Cultured cup of coffee in an ambient setting
Jing’an is so rich in history, art and culture that the abundance of tours on offer are bewildering at times. A coffee-themed tour may be a refreshing change.
In downtown Shanghai’s Jing’an District, there are coffee shops which carry some romanticism. Influential writer Eileen Chang (1920-95) was a regular patron to the Kaisiling coffee shop (1) on Nanjing Road W. Today, it is still a popular site and serves unique pastries like hadou, an oblong dessert with chocolate icing and a custard-cream filling.
When talking about coffee shop chains, many think about the likes of Starbucks, standard, yet boring. However, some quality, small-scale coffee shops have grown up and evolved over the past few years. One such shop, MQ Coffee (2), is tucked away down Fengxian Road. It offers a variety of coffee beans and is decorated especially for those laptop-toting customers who like to get some work done while being in a relaxing environment.
Not far from there lies Manner Coffee (3), an independently-owned café that grew from a 2-square-meter store to four chains in the surrounding area.
For those who have an eye on the environment, coffee shops on Shannxi Road N., lined with historical buildings and giant trees, may be favored. Try Kiwi Coffee (4), opened by a coffee master from New Zealand, or enjoy the California image of Sumerain (5), a popular rendezvous for local expats. Sumerian also bakes a very good bagel.
Aunn Café (6), near the Jing’an Temple, is a master on the cold brew. It has a huge cold brew maker right standing by the cashier. It is a delightful sight to see coffee being poured over ice cubes.
Jing’an also has its share of spacious coffee shops, which provides more than just coffee. Harbook+(7) is an example. The open-concept space is full of books about interior decorating, fashion and other design-related disciplines. It’s perfect to have a cup of coffee and get immersed in the world of design.