Today the NewKerala, a leading online newspaper in India, printed an abridged history of coffee in Taiwan: Taiwan a mecca for coffee drinkers.

Although Taiwan began as a coffee exporter, since the economic boom of the 1990s it has become a coffee importer to supply the thousands of chain and independent cafés that have cropped up around the island. And it arguably all began with a Russian by the name of George Elsner who owned the Astoria café in Shanghai. When the Chinese Nationalists fled mainland China after losing the 1949 civil war, he joined them to set up the Astoria café in Hsimenting in central Taipei — a copy of his original.