elephant machine

an industrial cool coffee shop tucked in the alley of Yong Kang street

There’s no shortage of cafes in the alleys around Dongmen. It seems like every other shop is a coffee shop full of character, a wide range of styles and even wider range of menu items. Most of them are forgettable and many have questionable aesthetics. Elephant Machine does it right. They strip it down to the basics. Just really good coffee and a couple really good desserts. No weird set meals and fancy concoctions. Even their hours are minimal (they are only open 4 days a week, and only for 6 hours a day).

The storefront itself is easy to miss, a sleek gate opening to a little courtyard entrance. Inside, dark wood floors and plain white walls ensure your focus is on coffee. Or at least, the “cold brew coffee” neon sign. And that attitude translates to the care they put into the coffees, which are served with a little card explaining the flavor notes and origins of each roast. Also, the staff is actually lovely.

Anyways, they have great lighting from the windows, and they plate their dessert on slate squares, so what more can you ask for?

the details

AddressNo.5, Lane 37, Yongkang St.,, Da’an District, Taipei City
Hours1pm to 7pm, Thursday through Sunday (yes, you read that right)
Price$$-$$$, about on par with the generally expensive coffee shops in Taipei, around $5-8 for drinks
Aestheticsimple, industrial, no-frills minimalism with a neon glow 

good to know

Go here for: high quality brews and some signature desserts 

Order this: something from their “cold bar” (I think they mean cold brew based drinks) and tiramisu

Amount of time to spend: an hour or two would be fine, they don’t have a time limit, but it can get crowded on the weekends, so might not be best to get too settled in with that laptop

When to come: when they are open, lol. They’re closed Monday through Wednesday, and otherwise only open in the afternoon so good luck.

Getting here: the closest station is Dongmen (red and orange lines), take exit 5 and elbow your way through the crowds on Yong Kang street past the park until you reach the alley on your left.

Other things to note: 

  • Like many other shops, they have a one drink minimum for anyone dining in.
  • Their menu is bilingual, so no need to ask for an English menu. In fact, the English is more prominent than the Chinese lol.

Last visited: October 2019

Last updated: March 2020

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