Located in Taipei Ximending is a local’s delight. Taipei city dwellers have been coming here for coffee since 1956, and nothing has changed in Fong Da Coffee.
One the Ground Floor, Fong Da Coffee is a coffee equipment shop and roastery. Do not expect the sophisticated shopping experience from the “siren” brand, Fong Da is like a old-school provision shop with everything coffee-related.
One thing I really liked about the shop was the old-school pastries like peanut crumble 花生糕, mung bean cake 绿豆糕 and other Chinese favourites like egg rolls. You can buy them retail to be enjoyed in cafe upstairs.
Fong Da roasts their own beans, mainly arabica, and blends. They offer twelve in-house blends that are roasted using the same machines that have been churning them out daily for freshness. The staff will ground the roasted beans on demand to the right fineness – for the French press (finest), for siphon, for paper filters (coarsest).
In the cafe, do not expect something fancy too. The menu consists of coffee and some breakfast items available from 8.30 – 10 in the morning. I was jogging around the area and stopped by when they opened at 8am, I was surprised to see people in the shop already.
A really simple breakfast set – two pieces of toast served with a spoonful of jam and a piece of butter, a slice of picnic ham, two fried eggs, and a cup of hand brewed coffee from the cheaper blended selection. The cost? One red piece of New NT Dollars (NTD 100 or SGD 4).
What’s so nice about the coffee? If you are used to Italian style coffee, their coffee is really weak, something like a Japanese-style hand brewed siphon coffee. I had the blended coffee with the breakfast and decided to order one more coffee with specialty beans.
The Blue Mountain coffee was very aromatic, slightly sour (but not as bad as the Ethiopian) but something was lacking that I am so used to with Blue Mountain that I cannot describe. I think it has to do with the environment – you feel pressured to finish it up quickly and move on.
Would you specially come here for their coffee? No really unless you are already around Ximending. It is not a leisurely “sit for as long as you want” cafe that you can find around Taipei. The service is notoriously bad, the place is always packed with tourist because every guidebook wrote about this place. But Princess’ mother grew up in this district and brought me here, I guessed it would be considered our neighbourhood coffee shop. Still, there are really better ones, seriously, unless you want to experience Taipei in the 60/70s.
Fong Da Coffee 蜂大咖啡
No. 42 Chengdu Road, Wanhua District, Taipei City, Taiwan 108
Tel : +886 2 2331 6110
Date Visited : Dec 2015