Bean there, done that: The low down on Taipei cafes

Dear Taipei,

You know that well-worn saying “Never talk about sex, politics and religion”? I’d like to add another topic to the mix- coffee. Think about it- like sex, religion and politics, people have incredibly strong opinions about coffee, and will doggedly fight you to the bitter end to make you see their way. Where to get the best cup, which baristas really know what they’re doing, what drink to order. It’s a minefield of a conversation at tamest.


Paper St.

I think it’s a shame sex, religion and politics are often seen as “taboo” or improper to discuss- some of the richest, most insightful conversations I’ve had have been about these topics. I hazard it’s because there’s a high chance for conflict, or making others feel uncomfortable. Same with coffee right? How dare suggest that place! Do you even drink coffee? Just go back to your McCafe. (Taiwan limited insult: Just sip your Dante Coffee. Burn).

So it was with quite a bit of trepidation that I accepted the assignment from Travelog to write about some of Taipei’s best coffee shops. Check it out by clinking the link or picture below!

Bean there done that: Taipei cafes perfect for every occasion Screenshot_2016-01-06-12-26-43_1

What a task of gigantic proportions! Taipei has a huge number of incredible coffee shops, so just narrowing it down was challenging in itself. I knew I would have to be really careful to not suggest anything too “typical” or “commercial” for fear that a member of the Coffee Mob (you know the type) would roast me alive (at least this would subsequently lead to the creation of a delicious Tying To Taipei coffee blend!)

Carb loading at The Lobby of Simple Kaffa. The drinks and cakes are honestly top notch!

So I may have overcompensated with a not too shabby number of places to recommend. A bit naughty considering Travelog generally likes these lists to be a Top 5, but how on earth could I narrow it down to just a handful?

I’ve suggested where to go for:
-Impressive interiors
-Strong and free WiFi
-A date with your favourite book
-A good cup of coffee

I hope you can discover a new place to get your caffeine fix after reading! Obviously, this only covers the surface of the eclectic mix of cafes in Taipei- if this article goes well hopefully I can cover other categories too!

It was a really fun assignment as I absolutely love nestling in a cafe with a coffee to sip on and just chill the day away. I know that Taipei’s coffees are frustratingly quite expensive (especially when they are the same price to get a whole meal!), but I guess it is worth it if you get a good cup, relaxing surrounds and maybe a bite to eat too.

The bagel set and interiors I was swooning over at ImPerfect Cafe.

Coming from one of the coffee loving capitals of the world, Sydney, I think I can appreciate a good cup when I taste it. Sydneysiders are absolutely bonkers for coffee. A cup of coffee is usually quite affordable and expertly crafted, which is fortunate considering its common practice to catch up with friends over coffee. (Holla to my Aussie readers- living without our wonderful Aus-exclusive flat whites is seriously tough!)

It’s a big relief Taipei holds a high standard for coffee too. There are so many wonderful little coffee shops out there that I fear I may not get around to trying them all!

What do you think of my coffee roundup? Have you tried any of the places already? Do you have any suggestions? I’d love to hear! Please let me know in the comments section below 🙂

Sex, Religion, Politics and Coffee- the four golden points helping keep conversation thriving.



The striking exterior of The Lobby of Simple Kaffa

Header image credit: Modern Mode



  1. Beautiful! I love how you used coffee lingo throughout as well: “for fear that a member of the Coffee Mob (you know the type) would ‘roast’ me alive” – just brilliant. I also love how you organized the categories. I’m eager to check out Notch, it sounds like a hidden gem!
    Great writing, Mon!


    1. Hi lovely!

      Thank you for your super encouraging message!:)

      Hahaha, I love puns a bit too much. Thank god I can never be a dad, as I’d be all over the Dad Jokes!

      We can go together sometime!:-D


  2. That’s a useful compilation. Thanks for sharing it. 🙂


    1. Hi 4 Year Old Adult (what a great name!)

      I’m glad you enjoyed! Just don’t try them all at once- you may not ever be able to sleep :-p

      Cheers for the comment!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I am just 80km away from Taipei, guess it’s tough not to try :p


  3. I love that it’s called “ImPerfect Cafe” even though imperfect is impossible to pronounce in Chinese. 🙂


    1. Do you think people would have trouble pronouncing it? I have enough trouble pronouncing certain things in Mandarin, let alone having the capacity to figure out what they find difficult! 😛

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Well I know there are some quirks to Chinese…Syllables can’t end with consonants, for one thing, so saying something like “Im•per•fect” would be pretty hard. For instance, I’ve found Chinese people often turn “Famous” into “Fay-murse,” and in China people couldn’t really pronounce “Maine—” They turned the middle “ai” into an “eh,” and opted for a more palatized version of the final “N,” rendering it more of a weird “Men-” sounding word. I think they struggle with our polysyllabic words! So don’t feel bad with your Mandarin struggles! 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Have you studied linguistics before? You seem to know an awful lot!

        The owners seem to be Taiwanese, so I think they’re in on the joke 🙂


      3. I’ve never formally studied linguistics, but it’s something I’m interested in, so I spend a lot of time on the Wikipedia pages; also have a Linguist friend whom I pump for information when I can. 🙂


      4. Wow, impressive! A thirst for knowledge is always an admirable trait!


  4. Do you have any suggestions or good topics for non native English speaker to be sociable besides those four topics:) or even native speaker


    1. Hi Jim!

      Thanks for leaving a comment:)

      Haha unless you’re quite gutsy, I wouldn’t suggest you launching in a talk about sex, religion or politics if you’re on a language exchange!

      I think the topic that gets many people inspired is talking about travel. Where they’ve been, where they want to go etc. Also if you want to have more intellectual discussions maybe you could discuss some of the latest news and share your opinions? Music is another topic that is interesting and can give you a greater insight into your partner.

      Good luck!:)


      1. Thanks , what If you have already known them a lot , what would you talk about when meeting every time? On top of how’s your week etc. 🙂


      2. I think every language exchange partnership is different, so one topic might work for one partnership, and completely fail with another.

        If you know each other quite well then you probably know what topics get both of you engaged!

        Perhaps if you feel comfortable you could debate moral issues eg gay marriage, compulsory military service, status of women etc.

        Good luck!


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: