rufous single origin filter coffee

Taipei Cafes: Rufous Coffee

A review of cafe Rufous Coffee in Da’An District, Taipei. Notes are by an amateur coffee enthusiast and digital nomad. Descriptions are equal parts coffee and remote-work suitability. Most photos are shot with a second-hand Fujifilm X100. This is part of my Taipei Coffee Walk: NTU, Zhongzheng, Da’An Districts.

rufous single origin filter coffee

Rufous serves a variety of single origin roasts — Photo by Athena Lam

Cafe Overview:

coffee da'an district taipei

Rufous Coffee is a 5-minute walk from the Technology Building Station (科技大樓站) — Photo by Athena Lam

Rufous Coffee Roasters is one of those cafes that demands effort from its clientele. Despite being a stone’s throw from an MRT station, the shop location is a distance from both the bustling shopping areas and cafe agglomerations around the universities.

The small cafe seats about 30 people — Photo by Athena Lam

Even with the added layer of inconvenience, Rufous was almost full on an early weekday afternoon. Having said that, the seated guests chattered away and were in no rush to leave, even when I paid my bill almost an hour later.

Rufous Coffee has been around for a decade, making it one of Taipei’s pioneering specialty coffee shops. Unlike its esteemed counterparts such as GaBee, which has a flare for innovative coffee-inspired drinks, Rufous Coffee Roasters is known for its single-origin beans. The menu offering is extensive, and also a bit expensive (roughly around 150-200 NTD).

I was in a rush that day since I had taken my lunch break to come here and I forgot to note the drink I’d ordered, but I remember it being a delightful mix of both fruity and smokey.

rufous coffee taipei independent coffee roaster

The counter seats that offer a view of the syphon and filter brews — Photo by Athena Lam

I didn’t notice any plugs, but there might be one at the back table, where a student was working. Wi-Fi is available for remote work. I would not recommend coming on the weekend, as the place gets quite packed.

taipei independent coffee shop

A busy weekend afternoon — Photo by Athena Lam

Their Story / What I like About Them:

rufous coffee remote work

The small counters are better for reading and writing — Photo by Athena Lam

When I went, the owner wasn’t in, but the grapevine tells me that he was previously in the restaurant business and started the cafe because he was obsessed about the quality of coffee. He’s still involved in everything from sourcing to roasting and the name Rufous comes from the rust-coloured red-brown that he believes the drink should have.

As a side note, everyone writes about the Panama Geisha, so that should be a safe bet if you want to try their best. I remember choosing amongst the lower-priced single origins on the menu just to test their baseline.

specialty coffee taipei

Rufous Coffee’s eclectic collections — Photo by Athena Lam

Good For:

  • Coffee: Pour-over, syphon, espresso
  • Food: Desserts
  • Cafe Space: Approx 30 people
  • Friends: Small-group hangouts / one-to-one
  • Workspace: Coffee counter, a few 4-person tables, 1 big group table at the back
  • Remote Work: Wi-Fi available, no plugs
Address: 台北市復興南路2段339號
No. 339, Section 2, Fuxing South Road, Da’an District, Taipei City, Taiwan 106
Website:   Facebook page
Hours:  13:00-22:00
Closed Thursdays

Check out other nearby cafes at my Songshan Coffee Walk post (map included)!

Taiwan
national taiwan university coffee shop

Taipei Cafes: Cafe Macho (早秋咖啡)

A review of cafe Cafe Macho in Da’An District, Taipei. Notes are by an amateur coffee enthusiast and shoestring digital nomad. Descriptions are equal parts coffee and remote-work suitability. Most photos are shot with a second-hand Fujifilm X100. This is part of my Taipei Coffee Walk: NTU, Zhongzheng, Da’An Districts.

national taiwan university coffee shop

A plump cappuccino  Photo by Athena Lam

Cafe Overview:

I dropped by Cafe Macho on an afternoon when the sky was brooding and sputtering during a walk around the university area. The lanes between National Taiwan University (NTU) and Shifan University (Shida) have an endless selection of lounges, cafes, tiny restaurants, small shops, and galleries. Some, like Picnic, have been around for over a decade while new ones come and go.

