Coffee Underwater

Over the past decade, people in Taiwan have developed a new taste for coffee, with their perception of the drink changing from “a bitter beverage” to “a fruity treat.”  As specialty coffee gradually starts to find its way into people’s lives, an increasing number of Taiwanese people make it a habit to visit cafes for delicious coffee. Taipei-based roastery and coffee shop Coffee Underwater is one such place. The co-founders Eric and Chris are bringing a new style to the scene, broadening the possibilities of coffee with non-alcoholic cocktails, or mocktails. Taipei’s Zhongshan district is a place of constant evolution. The streets are brimming with avant-garde hotels, museums and shops, attracting people with sophisticated cultural sensibilities. Coffee Underwater occupies a corner of this district, a blue sign bearing the symbol of a harpoon beckoning over passers-by. The store name reflects the two co-founders’ wish for customers to enjoy delicious coffee in an underwater-like tranquility. The walls are painted blue to give the place the feel of an ocean, the menu board adorned with a drawing of waves, the glass-fronted, spacious section furnished with cozy sofas. Every corner of this shop is an expression of the two co-founders’ aesthetics. “This place makes me feel as if I’m underwater,” “It’s very relaxing to be here” are common feedback from customers.  Coffee world isn’t simple One of Coffee Underwater’s defining characteristics is a diverse menu of coffee drinks. Its offerings, including teas and seasonal options, exceed way over 40, ranging from espressos, lattes and single-origins made with high-quality specialty coffee to non-alcoholic mocktails. “I find it boring when the menu is limited and the question is merely whether...

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