Ever since TRA started allowing the iPass 一卡通 on its southern railway network, drifting over to Tainan has gotten that much easier. No longer need to queue up to purchase a train ticket, just swipe the iPass, jump onboard, and thirty minutes or an hour later depending on the trains, welcome to Tainan!
Well before roasting coffee beans in-store was “the thing”, Café Douceur was already at it. The owners were and still are committed to coffee. Tucked in a small alley on the front side of the Tainan main train station, the coffee shop appeared the same as I remembered it to be, but then looking at older pictures, I realized that I was experiencing a memory failure. The furniture had actually gone through a makeover with study tables and four-legged chairs giving way to coffee tables and sofas, creating a cozy atmosphere for chatting instead of studying. On an elevated platform on the back, they had also created a Zen corner with a small coffee table re-purposed into a chabudai, and since that was the last empty spot, I felt lucky to be seated there, or so I thought.
The single origin pour-over options looked enticing but my mood called for a good old latte, so latte it was. With two hours to kill, I had brought a book which coupled with the aroma of coffee, made for a quaint lazy afternoon.
Captivated by my reading and enthralled by the caffeinated air, I was in my bubble, but then, unexpectedly, the artificial floral scent of toilet spray from the nearby restrooms moved in to kill the moment 😡 . At least, I had finished drinking my latte, which held its own, but next time I’ll go for one of the single origin which looked promising.
Distracted, I people watched. One girl was staging “natural poses” while her boyfriend obliged in the task of taking photogenic shots. Two young students, with their beverages consumed long ago, were “stealing some air-condition”, gossiping at length. At the table near the entrance, a man and woman had set up office to interview people, where the latter ones must have felt slightly uncomfortable to have the whole coffee shop as their audience as well. Not long after the duo of interviewers left, another team of two came, and the same circus ensued . Isn’t Starbucks the place for this kind of thing?
If only a workshop wasn’t going on in the roasting room, I would have loved taking refuge there, but life isn’t perfect, eh. In any case, it was still nice and comforting to be back at this familiar place, the laid-back afternoon ended up being not so lazy after all, as I forged ahead on my journey of Chinese learning, making considerable headway into my book.
For coffee lovers, when in Tainan, Café Douceur should be a safe bet. Its proximity to the train station makes it especially convenient for a meet up, or to grab a cup of joe on your way out of or in the city of thousands temples.