NTU independent coffee shop taiwan

Cafe Macho is just behind Guting Station — Photo by Athena Lam

Cafe Macho was one of those places that have stuck around as a haven for students, artists, and political renegades. I came here at the recommendation of another coffee friend.

taipei cafe patio

This independent cafe used to be closer to Shifan University — Photo by Athena Lam

Being in the NTU area, the cafe is like many of its competitors: set up to host students for hours. This means it’s perfect for remote work with individual plugs at the counter seats and under the group tables. Needless to say, Wi-Fi is also free. Though the cafe only opens at noon, if you drop by before 3pm, there should be no problem getting a seat.

remote work digital nomad taipei

The cafe has plugs and Wi-Fi and is a student haven — Photo by Athena Lam

I ordered a cappuccino, as this was my second coffee of the day before I’ve even had lunch. The drink is alright and decent enough as a parking fee for a few hours. I’m not sure what beans they use, but coffee isn’t the only thing they serve. The cafe is more famous as a bar and night hang-out, with events like live performances.

NTU independent coffee shop taiwan

Cafe Macho’s Menu — Photo by Athena Lam

Their Story / What I like About Them:

cafe macho indie cafe

Barista-bartenders — Photo by Athena Lam

Some people may be more familiar with Cafe Macho’s predecessor, More Relax 多鬆咖啡啡, which was originally closer to Shifan University (Shida for short). It was one of those renegade hangouts that allowed smoking and hosted an animated bunch of patrons. Unfortunately, the local residents above weren’t as appreciative of the late-night energy More Relax and its neighbouring bars drew, so they were all eventually forced out.

national taiwan university coffee shop

Retro-style furniture to go with the underground ambiance — Photo by Athena Lam

Cafe Macho was founded by one of the staff at More Relax to preserve the same artistic and student-friendly hub. You’ll find nostalgic manga collections on the small shelf, flyers at the patio entrance, and plenty of posters. The cafe is also proudly political with a small sign in support of same-sex marriage.

NTU independent coffee shop taiwan

The outside patio is covered with a clear skylight panel — Photo by Athena Lam

Good For:

  • Coffee: Espresso
  • Food: Restaurant mains, desserts
  • Cafe Space: Approx 20 people (including the outside patio)
  • Friends: Hangouts, manga reading
  • Workspace: Bar counter with plugs, 4-person group tables, work station counters, outside patio seats, and I think a downstairs
  • Remote Work: Wi-Fi available, plugs available
Address:  台北市中正區晉江街10號
No. 10, Jinjiang St, Zhongzheng District, Taipei City, Taiwan 100
Website:   Facebook page
Hours:  Daily 12:00-00:00

If you liked this post, check out the other cafes in my Taipei Coffee Walk: NTU, Zhongzheng and Da’an Districts!

Taiwan
Hi, 日楞Ryou Café americano

Taipei Cafes: Hi Ryou Cafe 日楞咖啡

A review of an independent cafe, Hi日楞 Ryou Cafe, near NTU in Taipei. Notes are by an amateur coffee enthusiast and digital nomad. I’d recommend this place more for remote work, although the coffee is alright. Most photos are shot with a second-hand Fujifilm X100. This is part of my Taipei Coffee Walk: NTU, Zhongzheng, Da’An Districts.

Hi, 日楞Ryou Café americano

Americano at Hi日楞 Ryou Cafe — Photo by Athena Lam

Cafe Overview:

Hi, 日楞Ryou Café

Hi Ryou has a large patio, but only one table — Photo by Athena Lam

Morning friends will feel my pain in Taipei when it comes to cafes that open early. Because most cater to university students of people who have time in the afternoon, opening hours are frequently 11am or past lunch.

Hi Ryou is one of the handful of cafes that opens at 8am. As an added bonus, it has a more Western-inspired menu for people who want an eggs and toast alternative to the Chinese breakfast buns.

