aren’t developed for parents to teach Chinese to their children, but so parents can learn the language alongside them.

Pictured Editor’s Pick: “I Love Boba!” | $18.99+

Shop all from Mina Learns Chinese
Follow Mina Learns Chinese on Instagram
Katrina Liu’s feature on TaiwaneseAmerican.org

Bitty Bao | Bilingual board books, by Taiwanese American mamas

“In our own book finding experience, we found it difficult to come by many options for cute Chinese bilingual books, with pinyin, zhuyin, and traditional characters that showcase our culture while supporting language learning at all levels.”

Pictured Editor’s Pick: Round 3 Books and Wooden Hot Pot Toy Set | $59.97+

Shop all from Bitty Bao
Follow Bitty Bao on Instagram

Eyes that Kiss in the Corners | Joanna Ho, ill. Dung Ho

A young Asian girl notices that her eyes look different from her peers’. They have big, round eyes and long lashes. She realizes that her eyes are like her mother’s, her grandmother’s, and her little sister’s. They have eyes that kiss in the corners and glow like warm tea, crinkle into crescent moons, and are filled with stories of the past and hope for the future.

Drawing from the strength of these powerful women in her life, she recognizes her own beauty and discovers a path to self-love and empowerment. This powerful, poetic picture book will resonate with readers of all ages.

Shop from TaiwaneseAmerican.org Bookshop

Eyes that Speak to the Stars | Joanna Ho, ill. Dung Ho (Pre-order)

A young Asian boy notices that his eyes look different from his peers’ after seeing his friend’s drawing of them. After talking to his father, the boy realizes that his eyes rise to the skies and speak to the stars, shine like sunlit rays, and glimpse trails of light from those who came before–in fact, his eyes are like his father’s, his agong’s, and his little brother’s, and they are visionary.

Inspired by the men in his family, he recognizes his own power and strength from within. This extraordinary picture book redefines what it means to be truly you.

Eyes That Kiss in the Corners received three starred reviews and was embraced as breathtaking, lyrical, and poignant. This companion volume is sure to be welcomed with equal joy.

Shop from TaiwaneseAmerican.org Bookshop

*NEW* Patty Panda Gets A Potty! | Vicky Wu

“Patty Panda Gets a Potty” is a bilingual picture book. It is an homage to my pandemic potty training experience with my older daughter last spring, and has shout outs and scenes to Taipei in it.” This book is a perfect addition to the multilingual bookshelf celebrating a childhood milestone that transcends cultures.

Shop from TaiwaneseAmerican.org Bookshop


886 | New York influenced Taiwanese food with locally sourced ingredients

“886 is Taiwan’s international calling code. A concept by Eric Sze and Andy Chuang aiming to fuse their Taiwanese upbringing with American modernization.”

Pictured Editor’s Pick: ‘La Tai Mei’ Sweatshirt | $65

Shop all from 886
Follow 886 on Instagram

Miss Modi | Handcrafted enamel earrings

“I realized there are a lot of talented women jewelry designers from my Asian heritage who aren’t able to cross the cultural gap to America. So I started Miss Modi to serve as that bridge. As food is typically the first bridge between cultures and given the worldwide popularity of Boba and Xiao Long Bao, our Taiwanese Street Food collection literally flew off the shelves when we debuted it in Los Angeles last year. For me as a Taiwanese American, it truly made me so proud to see that these little things that bring back sweet, warm memories of my life in Taiwan were now so widely loved and accepted by non-Taiwanese here in America.”

Pictured Editor’s Pick: Taiwanese Street Food Enamel Pendants | $15+

Shop all from Miss Modi
Follow Miss Modi on Instagram

Jane Li Co. | Prints & stickers

Jane is a Bay Area native with a passion for all things design and DIY.

Pictured Editor’s Pick: Mooncake Phases Art Print | $10+

More about Jane Li
Shop Jane Li Co etsy
Follow Jane Li Co on Instagram

TWRL Milk Tea | Nitro, plant-based, organic milk tea

Pauline Ang and Olivia Chen, UC Berkeley alumni and friends for 20+ years, have always had a passion for a healthy lifestyle, sustainability and a love for Asian milk tea. As self-proclaimed foodie moms, they wanted something better to drink for themselves and their kids rather than the high-sugar, high calorie bubble/boba tea options that are currently out in the market — hence Twrl Milk Tea was born!

