Second Friday find about coffee, out of about five or so Friday finds. Clearly, I’ve got a thing for the bold and beautiful or am just an addicted American. Let’s go with the first one.
Convenience store coffee in Shanghai. Yes, it does the job. Tastes like you just licked the inside of a grinder that hasn’t been cleaned out in 10 years, but it does the job. If you want the best of the best though, go to Sumerian on Shaanxi Lu by Beijing Xi Lu, where California native (Poway to be exact-represent) Dave and his fiancee have recently set up shop. They have the best stuff brewing.
Beans are imported from Peru, Sumatra, Bali and Ethiopia, one from Bali coming from a volcano and possibly the only of its kind served anywhere in China. Not only do they import quality coffee, but both were trained under roastmaster Mike Perry of world-renowned Klatch coffee. (Originally, Dave’s fiancee wanted to open a chocolate store so they compromised on a finely crafted hot chocolate edition on the menu. Excellent compromise).
They present their coffee (RMB28) with a passion- Kyoto drip, pour-over or what looks like some sort of bunsen burner, known more commonly as a siphon. Espresso drinks (RMB32) are immaculate and the coffee is so pure and fresh it’ll have you humming for days. As an American (I feel like this is a certifiable statement) I average about five venti’s a day to keep me alive; cups here are so on fire that just one does the trick. They also present American-originated desserts (what could probably be something of The Cheesecake Menu lineup) and huge homemade sandwiches.
The key to any good service industry is hospitality. They nail it. This organic-style (reminds me of Cafe 11), local shop is the type of spot many dream of (no, just me?)- the kind where they know your drink order and treat you as though you’ve been coming there for years, irregardless if they just opened two months ago. As the shop continues to grow and new staff is added behind the bar, the warm welcomes, friendliness, western-style service and general charm doesn’t get lost. Quite the contrary, as it just feels more like a family as the shop continues to grow. They just make me smile.
(Photo by That’s Shanghai)
If you want an excellent, not good, not decent, not wake you up, but get you fired up, kind of coffee, Sumerian is the only name you need to know. To read our food and drink editor’s full review, click here.
(Wifi limited at present time, seating and outlets limited. Meaning order your coffee to-go so I can still head here to do work!)