Hi, 日楞Ryou Café

The cafe opens early for Taipei at 8am and serves breakfast — Photo by Athena Lam

Like many other Taipei cafes, this place comes with Wi-Fi and plugs under the seats. The seat options include high stools, wide two-person tables, a group table, and even a sofa area. The single table on the patio is usually occupied by someone with a lot of time.

Hi, 日楞Ryou Café menu

Minimum order is 1 drink per person — Photo by Athena Lam

The menu has English. If you visit their Chinese website, you’ll also see in their blog a commitment to hand-selected ingredients, if that’s your thing. Beside the cashier, you can also have a look at the ingredients they use (and sell) in their fridge.

remote work da an district taipei

Wifi and plugs available for remote work at Hi日楞 Ryou Cafe — Photo by Athena Lam

I had an Americano as I wasn’t feeling in the mood for milk. As I was typing away, I couldn’t help overhear a conversation beside me by two backpackers exchanging travel information about Hong Kong. I get the impression the owners, or the space, also have a hostel or AirBnB close by, but that’s just based on the luggage I saw in the tatmi corner.

remote work NTU taipei

The counter in the middle separates the open space — Photo by Athena Lam

I chose an individual table lined up against the window as the place was already full by the time I arrived around 10am. It seems like the place is usually busy and has rounds that include the proper breakfast crowd, brunch groups, lunch-diners, and (of course) afternoon coffee visitors. Even though the seats are full, the place never got too loud (nor is it ever that quiet).

taipei independent cafe

Seating options include group tables, counter with stools, and individual tables — Photo by Athena Lam

At this point, you’re probably wondering why I haven’t mentioned the coffee. The coffee is alright, but there was nothing particularly special about the Americano I had. It was a typically smooth Asian version of the American daily cup of black. I had already eaten by the time I arrived, but looking at the people around me, the breakfasts seemed pretty generously sized!

Their Story / What I like About Them:

 

tai power building guting coffee shop

The cafe gets busy after brunch! — Photo by Athena Lam

If you search for this cafe, you’ll find a name that’s slightly different from how I’ve arranged it. Most bloggers also follow their format: “Hi, 日楞 Ryou Caf’e”.  The name a mix of this original name: “海日楞”, which according to the cafe’s site, means either an outpouring of love or out of love (去愛). For those who enjoy the Taipei charm, the thought that goes into little things like names, plants, and everything around a balanced lifestyle will appeal.

western cafe taipei

They really like their plants! — Photo by Athena Lam

And for remote workers, this is a great place to spend a whole day in the city centre and get some work done with some happy greens to keep you company.

taipei cafe aptio

This lady was still there by the time I left — Photo by Athena Lam

Good For:

  • Coffee: Espresso & pour-over
  • Food: Breakfast, lunch, desserts, snacks
  • Cafe Space: Seats about 30-40 people
  • Friends: Great for hangouts and reading.
  • Workspace: Individual tables, group tables, lounge chairs, benches, and 1 outside patio table
  • Remote Work: Plugs & Wi-Fi available
Address:  台北市大安區浦城街24-1號
No. 24-1, Pucheng Street, Da’an District, Taipei City, Taiwan 106
Website:  Facebook / Blog (updated irregularly)
Hours:
營業時間
Weekdays: 8:30 ~ 19:00
Closed Tuesdays

If you liked this post, check out the other cafes in my Taipei Coffee Walk: NTU, Zhongzheng and Da’an Districts!

Taiwan
white chocolate cake canadian bakery taipei

Taipei Cafes: Yan & Coco’s Choice

A review of Yan and Coco’s Choice in DaAn District, Taipei. As a digital nomad on the hunt for friendly places with good coffee or food  remote-work suitability. Most photos are shot with a second-hand Fujifilm X100. This is part of my Taipei Coffee Walk: NTU, Zhongzheng, Da’An Districts.

