Cafés that you want to sit in and spend time enjoying always seem to have this unplanned homemade look to them, unlike say Tim Hortons whose experience is all about speed of delivery. Starbucks has systemized this, so that I can have a similar experience in Charlottetown, Hsinchu, Fuzhou or anywhere else the Starbucks brand intrudes upon. But with any large system you tend to lose the uniqueness of the place, and water down the experience so it can be consistently replicated. Which is one reason why I prefer local independents, each one placing unique emphasis on some part of the experience – my favorite spot is Hollatte馥拏鉄 自烘咖啡, located in a small alley in Hsinchu Science Park. Even after moving their location it’s still just a small shop store with a couple Ikea Tables at the center. Their mix tends to be coffee expertise vs. experience of place. Ink café in Hsinchu is a more balanced mix of the 2.
Their are a number of decent cafés in Charlottetown’s downtown area. The Kettle Black pictured above is my current favorite.