coffee globe at Douzi
By Douglas Habecker
Translated by Angel Pu
71, ZhongTai W Rd, North Dist.
Hours: 10 am-9 pm
English menu available.
Credit cards accepted.
No service charge.
Recent years have seen a growing number of Taiwanese embarking on virtual expeditions of the coffee world, discovering on each step of the way new flavors and variations from every corner of planet. Like wine, coffee provides its connoisseurs with seemingly-endless horizons for enjoyment and diversity, varying between continents, countries, climates and individual growers.
Fortunately Taichung coffee lovers have places like Douzi (meaning "bean" in Chinese), which offers global coffee explorations within the confines of four walls and a few square meters. This cafe has literally mapped out a year-round journey with monthly stops in different coffee hubs, complete with a "coffee passport" that can be stamped each step of the way. During 2013, the expedition started in the United States and continued through the Americas, stopping in Nicaragua, Peru and Bolivia, before heading across the Atlantic to Kenya, Ethiopia, Italy and France. Last month, Douzi's coffee explorers stopped in Nepal before landing in Sumatra for November. Fittingly, the journey ends in Taiwan in December. Each month, the cafe also organizes coffee-tastings and coffee-expert lectures as part of this discovery process.
With its glass walls facing a quiet green belt just north of ZhongMing Road, Douzi seats 30 at a bar, window-side counters and leather sofa. It opened in March to further the goal of promoting global coffee beans, education and appreciation as well as Douzi-brand products, also sold by other businesses. Matching the coffee journeys it promotes, Douzi's estate-grown, self-roasted beans, instant-coffee drip bags and gift sets are attractively packaged with flags of origin countries, growing elevations and other important details.
At the cafe are plenty of siphon and machine made coffees (take-out also available with NT$20 discount), from Nepal Kavre Estate (NT$180) and Ethiopia Yirgachefee G2 Washed to Italian-style coffees like Cafe Latte (NT$120), Americano (NT$80) and Iced French Coffee (NT$140). For non-coffee drinkers, there are also various Taiwanese and foreign teas, from a Matcha Latte (NT$140) to fruit tea. The only food is some tasty waffles and ice cream.
Although the 2013 coffee expedition is ending soon, there is never a bad time to head over to Douzi and book a seat on its global coffee excursions, which undoubtedly will continue seek out new shores to explore.