Cafe Overview:

Yan & Coco's choice NTU

The bakery-cafe is opened by a retired accountant and photographer / travel-writer — Photo by Athena Lam

An afternoon in the area around the National Taiwan University could easily drift into evening, and slide gently into night. Wandering the grid of alleys, every storefront will be a new character to study — is it a wooden Japanese-inspired noodle joint, a corner store, a lounge bar shaded by broad-leafed plants, or an open studio? The ensemble is loosely knit together by that demure Taipei chill.

Yan and Coco’s is one such small shop that one could either glide past, or stumble upon, with one of the owners sitting on the patio chair, people watching.

Yan & Coco's choice NTU

The homestyle bakery began because the couple couldn’t find French breads quite like what they missed from Paris — Photo by Athena Lam

Like many cafes around the area, they open at 11am, so it makes a great place to drop by for brunch and work through the afternoon. The skylight on the side is one of the most ideal places in the area to work without feeling like you’ve missed out on the sunshine.

taipei remote work

Remote work spot with natural lighting — Photo by Athena Lam

The bakery doesn’t try to compete with the other “hip” cafes close by like Picnic, so I didn’t have to compete with as many hip university students with stacked textbooks. The place has free Wi-Fi and I spotted a few outlets, so it works perfectly for remote work. Plus, the couple don’t mind people hanging around and are just as happy to chat as they are to leave you alone.

white chocolate cake canadian bakery taipei

Their white chocolate cake is nice and light — Photo by Athena Lam

Since the place is more a bakery, I was more interested in their breads and cakes. After trying the sample breads (many of which are European-inspired), I settled on cake (for coffee time!). They have a few in-house options (such as cheesecake), but my favourite is the white chocolate cake because it’s surprisingly light. I normally dislike white chocolate, but this is one of the exceptions. As a cafe, they also serve espresso-based coffee, and I would suggest ordering a drink with milk, as the extraction tends to be on the smokey-bitter end, which works well with their cakes.

Yan & Coco's choice NTU

One table on their porch for people watching, and one indoors when it rains  — Photo by Athena Lam

Their Story / What I like About Them:

I’ve known this shop since they opened three years ago, so I like dropping by to see what new bread selections they have when I’m in the area. This time around, I noticed new jars in the fridge under the cakes.

taipei french bakery

Got to sample a French chef’s homemade pate after he quit working at a nearby restaurant — Photo by Athena Lam

Pate? Why? It turns out a French chef who married a Taiwanese lady had a falling out with the restaurant owners who employed him. He had been recommended down the block to this cafe to source baguettes for the restaurant originally and hit it off with the owners, so after he left, he brought a sample for Yan and Coco (the owners) to try. When they liked it, they offered to stock some for him to test the market.

The bakery looks like a local corner shop one would stumble upon somewhere in France or Italy with its olive oils, wines, and other eclectic offerings (they use and sell one of my favourite types of French butter).  Like corner shops around the world that people weave into their routines, I’ve encountered friendly regulars by staying for a few hours. One of them was a Canadian who liked coming for their pumpkin soup (apparently, it’s a Canadian thing) and was also quite obsessed about quality service and ingredients. This other guest recommended me to Yamada Coffee (which I’ve included in my neighbourhood coffee walk).

french butter taipei NTU

They sell legit French butter (which they also use in their baked goods) — Photo by Athena Lam

Good For:

  • Coffee: Espresso
  • Food: Restaurant mains, desserts, bread
  • Cafe Space: Approx 15 people
  • Friends: Hangouts, meal
  • Workspace: Individual & 4-person tables, 1 table on the patio outside
  • Remote Work: Wi-Fi available, 1-2 plugs
Address:   No. 51, Wenzhou Street, Da’an District, Taipei City, Taiwan 106
Website:   Facebook page
Hours:  Daily: 11:00-21:30

If you liked this post, check out my Taipei Coffee Walk: Songshan District!

Taiwan
紙街咖啡館 中正區

Taipei Cafes: Paper Street Coffee Company

A review of an independent coffeehouse, Paper Street Coffee. Notes are by an amateur coffee enthusiast and shoestring digital nomad. Descriptions are equal parts coffee and remote-work suitability. Most photos are shot with a second-hand Fujifilm X100. This cafe is part of my Taipei Coffee Walk: NTU, Zhongzheng & Da’An District.

