Exploring Jiufen’s Famous Tea Houses – WanderLawyer

Tea Houses offer a unique Taiwanese experience
Jiufen Traditional Teahouse

Jiufen, a short day trip from Taipei, was once a bustling mining town known as the epicenter of the gold mining industry in Taiwan. 

These days, you won’t find any fully operational gold mines in this small mountain-side village.

Still, it remains a well-known village in Taiwan, thanks to its magical atmosphere (an inspiration for the movie Spirited Away) and teas.

And drinking tea is a can’t-miss experience in Jiufen.

With its unique tea culture and mesmerizing views of the ocean, this village offers some of the best tea experiences in Asia. 

History of Jiufen’s tea culture

Jiufen was a sleepy and isolated village that turned into a mining boomtown.

In 1893, gold was discovered in this village, eventually leading to a gold rush and the town’s development.

From 1895 to 1945, during the Japanese occupation of Taiwan, it became a prosperous gold mining town.

Many Japanese miners and their families built unique infrastructure and architecture, including lantern-lined streets, narrow alleys, and tea houses.

However, the gold mining industry declined after World War II, and the mines were completely shut down in 1971.

The first tea house opened in Jiufen in 1989, introducing the recreational activity of enjoying a cup of tea in the village.

The town’s first tea house was the Jioufen Teahouse, which was the former home of Weng Shan-Ying, the mining community’s former head.

Today, Jiufen is home to over two dozen tea houses.

The best part is that these teahouses offer some of the most breathtaking views in Taiwan.

Best tea houses in Jiufen

A-Mei Tea House

A-Mei Tea House is definitely the most iconic spot in Jiufen.

With its classic architecture and a view overlooking the sea and lush mountains, this place offers more than just a cup of tea.

Furthermore, it’s known across the country for its incredible and thorough services.

While there, don’t miss their delicious Oolong tea, served with a variety of cakes, including mung bean, red bean, and mochi.

At this tea house, servers will also instruct you to enjoy tea in Jiufen like a real Taiwanese.

Jiufen Tea House

Not only is it a charming traditional tea shop, but also a library filled with crafts and images.

Window blinds, wood and copper tea utensils, and landscape painting are displayed at this tea house, creating a vintage ambiance that lets you relax.

With its stunning views and beautiful location, it’s a popular spot in the village.

Shengping Theater House

This restored historic theater combines culture and history with the pleasure of drinking tea.

The theater not only serves excellent tea, but it also tells the story of the village’s town, making it an ideal place for those who want to dive into the history of Jiufen.

Skyline Tea House

A great way to end a day in Jiufen is to enjoy a cup of Oolong tea while watching the sunset from Skyline Tea House.

The teas here are delicious and served with light snacks, like dried guava, dried plum, and charcoal peanuts..

Siidcha Tea House

If you want to try something different, head to Siidcha Tea House.

It’s a bit more modern than the other traditional tea houses in Jiufen.

Plus, it lets you drink tea from Taiwan’s Hakka people, who have their own kind of tea.

It’s called Lei Cha and is a healthy and extremely fresh tea with different kinds of herbs.

Even better, it offers a stunning view of the town from its rooftop.

Additional tips when visiting Jiufen

  • To enjoy a more peaceful and satisfying tea experience, visit the tea houses in late afternoons or weekend mornings when there are fewer tourists.
  • While some tea houses offer Wi-Fi, it’s best to prepare for limited internet access in certain spots. Cafes near the main streets usually provide more reliable connections. 
  • There’s more Jiufen than its tea houses. It offers charming streets lined with artisan shops and eateries, and trails leading to breathtaking viewpoints. The combination of cultural immersion and natural beauty makes it a fulfilling destination.

Authors

Anthony Shallat

Anthony Shallat

Anthony Shallat is a startup attorney and co-founder of WanderLawyer. Anthony believes travel unlocks potential and opens minds. He’s been wandering and lawyering since 2014.