I’m not sure if it’s more rude to dig out this thread or to leave the reply unthanked, but I’m going with the latter, so, thank you for the reply!
I ended up going to Taiwan and visited a few tea houses, though not as many as I would have wanted, haha. Going to a proper tea house really was a novel experience for me. It never occurred to me before to have perpetually boiling water (is this something a lot of people here do?).
Wistaria was the first we went to, and it was absolutely lovely – I’m glad it was the first one we visited. I also liked Jiufen Tea House. Outside of it, Jiufen was so overrun with tourists that it didn’t seem as ideal a getaway. High season, maybe? Maokong seems to be packed with tea houses, but I had the feeling that their main selling point was the view; at least the one we went to have lunch at wasn’t very special, comparatively. We ran out of time and didn’t actually have tea there, but Chun Shui Tang at the fine arts museum in Taichung has a reception with a highly aesthetic array of shelves packed with beautiful tea ware.
Plus, the people in Taipei are generally the nicest people I’ve ever met.* After asking a random passer-by for help with finding a bus stop, she actually helped searching for it! And after asking at the metro information where to find a specific museum, the lady after us whipped out her phone and found out that it had been turned into a shop. I was pretty amazed.
*The staff of one tea house wasn’t very welcoming at all, perhaps because we asked to have some pu er instead of a Taiwanese oolong, but we’ve had quite a bit of those the days before and wanted a change of pace. I also wanted to know what pu er would taste like at a tea house, and it was quite different from the admittedly few ones I’ve had (it also was very tasty).