紙街咖啡館 中正區

Cappuccino at Paper Street Coffee Company — Photo by Athena Lam

Cafe Overview:

紙街咖啡館 中正區

Paper Street Coffee is across the street from Huashan 1914 Cultural Park — Photo by Athena Lam

Recently, I bought a plane ticket to Taipei on a whim. The thought entered my head Friday night. I bought the ticket on Saturday, and Sunday evening I boarded my plane. Since moving to Asia over 8 years ago, Taipei’s always been a staple, sleepy getaway. Since 2010, Third Wave Coffee has taken root and blossomed and every time I drop by, there are new places to visit.

Taiwan espresso

The espresso drinks are well priced compared to other independent cafes. — Photo by Athena Lam

That’s all to say, Paper Street Coffee was one of them. I saw it mentioned by some of the pickier local coffee reviewers. They went so far as to say it was the best in the city, so it piqued my curiosity.

taipei third wave coffee

Paper Street has limited seating for remote work. — Photo by Athena Lam

Because most reviews also said the place was busy during the day on weekends. Going for an early morning coffee run wasn’t an option as, like most other cafes in Taipei, they don’t cater for the office rush hour and open at 10am. My second option was to go at night on my last day after work.

As someone who loves atmospheric settings and quiet spaces, going at night worked out. I spent a good 5 minutes facing their storefront, imagining I was in some corner of Brooklyn.

紙街咖啡館 中正區

Request double shot if you want it — Photo by Athena Lam

The espresso was decent, but not spectacular. Priced at 110 NTD, it’s more economical than other places of the same quality. Other bloggers have also applauded their single origin selection, so do consider asking what they have. As it was my 4th cup of the day, I didn’t want all the caffeine in a filter coffee, so I ordered a cappuccino. The latte art isn’t much to speak of visually, but the froth was decent enough. Of course, if I had a double-shot the flavours would be more distinct.

As for remote work, I noticed one or two plugs, but the place doesn’t have Wi-Fi. The available seating is the group table, the window counter, and 3-5 seats (if you squeeze) at the brew bar.

taipei remote work cafe

The window counter is a great place to watch the night unfold. — Photo by Athena Lam

Their Story / What I like About Them:

taipei remote work cafe

I heard the cafe’s busy during the day, but at night it’s nice! — Photo by Athena Lam

Unfortunately, I didn’t get to chat with the barista about the cafe’s concept. Even from outside, I could tell he was engrossed in conversation with the friend sitting at the counter. The exchange, oddly, felt like an invitation — to any person who washed up in this corner of Taipei, on a late night, wanting a bit of space and time to themselves.

taipei third wave coffee

One of the most endearing cafe scenes I’ve encountered — Photo by Athena Lam

I tried to stay out of their way aside from making my drink order. Without headphones, I couldn’t help but overhear them discuss personal matters, but once I got to work, their low voices merged with the swoosh of cars racing over puddles outside the window.

Some cafe bloggers write that the place was established as an homage to Australian coffee culture. But, I spotted a Manhattan map on a wall and the stark white walls with black accents and minimalist lamp shades convince me there must be a bit of East Coast mixed in. Plus, the barista’s got his baseball cap.

taipei third wave coffee

Paper Street Coffee is quite minimalist, if you haven’t noticed — Photo by Athena Lam

If you’ve read my other cafe reviews, this one will seem a bit out of place. But this charming encounter reminded me that at the end of the day, many of the cafes we love are for the encounters that we collect. Sometimes, they’re shared, as would be the case if it was a friendly barista. Other times, it’s just circumstance.

But, if you are a little homesick for the East Coast and you drop by on an evening just after the rains, this place will be that small corner of Taipei that will remind you of home.

