[Taiwan] Rinbansyo Tea House 輪番所

Rinbansyo (Eighty Eight Tea) Tea House 八拾捌茶 西本願寺廣場輪番所
No. 174, Section 1, Zhonghua Rd, Wanhua District.  Taipei 

I read about Eighty Eight Tea Tea House from another blogger a while ago, and immediately put it on my 'must visit' list on my trip back to Taiwan.

The tea house is located near Ximen Station (take Exit 1, walk along Zhonghua Rd. for about 5 minutes, to the right).  If you are familiar with the Ximen district, you'll find this to be an interesting juxtaposition to the party-like vibe in the rest of Ximen.    

The area surrounding this tea house used to be a Japanese shrine from the Japanese Occupation period.  The shrine burnt down a while ago.  The tea house building is now a protected cultural asset. 

在這個部落客的文章裡看到輪番所的介紹時我還滿吃驚的, 西門町附近怎麼會有這麼古色古香的日式茶館呢?
那天我先去西門町逛了一下, 被震耳欲聾的J-POP, K-POP轟炸了一小時後找到這躲在巷子裡的小茶館, 感覺好像到了世外桃源. 

I came on a weekday afternoon, the tea house was about half full.  I imagine the weekends would be a lot busier.  The simplistic interior mirrors the wooden exterior quite nicely.  For those that prefer regular tables versus Japanese mats there are a few regular tables on the other side of the curtain.  

我特地帶了本推理小說又選了平常日子去, 想說這樣可以安靜的看小說.  沒想到到的時候裡面竟也坐了有六七成滿.
茶館位子不多, 有一般桌椅也有塌塌米.  我當然選擇了塌塌米的位置, 這樣才能營造看推理小說的情境

The menu consisted of four pages of tea varieties, black, green, decaf,..  Unfortunately there is no English on the menu, but I'm sure the waiters will be more than happy to help you out.   Eighty-eight is known for their handcrafted tea, but honestly, I'm not a tea snob, can't really explain what that means.  Although there are some very unique tea choices, such as magnolia black tea and giner oolong.  

I ordered "magnolia black milk tea."  Which is also probably the most expensive milk tea I have ever had, at NT$180 (milk tea from a typical milk tea stand in Taiwan is about NT$30-$70).  I had no clue why this milk tea cost so much, I ordered it merely out of curiosity, but also because I brought a mystery novel with me, which I figured by ordering something more expensive they won't mind if I sit for hours.   

其實早兩年前我就因為看了酪梨壽司的介紹買過八拾捌茶的茶葉了.  所以對他們家的茶還算熟悉.  
有幾樣很滿特別的是結合台灣在地的花跟茶在一起的花茶, 像玉蘭紅茶, 桂花包種.  
菜單中比較吸引我的是它家的“茶奶”, 沒錯, 是“茶奶” 不是 “奶茶”, 而且一杯要NT$180 !
雖然當下有被價錢嚇一跳, 但看看它一般茶的價錢也是要NT$150, 加了牛奶多NT$30好像也不無道理
況且我一個人佔那麼大位子又打算坐很久, 想說點貴一點的比較不心虛

The last page is the dessert menu.  There are three types of desserts: Taiwanese, Western, and Japanese.  The Taiwanese dessert caught my attention as it comes from a well-known bakery.  According to the description, this dessert goes well with Taiwanese tea (Oolong?), but I ordered the Taiwanese dessert anyway to go with my milk tea.  

點心類有台菓子, 洋菓子跟和菓子. 我不加思索的就點了台菓子, 因為菜單上說是來自老店”三水餅鋪“, 美國吃不到

Looking out the window was this little serene Japanese garden, made it a perfect mood for my mystery novel reading.  I find it unbelievable that a nice little tea house exists right here in the heart of Taipei.  If I lived in Taipei, I'd certainly be here more often. 

