Temperatures have started to drop, making it once again a pleasure to whiz through the city on my bike without leaving a trail of sweat or feeling like a chicken roasting under the sun. The Pier-2 Art Center has always been my favorite resting spot, although lately, I’ve started pushing a little further, into the Sizihwan 西子灣 area, also known as Hamasen はません in touristy guidebooks.
The streets of Sizihwan are always filled students from the nearby Sun-Yat Sen University or tourists making their way to or leaving the ferry for Cijin island. Actually, I also feel like a tourist whenever I find myself in Sizihwan, the secret location of the hidden beach remains whole to me, I’ve yet to hike Monkey/Shoushan mountain, and I draw a blank when it comes to finding a good place to eat in the area.
One day, I’ll take the time to check off all those Sizihwan must-visit spots. As for the food, I’ve made a step forward, well, only if you consider coffee as food 🙂 .
Oh! Cafe 握咖啡 is yet other another enterprise from World Coffee Roasting Champion and owner of Café Wake Up 自然醒, Jacky Lai. The coffee shop is located right across the Gushan ferry wharf, a cute little spot, but sometimes a bit too close for comfort whenever the noxious emissions from the ferry boat come spoiling the sweet smell of the coffee.
After all, Oh! Cafe 握咖啡 is more of a grab-and-go place, with only two high tables and a wobbly (careful not to spill!) small table on the open air-condition-less front-shop.
Some non-decaffeinated beverages are also available, but coffee is the star, so let’s not get distracted, shall we.
On my first visit, during this past summer, I had ordered an iced House blend latte which proved perfect amidst the warm afternoon. More memorable though, was the depth of the aroma, with an aftertaste that lingered on long after the last sip, it was divine. Somehow, it stroke a chord in me, and ever since, I’ve become a stickler for rich and smoky coffee, despite the undesirable effect of turning me into an insomniac.
On a subsequent visit, I worked my way down the list with a hot Yirgacheffe latte. I’ve had the plain pour-over version in the past where the sour notes never really won me over, but add some steamed milk and it actually makes for a lively drink, with the acidity turning into pleasant hints of fruitiness.
Next up was Indonesia’s Sumatra, which I again ordered in the form of a hot latte. Although satisfying, it didn’t leave any lasting memories, except for the mug in which it was served 😛 .
(@taiwanvore) September 11, 2014
I’ll have to wait to descend from my caffeine high before wrapping it up with a brew from the Americas, so here ends the coffee tasting review.
All in all, Oh! Cafe 握咖啡 is a great spot to get your jolt of caffeine or pick up a bag of coffee beans roasted on-site. It’s the kind of place I’d love to see open at 8:00am when coffee is the most needed, but pitifully, it only opens at noon, just in time for lunch. I guess coffee is indeed food.
Besides Kaohsiung, the grab-and-go concept of Oh! Cafe 握咖啡 has expanded to Hsinchu 新竹, to fuel up Taiwan Silicon Valley’s army of engineers.