紙街咖啡館 中正區

Soaking in “mood” by the window — Photo by Athena Lam

Good For:

  • Coffee: Espresso, pour-over
  • Food: Pastries, cakes
  • Cafe Space: About 20 seats (including the brewing counter).
  • Friends: Hangouts, catching up, readings
  • Workspace: Window counter table, big group table, brewing counter
  • Remote Work: No Wi-Fi. Some plugs available.
Address:  台北市中正區八德路一段28號
No. 28, Section 1, Bade Road, Zhongzheng District, Taipei City, Taiwan 10058
Website:  Facebook
Hours: Daily: 10:00-20:00

If you liked this post, check out the other cafes in my Taipei Coffee Walk: NTU, Zhongzheng and Da’an Districts!

Taiwan
山田咖啡 台北中正區

Taipei Cafes: Yamada Coffee (Zhongzhen)

A review of an independent coffee roaster, Yamada Coffee near NTU in Taipei. Notes are by an amateur coffee enthusiast and digital nomad. I’ve written about this place because of its coffee quality, as it is not suitable for remote work (like my other posts). Most photos are shot with a second-hand Fujifilm X100. This cafe is part of my Taipei Coffee Walk: NTU, Zhongzheng & Da’An District.

山田咖啡 台北中正區

Yamada Coffee opened its first Taipei shop near Guting Station early 2017 — Photo by Athena Lam

Cafe Overview:

山田咖啡 台北中正區

Yamada Coffee is originally from Xinbei City in Northern Taiwan — Photo by Athena Lam

Late one evening after work, I learned about Yamada Coffee while standing on the counter of another cafe. The other cafe patron was a local NTU professor who began the conversation because he heard my speaking Cantonese — a reminder of home for someone who’d spent nearly a decade in Taiwan. We quickly segued into the quality of food and coffee, and he imparted his local wisdom.

kanazawa coffee brewing method

Brewing using the Kanazawa method requires adding water after — Photo by Athena Lam

He was particularly excited about a small local roaster he knew from Xinbei, where he taught for several years. Despite the Japanese name, the roaster is 100% local Taiwanese and only recently opened its brewing showroom in Taipei city. The coffee is reasonably priced, at around US$2, much lower than other independent cafes surrounding Guting.

I came for Yamada’s beans, which I highly recommend. I wanted to pick up the latest roast, so that it could last longer and was limited to 3 options since the roasting dates are on the bags. While the tasting notes are in Chinese, the place of origin is in English.

My real treat, however, was watching the Kanazawa brewing method. The Kanazawa brewing method comes with its own Kanazawa drip pot with a thermometre (about US$200 at Yamada Coffee and ¥13,8000 in Kanazawa City, Japan). They brew with the usual V60 filter until 100 mL, then they add water to taste.

Their Story / What I like About Them:

kanazawa coffee pot

Kanazawa water pot (金澤式ドリップポット) includes a thermos — Photo by Athena Lam

Yamada Coffee’s story began in 1925, when it was a licensed distributor for KŌNO coffee equipment. They also had the only KŌNO coffee roaster, and developed the KŌNO-style roasts using a lower even-roasting method (I’d like to know how too, but it was just a general Chinese summary).

The Kanazawa drip pot is sold at the Kanazawa Coffee Shop (Main store), and there isn’t yet much written about it outside of Japan. If you are interested in doing your own search, using Japanese will yield a few more results: “金澤式ドリップポット”. Kanazawa’s Shinkansen line connecting to Tokyo opened recently in 2015, and is worth a cultural visit in addition to the coffee!

You know a coffee shop cannot be half bad when it establishes itself outside of a major metropolis — a local area like Xinbei not known for coffee.

