Everyone talks about the tasty food in Taiwan, and how could they not! But I’d like to talk about its forgotten brother: Coffee.
In this article I will tell you all about the up and coming Taiwanese coffee shop scene, so buckle up!
Why am I writing about coffee? I used to own a cafe in Europe for several years so you can guess that I’m passionate coffee lover. Together with my partner we will take you for a short journey around coffee shops in Keelung City which are popping up one after another one in the last few years – lucky customers. Follow us.
Few short words what was important to us while choosing cafes. First of all, if the coffee shop is working along Specialty Coffee Association rules. No worries, it’s not a lecture. In short: barista should know: what coffee is he brewing for you (believe, in many cafes they don’t know) ;origin of beans, how the beans were processed on the farm, roasting profile, flavour profile and of course barista must have essential brewing skills and keep coffee machine clean as it affects the taste. All these information are important to me because it tells me their approach to coffee.
We always look at customer service level, nobody likes to sit in a coffee shop where all baristas are impolite, gloomy or frustrated, right? We won’t send you to those places. Interior design – not the most important but we like to hang out in a cozy cafes where is clean and bright. We will tell you which coffee shops are better suited for digital nomads; more and more travelers combine travelling and working as a freelancers so it’s handy to know good spots for doing your work. Let’s start.
1. Anygood Cafe
This coffee shop is located on the Renai Market among many small food stalls what we personally loved. Sitting by the tiny table, drinking coffee and watching all these people who came over there just because of food is just mesmerizing. The crew is very friendly and helpful. You can have a little chat in English, which is always fun. They brew coffee on a good level. There is a variety of beans to choose for filter coffee. You can buy beans roasted by them for home. We adore this small concept of tiny coffee shop on the busy food market. We didn’t see any foreigners there. They don’t have cakes but sell pudding. If you feel for something sweet their neighbors sell yummy cinnamon rolls, moist with good icing. It’s a place where you feel that you want to come back, it means it’s a good coffee shop, right?
2. Hermes coffee shop
It’s a super tiny shop but with great coffee on the table. It’s a hidden gem among cafes in Keelung. The owner focuses on roasting his coffee beans and selling to other cafes but on site serving coffee to his few customers visiting the coffee shop. I had here the best black filter coffee in Keelung. While sitting at the table you can observe as the owner is deselecting defected beans from the batch which he has just roasted – it’s one of the reasons why his coffee is so good. He uses very small roaster which can contain only 2kg of beans, so it makes the roasting process more efficient and even but it’s much more work for the owner. I bought his beans, do it the same, it’s worth. The coffee shop itself looks a bit more like his workshop. There is a space for around 10 people at the same time. Still you can connect to Wifi.
3. Coffee roasting studio
This is a quite new coffee shop in Keelung. The owner is very young and roasting beans for the coffee shop on a site in very tiny brand new roasting machine. It’s possible to roast only 900g of beans at a time – super tiny. Good space for your digital nomad work. Bright, nice big table with power sockets around. You won’t be disappointed because of coffee. If you get hungry you can order something from food menu but it’s only in Chinese. No worries, they speak English so you will be able to communicate. We didn’t try but spotted some good looking cakes. Visit Roasting studio and show them gratitude for great customer service.
It’s located on Xiao’er Road. This is a small local coffee shop, a hidden gem in my opinion, and worth to go for a hunt.
丸角自轉生活咖啡, or, as in its English translation; Maruko Rotation Life Coffee, is a small coffee shop with coffee from all over the world.
They have coffee from Guatemala, Ethiopia, Kenya, Honduras, Brazil and Indonesia. I went for a simpler choice, and had the Brown Sugar Latte. It was delicious. The sandwich did not fall short either; it’s called Sweet and non-spicy sausage sandwich, or 甜不辣香腸三明治. I highly recommend giving it a try, it has both sausages and fried tempura.
The building is worth visit too, the first floor is wooden, and quite modern. On the second floor, after you climb upstairs, you’ll find a simpler set up. The coffee shop has a very nice, cozy, and minimalist interior design. They are open only from 12.00 so don’t rush.
If you’re looking for that ‘oh, so cute’ cafe, this is your place. The decor is warm and inviting, and the food and coffee looks like taken out of a fairy tale; they specialize in latte art, and draw the most beautiful animals on your coffee. Plus their staff is really friendly staff, so what else could you ask for?
As it is located on the second floor, if you want to treat yourself to a view, you can enjoy your yummy food and coffee while watching the good people of Keelung running their errands near the harbor.
6. Mini Market Café
If you pass by the traditional market in Keelung, in addition to checking the seasonal fruits and fish, give yourself a fresh cup of coffee, blending the flavors and smells of this island.
Text and photos: Daniel Mikulinski / Maria Pau Sancho Martinez
Worked on a project: Iga kopiec, Daniel Mikulinski and Maria Pau Sancho Martinez