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HOME > CENTRAL TAIWAN > TEA & COFFEE

COMPASS MAGAZINE > December 2012
   

13 CAFE
Sitting in the front courtyard of
the century-old "san-ho-yuan"
(three-section compound) is a
truly unique experience.

13 CAFE
Mr. He talks about a passion
for coffee that has lasted
dozens of years.

13 CAFE

13 CAFE

By Javier Siles
Translated by Angel Pu
Photos by Clock Wang

13, FengShu Lane, Nantun Dist.
0917-646-373
Hours: Open Mon to Sun, 2:30 pm until lat
Credit cards not accepted.
No service charge.

Friendly owner Mr. He--nicknamed "Thirteen" because of of his cafe's street number--has about 30 years of experience working with coffee beans. During that time, he has discovered the perfect way to combine his passion for coffee with his favorite hobby of carpentry at his own place, a traditional Taiwanese house where he opened 13 Coffee back in 2006. The old home was built over a century ago and its walls are made of mud instead of bricks, providing a very solid structure and ideal interior temperatures throughout the year. All the furniture is hand-made by the owner himself and, each year on January 1, friends and customers can acquire these hand-crafted pieces via a silent auction, where the highest bidder gets each item. The house also has a exhibition area--known as the "black house", according to the owner--with two floors and a capacity of 80 people, providing a comfortable venue for disabled people to give performances. Call Thirteen for more infomation.

Mr. He originally wanted to share his broad coffee knowledge, befriend new people and broaden his personal horizons, all things that he has achieved in this atypical coffee-drinking spot, where a comfortable, informal and free-feeling environment is essential.

Number 13 has no menu. Each coffee order is different, as the establishment determines the coffee to be served in the next round. Every week they have 12 different beans, allowing clients to taste coffees from all over the world without getting bored by the same flavors. Each cup is NT$50 and, although food isn't offered, customers can bring it in from outside. The coffee this writer sampled was made of Ethiopian beans--the brown beans were sun-burnt, providing a strong flavor with hints of flower and fruit aromas. The greyish beans are from Nicaragua and washed with water, having a nutty, coconut-like taste that is similar to other Latin American beans. With plenty of space in five different rooms and a big terrace, no reservations are needed and pets are welcomed.

As the owner is quick to remind, "If you want to find good coffee, come to Number 13."

13 CAFE 13 CAFE
Left: The unroasted coffee beans from different countries exude unique aromas.

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