What they’ve brought to the mix of independent lifestyle cafes around Guting and the NTU area is clean and professional service. If you want to be left alone, the staff are happy to have you browse through the gadgets and their various roasts. Each roast has a tasting vial, and they encourage you to give it a shake to smell the flavours better. It’s just no-nonsense good coffee (in contrast to the many lounge-and-food oriented places that call themselves cafes in Taiwan).

yamada coffee independent roaster taipei

Yamada Coffee used Kono roasters for almost a century and still does small-batch roasting — Photo by Athena Lam

Good For:

  • Coffee: Pour-over (Kono or Kanazawa methods)
  • Food: None
  • Cafe Space: Not suitable for remote work
  • Friends: Nope – do takeaway!
  • Workspace: Not suitable for remote work. A counter for you to take quick notes.
  • Remote Work: Not suitable.
Address:  台北市中正區羅斯福路二段18號
No. 18, Section 2, Roosevelt Road, Zhongzheng District, Taipei City, Taiwan
Website:  Facebook
Hours:
營業時間
Weekdays: 8:00 ~ 19:30
Closed Tuesdays

If you liked this post, check out the other cafes in my Taipei Coffee Walk: NTU, Zhongzheng and Da’an Districts!

Taiwan
national taiwan university coffee shop

Taipei Coffee Walk: NTU and DaAn District

A shortlist of independent coffee roasters and coffee shops around the National Taiwan University (NTU or Taida) and the Da’an and Zhongzhen area. Notes are by an amateur coffee enthusiast and shoestring digital nomad. Places are reviewed for their remote work suitability, but the main focus is usually either the coffee or the story behind the cafe.

national taiwan university coffee shop

A generous cappuccino at Cafe Macho — Photo by Athena Lam

How to read this coffee list:

The independent cafes on this list were visited during a trip in Spring 2017. Below, you will find a photo of the cafe space, a brief profile of what they offer, and the location on Google Maps.

My map also includes other restaurants and cafes I’ve visited in the Da’An and Zhongzhen Districts throughout several years. 

My map includes 3 types of information. 1) The cafes I’d go to for coffee; 2) the cafes with decent enough coffee, but I would go to for additional reasons (i.e. remote work, food, or ambiance), and 3) other places in the area I like.

The places on this list don’t follow a set of criteria. Usually, I look for places with good coffee, comfortable seating, friendly staff, plugs and Wi-Fi, and good food. Most places average out to being decent enough for a revisit depending on what I’m in the mood for. I try to note in this list exactly what I like about it to help people make a decision.

You can pre-load this map onto your phone and it works offline as long as you don’t restart it. If you have any questions, feel free to leave a comment!

Other Tips:

  1. Taipei has a lot of free Wi-Fi (metro if you register, restaurants, cafes, and public spaces). Also, ask if you don’t see the Wi-Fi password.
  2. The area around National Taiwan University (NTU / Taida) has a lot of cafes, so you can just wander around the Guting, Tai Power Building metro stations.
  3. Cafes open late in Taipei. Most open after 10am and stay open until 10pm or even midnight.
  4. Many cafes are used to people working for hours. The places that don’t allow it usually will inform you of how long you can stay.
  5. Some places will have a minimum charge and coffee is often more expensive than food.
  6. English is not widely spoken in Taipei. Most of these cafes have some English on the menu, but the local restaurants I’ve recommended often don’t.

Rufous Coffee

rufous coffee taipei independent coffee roaster

Rufous roasts their own beans and is one of Taipei’s early indie cafes — Photo by Athena Lam

Of the best cafes I’ve visited in Taipei so far, Rufous is definitely in the top 3 (although I can’t rank my favourites firmly). They’re quite pricey for their single origin pour-overs, but the cup I got was delicious. The place has a more classic approach to a coffee house, with a wooden interior, shelf crammed with memorabilia, cups and coffee equipment.

Coffee: Single-origin pour over, espresso, syphon
Remote Work: Wi-Fi available, maybe one or two outlets
Hours: 13:00-22:00
Closed Thursdays
Address: No. 339, Section 2, Fuxing South Road, Da’an District, Taipei City, Taiwan 106
Website Facebook page

Hi日楞 Ryou Cafe

remote work NTU taipei

Hi Ryou opens early and is very remote-work friendly — Photo by Athena Lam

Things I like about Hi Ryou are that it opens early (8:30am), is spacious and green, and has generously portioned food with local and seasonal ingredients. This place requires each patron to at least buy 1 drink, but has free Wi-Fi and outlets along the window seats. This is a popular remote working place.

