705, MeiCun Rd, Sec 1
Hours: 12-9 pm
Tuesdays and first weekend of each month)
No service charge.
Credit cards not accepted.
This compact oasis of culture was opened by Sommer Kao in 2004 but recently moved to an all-new location near the Art Museum Parkway. As the waving Czech flag outside hints, Kao is a big fan of Czech and European culture and was recognized as a prestigious Gratias Agit Award Laureate (along with former US Secretary of State Madeleine Albright) by the Czech government in 2006 for tirelessly promoting Czech culture in Taiwan. "I hope this cafe is a multifunctional cultural platform to let more Taiwanese realize other countries and respect different cultures," says Kao, who also introduces Taiwanese culture to foreign guests. The cafe serves a variety of hot and iced European-style coffees (NT$100-130), very tasty frappes (NT$130), Western and Eastern teas, a NT$180 tea-and-dessert set, German sausage or tortilla set meals (NT$250) and, not surprisingly, shots of the famous Czech Becherovka Herbal Liquor (NT$120). --By Douglas Habecker, translated by Ann Lee
A. The cafe sells a wide range of cultural products, including Western and Taiwanese music, old maps of Taiwan, packaged imported herbal teas and coffees, Taiwan T-shirts and other items.
B. The broad collection of CDs for sale at Caffe Forte has been meticulously selected by Sommer Kao to represent a brief history of Western classical music. Every month, the cafe also hosts speeches on classical music.