Taiwan Coffee Crawl
CCS members share some of their favorite Taipei coffee shops
Story and photos by Coffee Crawl Series
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With ambient music in the background enclosed in a rustic tiled room, a cup in hand paired with delicious cakes and pastries is just the perfect place to wind down after a full morning of walking around Taipei. It is a minimalist space where you are encouraged to do nothing but drink your cup of coffee. Going here is not difficult but finding it might be a little hard.
Located in the Datong district, you can easily travel to Terra Coffee via MRT. From Taipei Main Station, take the red line (Tamsui-Xinyi line) to Minquan W. Road station and go out at Exit 1. The shop is around 200 meters away from the station. Just look for a little chalkboard directing you to the entrance of Terra Coffee. I walked past it when I was trying to look for the shop so be mindful as there are no other signs from the sidewalk.
Make sure to request for permission first before taking any photos as they may ask you to refrain from doing so. Terra Coffee has not only imbibed minimalism in its physical design but also in the culture observed inside its space.
Instil Coffee Dimension
I love walking around Taipei. The city has a lot of parks with wide sidewalks. I also enjoy walking past mid-rise buildings in muted colors. During our stroll in the Da’an district, my sister and I passed by Instil Coffee Dimension in one of the alleys in Fuxing South Road. From the outside is a small glass window where you can easily see a La Marzocco! I ordered an iced long black which is so refreshing after walking for several minutes. I still remember the jasmine notes in that coffee!
Instil Coffee Dimension is worth the stroll. From Taipei Main Station, take the red line (Tamsui-Xinyi line) to Daan station. Take the Exit 5 and walk along Fuxing South Road. The alley is a few meters across Fullerton Hotel.
I did not mind standing in front of Instil’s coffee stall. The weather was nice and it’s a different coffee experience for me. Also, I thought that was all of it. But I was wrong. There is a space inside where they host coffee workshops, art exhibits and other interesting events!
Make sure to be in your best OOTD if you will opt to enjoy your coffee outside as one of their crew might just snap a photo of you and post it on their social media accounts.
Nichi Nichi at Chifeng St. Datong Taipei was an impulse coffee crawl destination. I got off at Zhongshan Station Exit 5 to visit another cafe, but it was closed. The surrounding streets in the vicinity of Jiancheng Park is pretty cool with lots of Japanese style cafes and eateries. There’s another compact park at Exit 4 and an underground book mall.
The cafe’s vibe is youthful but homey. There are college students studying and some just hanging out. If you have work to do during your travels, it’s also a good place to go since they have wi-fi. Ordered the Iced Banana Latte and the Brown Sugar Iced Latte. Both were really good!
Don’t expect a big bustling place here. It’s a small cafe with a sense of community.
Coffee crawl tip: The area is home to more specialty coffee including Coffee Stand by me, woodensounds & Garnet Cru, MOGU Cafe and a popular dessert store illuminé.
Peloso Coffee Roasters
I like researching for coffee destinations when I travel. Peloso Coffee Roasters never came up in any of my searches, so I was pretty stoked when this was suggested by Sean of Plainsight Coffee Roasters.
You have to trust a coffee roaster when he gives a suggestion. Because Peloso is probably one of my favorite coffee crawl experiences. Like Nichi Nichi, this is definitely a community cafe. Entering Peloso is like being transported to a scene in a movie. It’s a popular destination for locals. It looked like there were no tourists when I visited, mostly local college students and yuppies doing their thing. The wooden tables were not fancy, but the place is lined with books and CDs. A CD player in the corner plays impeccable music.
You’d expect a place like this to be uptight, but to my surprise, the staff were warm and accommodating. They were ready to answer questions and have friendly smiles always. If you come here for specialty coffee alone, you can never go wrong. During my visit, they have a Gesha in the hopper and the iced latte was just divine. Get a bag or 2 of their own roasts to bring home the experience.
It’s not the easiest place to commute to since there’s a bit of a walk from Xiaonanmen Station Exit 2. But I urge you to discover it for yourself. You’d be happy to know there are other coffee crawl destinations in the area. And if you’re in a walking mood, you can get to The Red House at Ximen Station in 16 minutes.
Draw Coffee 話畫咖啡
Just a 12-minute walk from the Chiang Kai Shek Memorial, Draw Coffee is the perfect breakfast stop before or after watching the changing of guards at the monument (make sure to plan your visit towards the end of the hour to be in time for this!). From CKSM, exit through the Dazhong Gate, walk to your right until you reach the intersection to Section 2 Jinshan South Road, then turn right again until you smell coffee. It’s also a great jump-off point to your next destination because Dongmen station is nearby.
