Taipei cafe – 一步一步來/Kopi Ibrik


Ever had Turkish style coffee?


This quiet little cafe just off DunHua South Road near RenAi circle is perfect for relaxing.



You’ll be greeted by this happy soul, who will entertain you with interesting stories of when he was in Belgium playing music, why he started a Turkish coffee shop, and hopefully he will get out his Oud Lute (Middle Eastern style of acoustic guitar) for you and strum up a tune. As the interesting finger plucked music fills the shop, breathe in the coffee aromas and drink in the relaxation.


I’ve not seen coffee beans stored in old-style tea drums before. It adds for a slightly different touch.


We opted for a Kenyan bean, and an Ethiopean bean. Interestingly, the beans smell totally different, with the Kenyan bean having a slightly more sour smell. We had a chat about sourness, and how it is depicted in Chinese. In Mandarin, there is only one word that encompasses both sour and acidic flavours – 酸酸的. Whereas, in English we have two words which, whilst they mean similar things, we can differentiate flavours between.


Our Turkish style of coffee was prepared using 7 grams of coffee to 90g of water, and stirred up in an Ibrik (traditional Turkish coffee pot), then placed on sand reaching temperatures of 200°C. After a period of time, the coffee within puffs up and bubbles over.


Whilst the Turkish style of coffee was brewing, we were treated to a regular filter style of drip coffee. The same beans were used, a slightly different (coarser) grind was used, with different quantities of water to coffee than used in the Ibrik.


The coffee was stirred with a tiny whisk, and then we got back to pouring our drip coffee.


You can see the top of the coffee changing, and the crema-like foam beginning to rise up.


As this happens, the pot is getting ready to be pulled off the heat at the last moment.


As the temperature of the sand is so hot, as soon as the pot is lifted off and circulated with the room temperature air, it cools down immediately.


Poured into the cup, we are told to wait for 5 minutes before attempted to drink. This is 1. To allow the coffee to cool down, and 2. To allow the sediment from the finely ground coffee beans to naturally settle on the bottom of the cup.


Whilst the other pot gets ready, we are almost ready to drink. By now, the shop is swimming with coffee smells, and I am more than ready to drink!


This is the Turkish coffee set. To the right we have a traditional Turkish coffee, the middle pot has been washed and filled with refill coffee from the pour over cup, with a small cup of pour over coffee presented to the left.


Interestingly, whilst the same beans were used in the opposing cups, the flavours were in stark contrast of one another. The Turkish coffee pot was, naturally, more robust and strong. Whereas the pour-over coffee was more delicate with acidic flavours


We were taught how to drink this style of coffee. You are required to blow away that crema-like foam on top.


To reach the pure coffee underneath, you must tilt the cup and blow the crema away, revealing the robust coffee underneath. Now, take a good slurp, and feel the buzz!


Whilst I don’t really like drinking Latte’s or the such (I feel like I want to taste the coffee, not the milk), I do appreciate a good bit of artistry. I’d love to have a go at this some time!

Opening Times:

Monday – Sunday 10:00 – 19:00


No. 23, Lane 48, RenAi Road, Section 4, DaAn District, Taipei City

Author: eatingintaipei

Recently moved out to Taiwan and don't know how to order at restaurants? I got you sorted. Can read some characters but still don't quite know what you're ordering? I got you sorted. This site has been developed to help people who can't speak or read Mandarin. I use pinyin, characters and English to talk about food ordering, and how you can do it at specific restaurants. If you like it, then give me a shout! Ash.

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