Experience a splendid tea & cultural moment at the Wistaria Tea House
1, Lane 16, XinSheng S Rd, Sec 3
Hours: 10 am-11 pm
Credit cards accepted. 10% service charge. No smoking.
Wistaria Tea House, a place brimming with memories and past dreams, represents almost a century of change in Taipei. Though originally constructed during the Japanese colonial period, restorations over the years have left the building with an aesthetic blend of Japanese, Chinese, and even Western influences. In the post-Japanese era, its cultural significance was established as it became a key meeting place for the literati, scholars, political activists and a new generation of artists.
In 1981, then-owner Chou Yu opened up Wistaria as a tea house. Chou saw the tearoom as a place for creativity and ideas, either from vibrant debate or solitary activity. His vision provided the perfect setting for both. The tea house even experienced celluloid fame in Ang Lee's "Eat Drink Man Woman". Modern visitors curious enough to explore rooms and corners will be rewarded with photos and written testimonials by those for whom, throughout the years, Wistaria has been so important.
Today, Wistaria is still popular with tourists and locals alike, and staff members are happy to take you through the menu and what may, at first, seem a baffling brewing process. Wistaria is also a venue for tea culture activities, art exhibitions and occasional performances of NanGuan. They can accommodate intimate groups or large gatherings in their selection of private rooms. With set meals (NT$280-330) and traditional Taiwanese snacks on offer, the whole experience provides an exquisite escape.
Adding to the atmosphere, customers sit at low tables on tatami mats. The extensive tea menu includes fine examples from all the classic tea growing areas of Taiwan, and each tea is prepared using mountain spring water from Wulai. The staff recommends the refreshing Dong Ding Oolong (NT$280/person). As you wait for your tea to brew, you can read about the teas that are popular with the true connoisseur. One famous Chinese tea, 1950s Red Mark Puerh, is grown on trees that are more than 100 years old and said to embody "the flavours of history". The 1960s vintage Puerh is another good tea, which, like the Wistaria itself, "has a warm character making one's body comfortable."