Fong Da Coffee, Ximending, Taipei, Taiwan
Chengdu Road in Ximending is a mini coffee hub. In the space of 200 metres, there are 3 independent coffee roasteries. Fong Da is probably the oldest, opening in 1956 and pulling shots ever since.
Fong Da is a roastery, cafe and retail space. Beans were being roasted during our first visit, and on subsequent visits also. This is not surprising - there are at least twelve different blends available in the retail section, and also on the menu.
I noticed that the twelve blends available in the retail section were all different shades of light / medium brown. This suggests that different roasting profiles are used for each blend. Only two of the blends were a dark, shiny brown colour - this is interesting, and the opposite of what I have seen in other cafes. It could be that the coffee culture in Taiwan is more established, and a higher proportion of cafes roast their own beans. As a result, consumers are used to different varieties in different cafes, rather than the uniform over roasted style that is used in franchise chains.
I can see exactly why Fong Da has survived for so long - the coffee is great. Fong Da became our regular coffee place during our time in Taipei - I would definitely go back.