For most high school students, coffee is a necessity to get through late nights and survive early mornings. Because of this, countless cafes have dedicated themselves to supplying the copious amounts of brew consumed every month. So, if you find yourself tired of the all too familiar Starbucks and Costa Coffee, here are three cafes you can try out in the CBD, each with something special to offer.
Sounds familiar? This cafe in Chaowai SOHO is based on the Central Perk from the well-loved TV show Friends. If you’re not already convinced of how great this cafe is, keep reading. On top of a wonderful variety of coffee and other drinks, this little coffee shop has many unique qualities, such as a TV playing Friends non-stop surrounded by cozy sofas. Famous scenes from Friends and other movie posters are framed on the walls, adding to the relaxed ambiance. The snug atmosphere makes for a good place to hang out with friends on weekends. On the down side, the extremely comfortable sofas are limited, as the cafe is quite small. Then again, the free Wi-Fi makes up for that inconvenience.
This is another cafe tucked away in Chaowai SOHO, C Building. Open every day from 9am to 10pm, Moss Cafe is a quiet delight. Spacious enough and not yet discovered by hoards of coffee addicts, it provides a quiet atmosphere where one can enjoy the company of friends on the large sofa in one corner and contemplate the tasteful artwork, or the peace to do some work or browse the Internet (free Wi-Fi!).
Not only does Moss Cafe make an excellent cup of coffee, but it also offers a large variety of food and drinks. A few that stand out include the apple ginger yogurt smoothie, mint lemon soda, baked cheesecake and homemade bagels, and bagel sandwiches in a variety of flavors. Not yet sold? You can enjoy an all-day breakfast of bacon and eggs/smoked salmon omelettes, bagel and cream cheese, a salad and coffee or juice, all for RMB 45. No joke. On the downside, smoking is allowed in the café, so you may have to momentarily endure the stench of tobacco.
Although largely popular in Australia, this cafe is highly underappreciated in Beijing. It’s a terrible shame, for they make a wonderful coffee that goes above and beyond the usual. If the dearly-loved chai latte and flat white coffees are not familiar to you, you are not enjoying life as much as you should, and are urged to sample these coffees with utmost haste. The CBD Jamaica Blue can be found in the Central Park apartment complex, and there are another two located in Park Avenue near Chaoyang Park and Yosemite in Shunyi. Besides the moreish coffee, the cater to the Antipodeans of Beijing with their delectable quiches, sandwiches, and cakes. And, of course, the cafe would not be on this list if it did not provide free Wi-Fi.
To sum it up, no matter where you live in Beijing, these cafes are well worth the trip to the CBD.
This article originally appeared in the May/June 2012 issue of UNIT-E. It was written by Katie Dark, a student at Yew Chung International School of Beijing.
UNIT-E was founded in the spring of 2010 with the aim of establishing a non-profit, student-run magazine for international students in Beijing. Staffed by current students from a range of international schools, the magazine provides an amalgam of cultural tidbits, fragments of Beijing student life, and a broad spectrum of unique perspectives from a diverse group of young adults.
Photo by yoppy (Flickr)