A trip to Taiwan would not be complete without checking out a few Tea-houses. While there we made our way to Jioufen 九份 in the mountainous regions of New Tapei City. You might have heard of this little old town with windy streets, known in 2001, when its downtown was used as a model in the anime movie Spirited Away. Upon it’s the earliest reference it was a gold mining mountain dating back to 1430 were the early inhabitants were of Japanese and Dutch decedents.
As we made our way up the stony streets filled with cafés, street vendors, souvenir shops, the sprinkles of rain appeared, and the misty air leading us up to the top. We had been in search of teahouses, envisioning a mystical abode high above the clouds, but we had not researched prior to our visit, so we were happily getting lost looking for this vision, trusting our every intuition that we would find one. And we did!
There was a moment when we turned a corner and then stumbling upon the Jioufen teahouse just as the rain was coming down. We sat for many hours as the rain poured drinking delicious cups of Puerh tea, and people watching throughout. It felt uniquely present of its 100-year-old history, the structure rebuilt by way of artistic revival, accentuating every element one would wish for in a teahouse.
The water being the vocal point, as the streams ran throughout the whole house, and rows of charcoal heating their signature kettles aligned. We even picked up one of their Kettles known as the Honeysuckle Flower White Pummelo, realizing after we had our experience that the owner was a painter and potter, who carried locally farmed teas adding to which our new kettle is in part of their ethos, made of 100% hand processed and free of toxic materials, one of our many beliefs partial to our tea practice.
In many ways, Jioufen-teahouse was a vision of what we think teahouses alike would embody, making this was one of our top 5 favorite teahouses (out of the 17 counting), in various areas in both Taiwan and California.
Browse through their website and find our their rich history in Tea, Pottery, and this beautiful mystical place high at the top of the mountain.