Savoring quality time and coffee at HIWA
By Yukari Image Translated by Ann Lee
197, ZhongXing St, West District; (04) 2301-7560
Hours：8 am-9 pm (opens 9 am Sat/Sun) (closed 2nd, 4th Wednesdays each month)
Cash only. No service charge. No smoking.
While you might normally enjoy a few cups of coffee per day, how often each week do you actually slow down and savor a truly great coffee?
Opposite People's Square and just down from the 7-11 on ZhongXing Street sits a stylish cafe called HIWA, with its eye-catching, big, white outside sunshade overlooking the tables. Inside, the warmth of the wooden furniture and green plants is beautifully framed by the off-white walls. Currently, these walls are decorated with images taken by a young and inspired photographer. Here and there, you can see some personal touches from each family member of owners Wing Chang and Audi; the most significant is a logo proudly placed on their glass door and designed by their son, Jason.
HIWA's specialties are the teapresso, bagels and several kinds of coffee. A teapresso is tea brewed espresso-style and served similarly to your favorite coffee drinks, such as the Tea Caramel Macchiato (NT$95). This season, they also recommend the fresh Mango Smoothie (NT$110).
HIWA offers a bagel brunch set and afternoon tea set. For the bagel brunch, a drink plus NT$50 to NT$60 gets you your choice of a bagel sandwich. Several types of bagel toppings are available, from a simple blueberry cream cheese to juicy smoked chicken. Notably, their bagels are imported from Canada. As for the afternoon tea, you can either add NT$50 to your drink order and get a slice of cheese cake, add NT$60 and get waffles, or add NT$100 for an order of quesadillas.
With soothing music playing in the background, I enjoyed my Tiramisu Latte (NT$110), which had tempted me earlier from the pages of the menu. The velvety foam and hint of bittersweet chocolate flavoring was just to die for.
Having a simple latte at HIWA isn't like picking up a coffee on the street. Time at this cafe seems to move by more slowly, giving you a sense of peace, as you enjoy reading a book, chatting with friends, or simply people-watching. HIWA gives you the time you deserve to enjoy once in a while.