Friday, April 10, 2009

紫藤廬 Wistaria Tea House

Enjoy the refined art of drinking tea.

A tranquil garden and koi pond lie beneath a lush canopy of draping tree branches, the strong perfume of freshly cut flowers, the aroma of musky antique wood, and the pleasant fragrance of tea all come together to welcome you to the historic Wistaria Tea House. This relaxing oasis located in central Taipei provides what could be called the most relaxing atmosphere in the city. Drinking tea at the Wistaria has a similar effect on the mind and body as a gentle massage. Time seems to drift away as you are left to sit and slowly sip delicate teas while tasting a scrumptious variety of snacks.

The kind staff will offer you a choice of seating: tables and chairs in the first, central room of the tea house, or tatami mats set with floor cushions next to low tea tables. All seating areas are calming and pleasant. Each room is tastefully decorated with Chinese landscape paintings, or other art pieces, and is illuminated by soft paper lantern light. If the weather outdoors is a pleasant temperature, the windows leading into the outside garden are left open to the breeze.

The menu abounds with a selection of top quality teas, most of which the average consumer will have never tried before. For those unfamiliar with the vast array of delicious choices, no need to worry, the helpful staff can help you decide which tea will best suit your palate. At least a few of the waiting staff speak English very well, and will both answer questions about which tea to drink but also about the proper way to consume it. They provide delicate teawares including a heated water kettle, clay steeping pot, pouring cup, tiny smelling cups, and tiny drinking bowls. Our selection was a type of Oriental Beauty Oolong tea 東方美人 - 白毫烏龍 that was deeply delicious, boasting a delicate perfume and a slight taste of honey.

The snack selection almost matches the tea in quality. The selection varies from day to day, and we were presented with a sample tray of at least 15 choices of sweet and salty snacks. We choose dried mango, a type of crunchy, caramel sesame snack, and an assortment of nuts and seeds.

This experience should not be missed. Pause and enjoy a few simple pleasures.


For a more thorough article on the history of the Wistaria read this.

紫藤廬 Wistaria Tea House


No. 1 Lane 16, Section 3 Xinsheng S. Road Taipei City

Metro: 15-20 minute walk from Guting Station. You can take a number of buses from Guting toward Da'an park and get off at the Da'an park 大安森林公園 exit.

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