我坐的窗外是典型日本房子都有的長廊與庭院, 天黑後點起的燈籠還滿有味道的.  
庭園稍嫌單調了一點, 建議老闆可以花點心思整理一下, 鋪細石子也不錯

It took a long time for my tea and dessert to show up.  Although the waiter did warn me that the milk tea will take "awhile" as they prepare the milk tea fresh, I had thought he meant 20 minutes at max, not 1 hour!!  Even though I had a novel, and was kiling some time taking pictures around the tea house, it was getting on my nerves that my drink was no where to be seen.  I asked the waiter twice, though he kindly assured me they are being prepared, it still took an hour before the drink and dessert finally showed up. 

The milk tea was definitely unlike those from the milk tea stand.  It was not sweetened at all and no sugar came with it, the milk tea was also significantly milkier than any other milk tea I've ever had.  

雖說點餐時服務生就有跟我說茶奶是現煮的要”等一下“, 我萬萬沒想到他所謂的”一下“是一小時!!
我問了兩次, 答案都是”很抱歉, 正在準備“  害我讀小說讀的很心神不寧, 一直想我的茶跟點心
茶奶好不容易出現時又燙的不得了, 加上店家用的不曉得是什麼神奇的保溫杯, 又等了好一陣子才降溫到可入口的溫度

這真是非常特別的”茶奶“.  一點也不甜, 服務生也沒給我糖.  
問的話也許有, 不過也許店家是故意的, 好讓客人喝出茶的原味
再來就是牛奶的濃度非常高, 奶味多於茶味, 也許是這個原因所以叫做”茶奶“

The Taiwanese pastry came in a cute little bamboo basket.  The yellow bun was a savory curry bun that was very dense.   It was much more filling than I had anticipated. I ended up having to take half of it home.  The sesame crisps were sweet, so were the little sugar cakes.  

我忘了圓圓的餅叫什麼, 是甜甜鹹鹹的咖喱口味
很久沒吃到這種”鹹餅“了覺得還滿好吃的, 不曉得外國人能不能接受這種台式點心
只是沒想到看起來小小的, 真的吃起來還滿容易飽的, 我只好剩一半帶回家

另外, 看其他人的介紹有人吃到的是鳳梨酥, 看來這家的點心似乎常常換, 

So this is my short review of Eighty-Eight Tea Tea House.  If you are looking for a quiet place to spend an afternoon at, or meeting up with some friends after dinner, this would definitely be a good place. 

因為之後還跟朋友約見面吃晚餐, 害我茶奶沒喝完就走, 殘念
除了茶奶實在等太久外我還滿喜歡這個地方的, 下次回台灣一定還會再去的

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[Taiwan] Taipei Restaurant Review: Chin-Yeh (Aoba) Taiwanese Cusine
[Taiwan] Beitou Hot Spring 北投好好拍

P.S.  I later looked up online on the type of milk tea I had at the tea house.  It was likely prepared on a stovetop similar to how Indian chai was traditionally prepared. It is more time consuming, but brings out more flavor. However, I still can't imagine why the tea would take more than an hour to make.

後來我想起好像曾經在網路上讀到過跟類似輪番所喝到的”茶奶“, 也就是用”煮“的奶茶
”鍋燒奶茶“ 連結:http://www.yilan.com.tw/html/modules/cjaycontent/index.php?id=848

我自己試煮後發現雖然有比較麻煩一點, 但煮出來的奶茶果真不同凡響!
輪番所的版本沒有糖, 但我有加了一匙brown sugar讓奶茶有點微甜 
如Yilan說的用煮的奶茶, 糖香跟奶香都豐富許多

我用的是我家唯一的紅茶, 也是我很喜歡的法國Mariage Freres馬可波羅茶, 之前發過文
[愛吃鬼] 法國好茶Mariage Frères

這幾天我很阿薩力的連煮了好幾杯, 記錄一下我的觀察好了
1. Yilan的建議是茶葉不要煮超過一分鐘.  但可能馬可波羅茶味道比較淡, 只煮一分鐘味道似乎不太夠

2. Yilan的版本牛奶跟熱水的比例是1:1.  這比例煮出來的的確不錯.  不過輪番所的牛奶比例似乎更高
但如Yilan所說的, 純牛奶的沸點較低煮的茶葉釋放出的味道不夠


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