China, a country once without a coffee scene, now has one that is rapidly expanding. With an influx of expats in Beijing, China’s capital city, coffee is becoming easier to obtain. Coffee enthusiasts from all over the globe have begun to influence Beijing’s beans. From import shops to some of the best cafés around, here are some of the ways to get the best coffee in Beijing.
With little more than a bar, seven chairs, some equipment, and a couple of display shelves with coffee accessories, Barista is an intimate café in Dongcheng’s Wudaoying Hutong. On top of the tiny bar are four glass jars holding the freshly ground beans of the day. The menu is small: lattes, drip coffee, pour-overs, Americanos, and a very short list of snacks. Despite the limited space and menu, Barista’s coffee and beans are amazing. For a fairly reasonable price, the baristas will make coffee for customers to enjoy in the shop, or buy the beans for at-home brewing. For quality coffee in Beijing, Barista is a must.
Barista, 47 Wudaoying Hutong, Beijing, China, +86 6416 2575
Soloist Coffee Co.
Hidden between bustling hutong streets, stands Soloist Coffee Co. The shop evokes memories of historic factories with exposed brick walls, metallic accessories, and low-hanging wooden beams. Customers can watch the baristas in action at the bar, where all of the magic happens. The lattes are frothy and beautifully presented, and the brewed coffee is smooth and aromatic. Admirers are in luck—the shop sells beans for at-home enjoyment. So, whether you’re looking to hide away in the hutongs with a cup of coffee or would like some beans to take home, Soloist Coffee Co. is the place.
Soloist Coffee Co., 39 Yangmeizhu Xiejie, Beijing, China, +86 10 5711 1717
Just a few storefronts down from Barista, Metal Hands is a high-quality, very intimate coffee shop in Wudaoying Hutong. With a modern feel that is clean and cosy, the narrow rectangular shape doesn’t allow much room to sit and enjoy without getting overly comfortable with other customers. This aside, the barista is fabulous and happy to talk about his beans, which are quite reasonably priced and delicious. For a quick drink, or beans on the go, Metal Hands is a great shop to check out.
Metal Hands, 61 Wudaoying Hutong, Beijing, China, +86 155 1053 3895
Snuggled between hutongs, Voyage Coffee is an unassuming glass box. Once inside, customers are greeted by an enveloping aroma of freshly ground beans and a surprising atmosphere—pinewood paneling, cement floors, and amazing natural light. Here, the menu is almost surprisingly small, but what it lacks in size, the coffee makes up for. With outstanding roasts and knowledgeable baristas, Voyage Coffee is hard to beat.
Voyage Coffee, 80 Beiluogu Xiang, Beijing, China, +86 1132 2067
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Not only is Basic Coffee one of the chicest and tastiest cafés in Beijing, but it’s also a great place to purchase coffee accessories, including bottled cold brews and beans that will make any coffee lover light up. It is almost too easy to spend hours in the black-and-white, pine-decorated space. But for customers who just need a quick caffeine fix, get Basic Coffee’s beans and bottled drinks to bring home for the next best thing.
Basic Coffee, 3rd Floor, Villa 9, Jianwai SOHO East, Beijing, China, +86 10 5900 2320
A minimalistic white brick shop in the popular 798 Art District, Cafe Flatwhite is not only one of the best coffee shops in the city, it is also among the best places to purchase coffee beans. Rickshaw Coffee Roasters, one of the most famous roasteries in China, is adjacent to the café and supplies patrons around the city with freshly ground beans. This café and its bean supplier became famous because they offer beans that most other stores cannot, which puts them among the best places to purchase coffee in Beijing.
Although there is a litany of wonderful coffee shops all over Beijing, only a handful of them sell beans. That said, one of the best places to purchase coffee beans in China’s capital is at one of the many import shops. Obtaining beans can be a challenge, but with shops like Jenny Lou’s, April Gourmet, BHG, and Chez Gerard, purchasing coffee beans has become convenient and relatively inexpensive.
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