Twrl is a premium plant-based milk tea (tea latte) that is amazing in taste, made with organic fair-trade tea from small family farms, with only 45-50 calories and way less sugar compared to other ready-to-drink beverages including traditional boba/bubble tea drinks. It’s also nitro-infused for a smoother and creamier taste — without additional fats or creamers! Since Twrl is made with pea milk, it is also (top 8) allergen-free and can accommodate almost all types of diets including gluten-free, keto, nut-free, and dairy-free.

Pictured Editor’s Pick: TWRL 12-Pack Sampler | $37.95

Use promo code TAORG through till 12/25 for 15% off, new customers only. One time use. Excludes: Twrl Me Up, 6 pack Variety Pack and Hojicha Roasted Green Tea 12-pack.

Shop all from TWRL Tea
Follow TRWL Tea on Instagram

Impromptu Beef Noodle Soup Seasoning

“A spice blend for the hearty taste of Taiwanese Beef Noodle Soup. Suddenly, you want beef noodle soup. Impromptu. On everything. The forward-note is umami, followed by a sweetness, giving way to licorice flavor, and leaves a slight spice numbing after-note. Amazing on artisanal bread dipped in olive oil or sprinkled on fried eggs.”

Pictured Editor’s Pick: Impromptu BNS | $11

Use code TAORG for 5% off

Shop all from Impromptu Spices

Gifts for baba mama (a-pah, a-bú)

Yun Hai Selection Dried Fruit

“In April of 2021, we ran a Kickstarter campaign to collect preorders for dried fruit sourced from independent farmers in Taiwan, who were negatively impacted by the sudden ban China put in place on Taiwanese pineapples.

In 30 days, we raised over $100,000 from 1,000 backers, and were able to purchase over 14 tons of fruit from small farmers vulnerable to political trade volatility between China and Taiwan.

Now our dried Golden Diamond Pineapple, Irwin Mango, Pearl Guava, and (yes) Wax Apple are available to the public. Plum Powder and a traditional Taiwanese Market Tote were part of our rewards, too!”

Pictured Editor’s Pick: Yun Hai Selection Dried Fruit Gift Set 雲海嚴選果乾禮盒 | $90

Shop all from Yun Hai
Follow Yun Hai on Instagra

The Formosa Coffee | Taiwan-grown, New York-roasted coffee

“The coffee beans we use come directly from our farms on the mountains of central Taiwan at an elevation of 3,500-4,000ft. Grown in volcanic soil, our beans produce an exquisitely smooth taste without the bitterness and strong acidity. It is a mild coffee perfectly balanced in flavor and aroma. We roast every order on the day of shipping in New York, which means you always get the freshest coffee at peak flavor.”

Use code TAORG for 10% off

Pictured Editor’s Pick: Premium Taiwan Coffee | $20 for 8oz.

Shop all from The Formosa Coffee
Follow The Formosa Coffee on Instagram
The Formosa Coffee, interviewed by TaiwaneseAmerican.org

Annie’s T Cakes | Vegan, Gluten-free Pineapple Cakes

Annie’s T Cakes is a bakery selling vegan Taiwanese and Chinese snacks. And we’re starting with the internationally beloved pineapple cake! Annie’s T Cakes pineapple cakes are plant based, gluten free, and upcycled. Overall, a more sustainable alternative to this favorite, traditional food.

