At the end of a long day in class, then struggling to deposit a check and failing, I limped home along Wenzhou Street. My flagging spirits perked up when I hit the little string of coffee shops toward Xinsheng Road. Shaded by ancient gnarled fig trees and snuggled up against a lovely crumbling house with ceramic roof tiles, one small intersection contains four coffee houses facing each other amicably. Students and cats slouch past or huddle on ancient sprung couches, tattered books lie facedown on stained wooden tables. A scent of jasmine intertwines with coffee and cigarette smoke.  Strains of Taiwanese hiphop and jazz curl through the air.

Yes, there is still a genuine bohemian coffee scene on this planet–and it’s right here in Taipei. Drink up.


Rebirth Cafe on Wenzhou Street. The barista seemed to be half awake and it took her 20 minutes to produce a caffe latte, but it was delicious.



The inviting exterior of Rebirth Cafe. Note the huge fig tree hovering over it.


The caffeine just hit my circulatory system and all is well.