Another lazy Sunday afternoon at home and sunlight is filtering through a crinkled-glass window creating a soft, hazy, yellow glow that’s perfect for a nap. Though tempting, I knew I needed to plan my lessons and opted to leave the too comfortable apartment. So Pete and I decided to stretch our legs and brains and walked to a new cafe. With no expectations, aside from a hot cup of coffee and a chair, I entered hiiibirdie and so began my obsession.
*Full disclosure: hiiibirdie isn’t in Taipei, but in the surrounding suburb of Linkou. Regardless, my adoration for this place transcends labels so I will include in my Taipei Cafe series.
As I slid the flimsy wooden door to the right, I entered a larger-than-expected room and was immediately greeted by a generous amount of sunlight cascading over the wooden furniture and the slightly cracked concrete floor. As I watched the sun rays dance over mismatched chairs, the smell of lingering caramelized sugar reached me.
A few trepid steps inside, a kind apron-adorned employee asked us to sit down then placed the menu, housed in a soft light brown leather notebook, in front of us. Not sure what to order, I took a moment to absorb my surroundings.
I turned my head to the right and took note of the 12-foot high ceiling the color of rusted cement that reflected the warm orange and brown hues found among the quaint decor. Though none of the chairs matched, there was a symmetry in their varying shades of wooden browns and yellows, rusted white, and black which combined into a sweet effect.
I then spotted a muted pea green couch with matching arm chairs – all low to the ground and inviting customers to truly rest and relax. From the couch’s vantage point stood two large glass doors that nearly reached the ceiling and welcomed the sun. The doors were left slightly open to let a fraction of the outside breeze and the cafe’s cat inside.
Beyond the window laid a playground and basketball court teeming with running children, chatting families, and dribbling basketballs.
I turned my head to the left and saw a geometric wooden bookshelf fashioned from a contemporary Scandinavian design. The shelving unit was split in half by a large green chalkboard decorated with children’s art, important messages, and the wifi password.
“What are you going to get?” asked Peter and I was instantly snapped back. I walked to the front counter and ordered a Matcha latte, Pete a cup of coffee. Standing there, I saw a dozen glass jars filled with coffee beans from around the world ready to be ground and used with a ceramic pour over set. The barista asked us to smell each bean to help decide which one is best to drink.
Behind the wood slated counter was a small, but well used kitchen where they make all of their desserts. Even from our seat, the pots, pans, ovens and utensils are all visible adding to the cozy home effect which made this place even more charming.
The desserts are then shown off to right of the counter in a mini display. Inside were apple pies, lemon tarts, honey glazed cakes, and Matcha cake.
Since this first visit, I’ve returned to hiiibirdie countless times. It’s genuinely my favorite weekend brunch spot to enjoy a pour over, Matcha latte, French toast brunch, or just a slice of pie. Not only do I admire the craft and care for their food and drinks, but I love the quiet and spacious atmosphere. Sitting there drinking a latte and reading a book on my Kindle, I am always transported to a flourishing green countryside where the birds chirping, children laughing, grass swaying in the wind’s hushed blows combine into that rare song of pleasure and bliss.
5/5 cups of coffee!