Despite being a small coffee shop at the corner of an alley, Draw Coffee isn’t hard to miss because of its open set up: no glass doors nor windows, counter easily visible from the sidewalk, and an unforgettable branding featuring a chummy old bloke with a pipe hanging from his mouth. Clearly designed to be a quick coffee stop, the shop has limited but varied seating that ranged from a few stools facing the alley on one side, two seats by the counter if you’re feeling chatty, a couple of small tables, and sidewalk seating for when you’re low-key lost and want to see the buses that ply that route and compare them to what you found on Google maps.
I had brown sugar latte here which was delectably creamy, not overly sweet, and paired well with the cold ham sandwich I ordered. Apart from their lattes and sandwiches, Draw Coffee also serves single-origin manual brews (Mandelin, Yirgacheffe, Kenya AA TOP, and Colombia), milk tea, smoothies, and juices.
Paper Street Coffee Company
I learned about Paper Street while researching coffee shops close to Huashan 1914 Creative Park, which was just across the busy intersection. Almost everyone who has tried coffee here seems to agree that their cold drip is something, and on the day that I went the weather was warmer than what was average for Taipei autumn — perfect for a glass of iced coffee.
From Taipei Main Station, you can take the Bannan (blue) Line to Zhongxia Xinsheng Station. From this subway stop, the coffee shop is a short two-minute walk. If you’re not ready to brave the subway, a number of buses from across Taipei Main make a stop at Jhongsia Elementary School which is not even a block away from Paper Street.
White, black, and wood dominate the interiors of Paper Street Coffee Company. The tables are communal but there are seats by the picture window that looks out to the busy street. It’s comfortably quiet but if you’re planning to check your email here and send a few, go somewhere else unless you have your own pocket Wi-Fi.
The rumors are true, their cold drip is good. Using a blend of South American and African beans, Paper Street Coffee’s cold drip coffee strikes the balance between bright and sweet making it a refreshing drink to power you for another hour or two of walking around Huashan 1914 Creative Park.
I didn’t know about Notch until after my first evening in Taipei and I was walking back to my hostel on Hankou St., scouting the area for a place where I can have breakfast the following morning. Located near the corner of Hankou and Chonquing Sec 1 streets, Notch is hard to miss because of its neon light signs for coffee and take-out.
Inside, warm lights illuminate the walls which are draped with burlap sacks of coffee printed with the names of well-known growers. The place smells of bread and occasionally pizza, which they also serve. Throughout both my trips to Taipei, Notch has reliably served me a decent cup of steaming Americano to start my day with. Also, if you are looking for single-serve drip coffee packets, Notch’s single-origin packs are great to take back to your accommodations or as lightweight pasalubong that you can sandwich between the t-shirts in your backpack.
There are also several branches of this, and the one I got to visit was the one near our hotel. They have their own roastery too. I got to try, a takeaway, Djimmah Mocca from Yemen and I got chocolate punches (I mean chocolate notes). It is only a small shop and perfect for staying for a few minutes, as Italians do.
Again, there are many branches of Cama Cafe. The one we visited was when we are on our way to the National Taiwan Museum. I bought a bag of their Pomona (not sure if it is a blend, as it is in Chinese) which is fruity! I bet the coffee is from Ethiopia, and most likely naturals. Its score is 92! The ecstatic egg yellow color of their brand resonates to me as a lovely place to go to for coffee. It sure works!
They have a roastery too!
Unknown Coffee Shop – a name without translation
There’s this shop that has no english translation for its name. I asked the owner and he said, “no english name.” Its vibe is a bit intimidating, it has even a plastic skull on its table. But before you even think of voodoo, I think its vibe is just a mere shock value. Coffee is so great, I had an espresso with zesty hints! And of course, they have their own roastery.
Why Starbucks? It is worth mentioning as the branch we visited is the Starbucks Wanhua Lin House in Wanhua district. The coffee is still what you can get here (aside from their country offerings), but what got us is that the place is very historical (but I did not do my homework!) and it has this homey feel to it. To add, it rained heavily that day, complementing our coffee mood.
To make it more interesting, the brewed coffee on that day was buy one get one. I got greedy haha!
No roastery, as you might have guessed.
Find them at No. 141, Section 2, Yangde Boulevard, Shilin District, Taipei City, Taiwan 111 [click for map]
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