Take a tour of the best tea houses in Taiwan
Tea lovers who already travel probably know that Taiwan is a stronghold of wonderful tea houses. From the cliffs of Alishan to the tea plantations of Hualien and Taitung, great teas can be found all over Taiwan. Traditional Chinese oolong tea and Pu’er tea from Yunnan Province, China, are popular all over Taiwan. But there are also Japanese tea cafes too, especially in the old Japanese buildings in the old quarters.
Travelers can stay in Taipei, but many of Taiwan’s best tea houses require a little travel to get to; However, public transportation in Taiwan is pretty cool. It is possible to stay near Taipei to enjoy good tea. Jiufen and Jiaoxi are not more than an hour outside of Taipei.
Tea houses and tea culture in Taiwan
Travelers to Taiwan may miss out on Taiwan’s classic tea culture if they don’t venture deeper than the surface of Taipei. The city itself is filled with bubble milk tea shops with sugary and creamy concoctions, and coffee shops including those loosely based on the Starbucks model on almost every street corner. But the cafes still exist. Some of the best are tucked away in ancient Japanese structures built during the occupation or overseas in Taiwan, far from the city and closer to nature where the tea grows. Although a trip to the Maokong gondola to drink tea in the mountains is very tempting, and many of these tea cafes have beautiful views, the tea often contains pesticides or of lower quality. Here’s a look at three teahouses in Taiwan where travelers can’t go wrong.
A quick note to travelers, they will note that all addresses in this article use traditional characters. Taiwanese cannot read Pinyin, and it is not guaranteed that they can read simplified characters. Passengers will be able to show the addresses to the taxi drivers as they are in the article, and they will reach their destination without a problem.
Chuang Tea House in Yilan, Taiwan
The Chuang family who lives in Yilan County has one of the best coffee shops that travelers can visit in Taiwan. Their main location is tucked into rice dumplings in Jiaoxi, a popular hot spring town in northern Yilan Province. Jiaoxi is a small city of 30,000 inhabitants, which in itself is a great destination to visit. Its hot spring resorts, restaurants, and proximity to the ocean and mountains make it a favorite travel destination.
Travelers who visit Chuang’s Tea House will get a fine selection of oolong tea from Alishan Mountain, honey flavored black tea, and raw and ripe Pu’er tea at a variety of different ages. Its stunning setting includes long tables where groups can sit and serve food.
Dafeng tea house in Taitung, Taiwan
Dafeng Tea House was started 48 years ago by Mr. Deng-Feng Chen and his wife Mrs. Yueh-Chen Liao. They used to be a part of the woodworking industry but decided to turn their old tea tree into a tea garden. Now they are a must-see destination in Taitung.
Definitely part of a trip outside of Taipei; However, Dafeng Tea House in Taitung is a great destination to visit for some incredibly high quality tea. One of the advantages of their location is how close it is to the hills where the tea grows. Polite travelers may be able to make them show you where they grow tea; Definitely worth the short drive into the hills to see.
Wisteria Tea House Taipei, Taiwan
Wistaria Tea House can be found in Taipei and is a very popular spot for having tea. Once a gathering place for political dissidents and avant-garde artists in Taipei during the 1970s, it has been designated a Historic Site as of 1997.
Maintaining traditional Taoist principles as a way to nourish the soul and body is important to Wisteria Tea House. Travelers can enjoy local oolong tea as well as Pu’er tea while visiting this tea house.
Amei Tea House Jiufen, Taiwan
In the former mining, the village has been turned into a tourist destination, Amei Tea House, famous for its stunning exterior and interior beauty but also for its amazing tea selection. This hotel is special because it offers stunning views of the low-lying landscape of northeastern Taiwan, where the mountains meet the sea. Travelers will be able to discover Keelung from a distance as well as many other surrounding sites.
A stop at this café is a great option for travelers who want to enjoy a view, then perhaps go and hike at Teapot Mountain or just visit the markets or the nearby Imperial Palace left over from the Japanese occupation.