The Normal in Taipei offers a self service option at their coffee bar, where you can roll up to the counter and just order quickly order something straight from the menu. But if you take your time and ask the incredibly friendly baristas for suggestions, they’re quick to help. (We personally recommend their drip coffees.) If you have the baristas make your coffee, they have a lot of things to tell you about about coffee—they’re baristas, after all, so you’d hope they’re passionate about it. After getting your drink, you can find a seat along the sides of the shop facing the walls, which allows for you to enjoy some alone time. There’s a beautiful simplicity to The Normal’s design, one that offers privacy and conversation in equal measure. You can order quickly and stick to yourself, or you can chat up the staff if you feel like it. It’s a rare personalized experience, one we’d like to see more of.
Though this shop and coffee roastery has the ability to do high quality pour overs using their fleet of Marco SP 9 single cup devices, the best cup we had here was their “Coffee of the Day,” made in a Fetco XTS2131 batch brewing machine. It’s also the cheapest item on the menu, and that’s a good thing. It embodies the company’s brand and goal: to have a better cup of coffee be the new standard.