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The Beijing Coffee Buzz

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Do you know your flat white from your cold brew? Your Arabica from your Robusta? If so, chances are you’re a bit of a coffee connoisseur. Although traditionally tea is the hot beverage of choice in China, the coffee industry has definitely been making headway in the middle kingdom, with more independent coffee shops opening than ever before. The coffee scene has become most established in Shanghai and Beijing in recent years. No doubt, you’ll see tourists and locals alike frequenting the globally renowned Starbucks (鏄熷反鍏) for their coffee fix in Beijing, but what about if you want to try out something which is a little different? Well look no further because this month, we present to you some of the best corners in Beijing to get your caffeine buzz.


Zarah
(Guloudongdajie No.46, 100009 / 涓滃煄鍖洪紦妤间笢澶ц42鍙)
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Nestled in the centre of Beijing, Zarah is more than just a coffee shop caf茅. It is home to a quaint restaurant, event space, art gallery and lounge. Based in an old courtyard style house with modern renovations, Zarah is a beautifully inviting space which is perfect to sit down for a relaxing cup of coffee all year round. In addition to serving the coffee classics - espresso, cappuccino, both hot and iced - you can also find cups of the trendy Australian Flat White as well as the sweet condensed milk variety as found in Vietnam. This caf茅 space is perfect for those looking to do work in a serene space or to catch up with friends. But, it’s all about balance here. Spaces are cleared away at 6pm to make way for different events, reminding coffee lovers that you should always find time to wind down after a long day’s work. Keep an eye on their events calendar. Who knows what art exhibition or music gig you might stumble upon whilst you enjoy your coffee?
 
Flat White Caf茅
(JiuXianQiao Lu 4Hao 798 YiShu QuNei / 閰掍粰妗ヨ矾4鍙798鑹烘湳鍖哄唴)
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Headed up by a small team of coffee-loving New Zealanders and Chinese locals, Flat White Caf茅 lays claim to serving the best coffee in town. Founding their own roaster ‘Rickshaw Roasters’, all coffee served boasts of the best quality beans roasted on site for that personal touch. Collectively, the barista team have over 30 years of experience and know where to source the best Arabica beans and transform them into the perfect flat white. Flat White Caf茅 offers three different flavour profiles ranging from light, medium and dark roasts. Experimenting with different blends, citrus acidities and nutty accents, there’s plenty to try. Just ask your server for their recommendations and you won’t be disappointed. Its first store was set up in the trendy 798 Art District but this is now just one of ten stores in Beijing so you’ll never have to search too far for your perfect cup. 

1901 Caf茅
(101 Xi'anmen St, Xicheng District/ 瑗垮畨闂ㄥぇ琛101鍙)
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It’s not every day that you can enjoy a good coffee brew in a three storey former Church. It’s easy to forget that you’re in China when you pay a visit to 1901 cafe. The vibes are European through and through. The former Church, Xishiku, is over 100 years old and the caf茅 quarter resides in the old annex. Whilst the coffee is excellent here, the prices are on the higher side for just a cup. But, this unique setting makes it completely worth the money. Comfy sofa chairs and even an outdoor terrace to look out over, 1901 also has a range of sweet treats to make your visit completely enjoyable.

Barista Coffee Roasters
(47 Wu Dao Ying Hutong, Dong Cheng District / 涓滃煄鍖轰簲閬撹惀鑳″悓47鍙)
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This small, intimate caf茅 space is home to coffee and pretty much coffee only (apart from the odd few snacks at the main bar). This place is for serious coffee drinkers who know how to appreciate complex tasting brews from beans sourced from all over the world. Alex, the owner, takes the coffee making process very seriously, ensuring precision and a beautiful cup of coffee once he’s done working his magic. It’s all about patience here. If he’s not satisfied with the brew he’s made, he’ll make another until he’s served you perfection. Make sure you stop by for the perfect cup of Joe!
 
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