Coffee: Single-origin pour over, espresso
Remote Work: Wi-Fi available. Outlets along the walls
Hours: 8:30-19:00
Closed Tuesdays
Address: No. 24-1, Pucheng Street, Da’an District, Taipei City, Taiwan 106
Website Facebook page

早秋咖啡 Cafe Macho

remote work digital nomad taipei

Individual plugs and Wi-Fi available at Cafe Macho — Photo by Athena Lam

Come if you like cafe / bars that cater to local student and artist communities (think indie performance posters, manga books, retro decore). This place also has Wi-Fi and individual outlets and stays open late for night owl remote workers. Their espresso-based drinks are also reasonably priced in comparison to other lifestyle cafes in the area.

Coffee: Espresso
Remote Work: Wi-Fi available, work station outlets available.
Hours: Daily 12:00-00:00
Address: No. 10, Jinjiang St, Zhongzheng District, Taipei City, Taiwan 100
Website Facebook page

山田咖啡 Yamada Coffee

kanazawa coffee brewing method

Kanazawa water pot for a different filter brewing method — Photo by Athena Lam

One of the best filter coffees in the city and at great value because this is basically a takeaway shop. As roasters who began as importers of Kono coffee equipment, they also import Kanazawa water pots (which cost over US$200 and I haven’t found anywhere else outside of Kanazawa City in Japan). They have smelling vials for their roasts, which make a great souvenir to take home. Drop by if you’re in the area, but it’s not for remote work.

Coffee: Single-origin pour over (Kono & Kanazawa methods)
Remote Work: Not suitable.
Hours: 8:00-19:30
Closed Tuesdays
Address: No. 18, Section 2, Roosevelt Rd, Zhongzheng District, Taipei City, Taiwan 100
Website Facebook page

 Yan & Coco’s Cafe

Yan & Coco's choice NTU

European-inspired bakery with Wi-Fi available — Photo by Athena Lam

This is actually a family-style bakery with cafe seating. Two other coffee shops are across the street and right beside it. They have some rare comfort foods from Canada and Europe. Items not found easily elsewhere (in quite the same way) include the pumpkin soup and the small jars of goose pate (made by a French chef who married a Taiwanese lady and fell out with the restauranteur down the block). Wi-Fi is available, and they have 1-2 outlets for remote work. The owners don’t mind if you hang around all day, so it’s a very chill place to hang out.

Coffee: Espresso
Remote Work: Wi-Fi available. One or two outlets in a corner.
Hours: Daily: 11:00-21:30
Address: No. 51, Wenzhou Street, Da’an District, Taipei City, Taiwan 106
Website Facebook page

Paper Street Coffee Company

taipei third wave coffee

Paper Street is located close to Huashan 1914 Cultural District — Photo by Athena Lam

This cafe is a bit further from the other ones on the list, but I’ve included it because it would be a shame if you missed out! Located across the street from Huashan 1914 Cultural District, it’s a refuge from the crowds. Many bloggers tout it as the best espresso in the city. While the cup I tried wasn’t anywhere near that, it was decent enough for me to definitely return and try a second time, since I like the atmosphere it has at night. Note, it has no Wi-Fi, but does have 1-2 plugs for remote work.

Coffee: Single-origin pour over, espresso
Remote Work: A few outlets in corners
Hours: Daily: 10:00-20:00
Address: No. 28, Section 1, Bade Road, Zhongzheng District, Taipei City, Taiwan 10058
Website Facebook page

Meals:

Taipei vegetarian food

Vegetarian lunch set at Wisteria House, an old cultural tea house — Photo by Athena Lam

The entire area around Taida (NTU) and Shida has affordable local eats. If you want a cozy sit-down place, the dining cafes beside NTU are a great bet — plus, many double up as great lounge bars and have live music at night.

In my map, look for the fork and knife icon for places to eat. Most of them are quite local and more on the street-food end. I have added notes in the map location pins.

If you liked this post, you can check out my other coffee maps:

If you liked this list, please share! Thanks!

Taiwan