There are several Japanese style historical buildings in Taiwan from the period of Japanese rule of 1895 to 1945. Today I visited a tea house which was fully refurbished in 2014. The house was originally called Ribbansyo, a Japanese-style Buddhist head priest residence built in 1924 and is part of Nishi Honganji square situated in South Taipei. Before you arrive at the tea house you will pass a beautiful bell tower in the centre of square which is quite striking. This plaza has transformed into community performance area.
One of the great things about this teahouse is that they provide a proper tea set for each specific tea variety, including porcelain, clay tea pot, bowl and Gaiwan. If you request, they will demonstrate the way of brewing tea. The roasted oolong is served in a clay teapot whilst the green tea served in porcelain teaware. You may also try the traditional way of drinking tea using a bowl and there are several kinds of Taiwanese and Japanese tea snacks available to try.
It was a pleasure to relax and experience the wonderful Eighty-Eight teahouse atmosphere from boiling my water in the pottery kettle through to making my own tea. Seating is Japanese style and I sat on a tatami overlooking my smoking kettle and enjoyed the tropical breeze and sunshine from outside. It’s easy to appreciate the taste of tea and the fragrance of the empty tea cup. What a great afternoon! You can also sit at the balcony where provide getas to walk on the back garden. I think this really is a different style of Taiwan tea drinking that everyone should experience. The host of Eighty-Eight Teahouse is Miss Chou. She is a master of roasting tea. Next time, I will share her special flower-based scents tea with you.