Pictured Editor’s Pick: Variety Pack (Taiwanese Pineapple Cake) | $8.00

Shop all from Annie’s T Cakes
Follow Annie’s T Cakes on Instagram

Gifts for readers

The Tiger Mom’s Tale | Lyn Liao Butler

When an American woman inherits the wealth of her Taiwanese family, she travels to confront them about their betrayals of the past in this stunning debut by Lyn Liao Butler.
Lexa Thomas has never quite fit in. Having grown up in a family of blondes while more closely resembling Constance Wu, she’s neither white enough nor Asian enough. Visiting her father in Taiwan as a child, Lexa thought she’d finally found a place where she belonged. But that was years ago, and even there, some never truly considered her to be a part of the family.
When her estranged father dies unexpectedly, leaving the fate of his Taiwanese family in Lexa’s hands, she is faced with the choice to return to Taiwan and claim her place in her heritage . . . or leave her Taiwanese family to lose their home for good. Armed with the advice of two half-sisters (one American and the other Taiwanese, who can’t stand each other), a mother who has reevaluated her sexuality, a man whose kisses make her walk into walls, and her self-deprecating humor, Lexa finds the courage to leave the comfort of New York City to finally confront the person who drove her away all those decades ago.
With fond memories of eating through food markets in Taiwan and forming a bond with a sister she never knew she had, Lexa unravels the truth of that last fateful summer and realizes she must stand up for herself and open her heart to forgiveness, or allow the repercussions of her family’s choices to forever dictate the path of her life.

Shop from TaiwaneseAmerican.org Bookshop

Fiona and Jane | Jean Chen Ho (Pre-order)

A witty, warm, and irreverent book that traces the lives of two young Taiwanese American women as they navigate friendship, sexuality, identity, and heartbreak over two decades.
Best friends since second grade, Fiona Lin and Jane Shen explore the lonely freeways and seedy bars of Los Angeles together through their teenage years, surviving unfulfilling romantic encounters, and carrying with them the scars of their families’ tumultuous pasts. Fiona was always destined to leave, her effortless beauty burnished by fierce ambition–qualities that Jane admired and feared in equal measure. When Fiona moves to New York and cares for a sick friend through a breakup with an opportunistic boyfriend, Jane remains in California and grieves her estranged father’s sudden death, in the process alienating an overzealous girlfriend. Strained by distance and unintended betrayals, the women float in and out of each other’s lives, their friendship both a beacon of home and a reminder of all they’ve lost.

Shop from TaiwaneseAmerican.org Bookshop

Shang-Chi by Gene Luen Yang Vol. 1: Brothers & Sisters | Gene Luen Yang, ill. Dike Ruan

THE MASTER RETURNS! An ancient and evil secret society has stayed in hiding since the death of their leader, Zheng Zhu. But now his successor has been chosen to shift the balance of power in the world…Zheng Zhu’s son, Shang-Chi! Witness the Marvel Universe’s greatest fighter return to a world of death and destruction he thought he left behind long ago…and discover the secrets to Shang-Chi’s past that will change his world forever Don’t miss out on this epic tale of family, betrayal and justice as the incredible team of Gene Luen Yang (American Born Chinese), Dike Ruan (SPIDER-VERSE, BLACK CAT) and Philip Tan (UNCANNY X-MEN) launch a new chapter in the legend of Shang-Chi!

Shop from TaiwaneseAmerican.org Bookshop

Spicebox Kitchen: Eat Well and Be Healthy with Globally Inspired, Vegetable-Forward Recipes | Linda Shiue

San Francisco based physician and chef Linda Shiue hasn’t met a fruit or vegetable she doesn’t like. Linda founded a popular vegetable-forward teaching kitchen to inspire people to cook for health. Spicebox Kitchen: Eat Well and Be Healthy with Globally Inspired, Vegetable Forward Recipes is her first cookbook.

Shop from TaiwaneseAmerican.org Bookshop


I Dream of Popo | Livia Blackburne, ill. Julia Kuo

When a young girl and her family emigrate from Taiwan to America, she leaves behind her beloved popo, her grandmother. She misses her popo every day, but even if their visits are fleeting, their love is ever true and strong.

Read “I Dream of Popo” Review on TaiwaneseAmerican.org
Shop from TaiwaneseAmerican.org Bookshop


TaiwaneseAmerican.org is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization registered in the State of California. We are run by an all-volunteer staff, and we are supported by personal funds and passion.

Please consider supporting TaiwaneseAmerican.org by making a monetary donation. All donations are tax-deductible, and letters acknowledging your donation will be sent by the end of the fiscal year.

Link to donate

Leave a Reply