Mango Café


Synopsis: a quick visit to Mango Café in the form of a traveler's magazine style drabble

Location: Taipei, Taiwan

The entrance of a busy pedestrians only promenade where girls with their teetering heels accompanied by their boyfriends hidden under multitudinous bags of high fashion, unsteady toddlers smile benignly at the passing crowds, clinging to their mothers' hands and a stereotypical Chinese bon-bon of hawthorn frozen in sugar water on a stick, and elderly men sitting in the shade with their dragon-head canes and ancient newspapers, trying to look as if they still had someplace to go, something to do, all meet beneath an unforgiving summer sun shielded out by flimsy umbrellas of dazzling color and design.

The café resides there quietly, squished between two giants of malls, a small cornerstone to the heart of the metropolis, at once in perfect harmony and in complete discord with its surroundings. Beneath the broad branches of the oriental plane trees, three round glass topped tables are arranged along the window-wall of the motor-street entrance. Their respective clear yellow, pastel orange, and pale green stained glass tops gleam where the midday sun's rays touch them, despite the best attempts of the oversized, ruffled white parasols perched overhead. Antique cream wrought iron garden chairs are scattered haphazardly amongst the tables, the metal kept cool by the leafy branches of the plane trees that spread their branches along the boulevard.

When a young couple walk out arm in arm, or, perhaps, a bohemian artist with his palette and paints, the silver bell attached to the French doors tinkles merrily, sending them on their way with happiness and coffee.

Inside the café, a warm, summery mix of songs helps set the upbeat yet soothing mood: Mayday's "Angel," then Corinne Bailey Rae's "Put Your Records On", followed by Jay Chou's pastoral "Jasmine" and "Sugar Cane". The glass counter also doubles as a coffee bar where patrons can sit and watch as the chef whisks up frothy creations of whipped cream and fresh coffee with milk. The earthy smell of coffee is toned down with the fruity fragrance of ripe mangoes – a nod to the café's name and to its trademark drink, MangoCha – a heavenly mango-coffee smoothie, an unorthodox mix which brings the tropics right to your tongue.

Welcome to Mango Cafe! After sipping your MangoCha, take a moment to R&R on the cafe and its ambience. And of course, what sort of service you would be looking for 3