Taiwan never ceases to amaze and inspire. This trip certainly didn’t disappoint and Wisteria Tea House totally enthralled us.
Located in Daan Area of Taipei and about 10minutes walk from Taipower Building Station MRT. Wisteria Tea House is quite unassuming and easy to miss.
The garden is so enchanting and the huge goldfish are obviously well looked after. Apparently the teahouse was named Wisteria in 1920 because of the three Wisterian vines shading the entrance.
We arrived around midday and already there were a few people. Luckily we made a reservation for a table with tatami mats. This quieter area was through the main tea area.
Although there was already a group next to us having lunch, the subtle bamboo screens gave us plenty of privacy and we were not disturbed.
The wonderful natural lighting beaming from the windows enhanced the comprehensive menus and atmosphere.
For lunch we had the fish and fried pork chop. No prizes who chose which one! Both were cooked to perfection. In the set meal you get a hearty vegetable soup, stir fried vegetables and a bowl of fluffy rice with your main protein. The flavours were fragrant without being overpowering and the fish and meat were very fresh. The fish was steamed with Jasmine tea so it had delicious and delicate floral hints. Bring a large appetite, as the portions are generous.
We were served some Taiwanese red tea during our meal. About 80% oxidized and easy to drink to aid digestion.
The service was polite and attentive and we never felt rushed. After our meal we had some time to study the tea menu. Probably one of the best I have ever seen.
We decided to move back into the main area for our tea.
We chose a natural ecosystem green tea called “Moss-covered Rocks Beneath a Flowering Spring” as we were looking for a green tea to add to our range. Its particularly challenging since we drink so many different teas, but whenever we come across a tea that is particularly delicious we try to memorize the taste, smell and feeling it created. It may look strange but we do this by closing our eyes whilst tasting tea.
We were given a traditional Taiwanese gong fu style Tea set with yixing teapot and fragrance cups. We rarely use our fragrance cups at home but when we have the opportunity to use them it just makes the tea experience fuller and allows us to appreciate the tea in more depth.
The tea smelt not too dissimilar to a Japanese Green Tea and once infused the aromas were of freshly cut grass. The first infusion was a delight, however the 2nd infusion lost the herbaceous deliciousness.
Next we chose an oolong called Cloud Song. It was organic and came from Lala Mountain, elevation 1700meters. There was certainly a thick richness as this was a more oxidized tea close to the oxidization levels of traditional TieGuanYin. We managed 7 infusions and savored every rich drop.
Overall the teas were good and the relaxed atmosphere enhanced the serene tea experience. What astounded us most was not just the comprehensive menu, but simply the quality of water.
Water is so important to making good tea. We often think just by having good tea we will get a good cup. Our water was served in a glass kettle and heated in a kerosene boiler. The water is from Wu Lai Mountain Spring. It was so smooth and slightly more alkaline than normal. Drinking the water on its own is delicious and sweet without the dull, flat taste of boiled water.
We will definitely come back on our next Taipei visit and happily lose 4hours in the most magical teahouse. A great place for tea, lunch and inspiration.
Wisteria Tea House: XinSheng S. Rd., Ln. 16, Sec. 3, No. 1 (Da’An District) Taipei (886) 02-2363-7375