[TAIPEI] Simple Kaffa Flagship 興波咖啡 is easily Taipei’s current IN coffee place to visit, where both foreign and local instagrammers would want to “check-in” (打卡).
There used to be The Lobby of Simple Kaffa located within the East District 東區. That has been converted to a shop where customers can buy coffee beans; while this flagship café is at Zhongxiao East Road (a short walking distance from Huashan 1914 Creative Park.
Even though there is the current COVID-19 scare, it is not stopping from a line of people (most wearing masks) queueing outside for a seat in the two-storey space.
Here’s why: the café is founded by 2016’s World Barista Champion Berg Wu – the first person from Taiwan to win the World Barista Championship.
Other than its quality coffee, the cakes and desserts regularly appear on the Instagram feed of foodies, propelling it to further fame.
After about a 30 minutes’ or so wait, I was lead inside and drawn by the hipster industrial-chic space.
There are various combinations of seating arrangements and possible Instagrammable corners, and place large enough for customers to just chill and unwind.
This place is HUGE, and going around felt like I was intruding into different rooms of a family – Parasite style.
The coffee place was vibrant yet calming at the same time, that people forget about the troubles (virus) momentarily while chatting over cakes and drinks.
Simple Kaffa’s specialty is their hand pour coffee, ranging from the most affordable of Ethiopia Washed Heirloom (NT$200, SGD9.30) to the ‘upper level’ of Panama Washed Geisha (NT$600, SGD28.80).
For milk-based espresso, Brown Sugar Latte (NT$200, SGD9.30), Taiwanese Tea Infused Latte (N$200), Smoky Southern Taiwan (NT$200) and Go Nuts Latte (NT$200) are available.
The Brown Sugar Latte is easily one of their most popular, which was smooth, rich with distinct caramel notes.
The top layer was caramelised to perfection, cracked upon the first sip.
I also had the Smoky Southern Taiwan (NT$200, SGD9.30), an interesting cold drink with espresso added with Taiwanese jelly, white gourd syrup and Osmanthus.
It also felt like a dessert drink or one of the bubble-tea jelly drinks in a way, but they got the coffee proportion right that the bitter notes didn’t taste out of place.
The highlight was definitely the Matcha Swiss Roll (NT$150, SGD7) made using Morihan Kyoto Uji Matcha powder known for its premium grade quality.
It was light and airy, with loved that soft oozy cream in the middle.
The other to-get cake would be the Zhou Zhou or Honey Castella Cake (NT$150, SGD7).
Available in limited quantities, the Castella Cake baked Hanjuku style (half-baked) is a must-order, where you can that incredibly soft and even slightly gooey texture. It also has that honey-sweetness which made it ultra-delightful.
Simple Kaffa Flagship 興波咖啡
No. 27, Section 2, Zhongxiao East Road, Zhongzheng District, Taipei City, Taiwan 100
Tel: +886 2 3322 1888
Opening Hours: 10am – 5pm (Mon – Sun)
Google Maps – Simple Kaffa Flagship