THE long stretch of Changle Road is famous for its elegant fashion boutiques and beautifully-presented shops. Yet, the road is never short of caffeine! Its bustling and growing cafe scene offers locals and office workers a decent cuppa.
Hidden in an old residential neighborhood on Changle Road, you may easily walk past this cozy well-presented café. The big French window by the door, along with a nice glass rooftop, allows the sun in to light up the café.
The light divides the shop into two areas: the front sunny area and the back chilled corner.
The white brick walls are decorated with colorful framed paintings and the shelves are filled with books and magazines. The owner, Henry, says the shop is normally packed at weekends but it quiet on weekday afternoons.
The menu is simple and straightforward.
The bar displays coffee beans available for hand-drip coffee, priced between 35 and 48 yuan (US$5.2-7.2). All single origin coffee is made by a V60 dripper, a cone-shaped coffee maker.
Apart from a variety of coffee drinks, you can also try Matcha Latte at 30 yuan if you want to avoid caffeine. It uses Matcha Wakatake, a green tea powder made in Japan.
The café holds coffee workshops from time-to-time.
It opens at 9:30am with 40 percent off bills if paying online via a food review app before 12:30pm on weekdays.
Address: #1, Lane 386, Changle Rd
Opening hours: 9:30am-8:30pm
Recommend: Hand-drip coffee, Matcha Latte.
Le Petit Café
Le Petit Café has gained instant fame on the Internet for its refreshing Nordic décor since it opened just three weeks ago.
The yellow-white theme makes it very easy to spot.
The small yet elegant café covers two floors — comfy tatami seats are on the upper floor though mind your head as on the low ceiling as you climb the stairs. The outward-facing window seating for two by the entrance is in high demand, an ideal perch to escape the sun yet enjoy the spring breeze.
The café offers a great-value online deal: a four-piece waffle and two lattes for only 39.8 yuan. You can swap coffee for tea if you like, in fact. The café offers a selection of loose tea leaves, such as Old Tree Yunnan (black tea), Jasmine Silver Needle, Taiwan Jinxuan Oolong Tea, and Citrus Pu-erh.
The owner, Caicai, used to be a barista before she made up her mind to open her own café. Single origin beans and a house blend for espresso-based coffee are roasted by a friend.
At the moment, it has single origin beans including Yirgacheffe, Costa Rica, Kenya AA+ and Drima Zede (from renowned NinetyPlus’s sideline LevelUp) for hand-drip coffee. Each cup of 240ml costs 30-38 yuan.
Drima Zede, a natural-processed coffee from Sidamo, Ethiopia, is Caicai’s favorite. It has a heart-melting floral fragrance with a clean yet strong berry taste. As the coffee cools, you can detect a lovely sweet aftertaste like dark chocolate.
Le Petit Café
Address: 1131 Changle Rd
Tel: 136-3658-0727 (Delivery available)
Opening hours: 9am-6pm (Mon.-Fri.) 10am-6pm (Sat.-Sun)
Recommend: Hand-drip coffee, tea
Coffee Sospeso will celebrate its fourth anniversary in October. The takeaway-only cafe popular among office workers and local residents.
“Eighty percent of my guests are regulars,” beamed owner Cici, who has been working in the coffee industry for the past decade.
The main sections of the menu have not changed since its opening — espresso-based coffee and juices. The seasonal menu will be updated soon for summer.
“I use avocados a lot,” says Cici, “The new seasonal menu will have fruit milkshakes and smoothies.”
If you’re looking for a caffeine boost to start your working day, try a 12-ounce flat white (21 yuan) with an extra shot (3 yuan). The total espresso is around 70ml. The skimmed milk option is free.
Cici says the house blend is roasted by her friend with her own “recipe.” A pack of 454g coffee beans costs 116 yuan. The shop offers “off-menu”: guests can ask for anything as long as the ingredients are available.
Address: 962 Changle Rd
Opening hours: 7am-8pm
Recommend: Flat White (Double-shot), seasonal special drinks
As you walk down Changle Road, you may mistake Mente Café as another takeaway-only coffee shop. But it does offer a few tables though they are very close to each other. The café has a street-facing counter, allowing passers-by to order a coffee quickly.
Unlike most coffee shops, Mente Café uses an automatic coffee maker for fresh-brewed coffee.
“By using a machine, it’s easier for us to get the right taste every time we make coffee,” says Jeff Lin, who opened the café last August. The single origin beans available in store vary a lot, although Lin prefers lower-acidity beans.
“The Kenya beans I use now have a very mild sour taste,” said Lin.
As summer approaches, Mente’s signature ice-drip coffee (35-45 yuan based on beans) sells out quickly every day due to the limited production. “I change beans daily for the ice-drip coffee,” says Lin.
Flavored soda, priced at 28 yuan, become popular as the mercury climbs. Grapefruit soda is a must-try if you love the fruit. Lin is from Taiwan. So the café sells a range of teas, including white peach oolong, fruity rose green tea and fragrant osmanthus tea.
The café is available for private events in the evening. It also runs regular evening workshops and events.
Address: 622 Changle Rd
Opening hours: 8:30am-8:30pm (Mon.-Fri.), 9:30am-9:30pm (Sat.-Sun.)(Delivery available)
Recommend: Ice-drip coffee, flavored soda