Lusting after a proper cup of joe in Chengdu? The Chengdu-Expat team spills the beans on where best to get your daily caffeine hit in the ‘Du.
Long gone are the days in South West China where the only coffee drinks available are canned Nescafé from your local HongQi Chain Store. Whilst there is now a Starbucks on every corner, it’s still more difficult than you’d think to get a great cup of coffee that isn’t freeze dried with powdered creamer or costs more than you’d pay back at home.
That being said, coffee in Chengdu is becoming more than just a status symbol. The growing number of Chinese people starting to drink coffee regularly is helping to make the Chinese coffee market the fastest growing in the world. Whilst historically China was a nation of tea drinkers, Coffee was in fact introduced to Yunnan as early as 1892 when a French missionary brought the crop to the region -but it’s only since 2008 that it has been grown on a large scale as a commodity. Almost half the coffee produced in Yunnan now comes from Puer, an area traditionally associated with tea production.
Lucky for us, this growing coffee culture is slowly ebbing its way from the East coast of China to further reaching provinces, especially Sichuan’s capital Chengdu. Here are some of our favourite coffee joints in Chengdu:
The Sense 醒食
This new venture, by Jeremy Zhang – winner of the 2014 & 2016 China Barista Championship is becoming by far Chengdu’s worst kept secret. The wood clad store opens at eight every morning and is situated between Niu Wang Miao station and Waterfront & Waitan – perfect for grabbing some caffeine courage to deal with the crowded metro in the mornings on the way to work.
They serve a range of baked-in-house breads and French style pastries, the fougasse is really something special. Most importantly, the coffee. The coffee is exceptional; they offer different blends, ranging from light to dark with full tasting profiles, and showcase different producers from around the world monthly.
If that sounds all a little much for you, it is still a wonderfully calm place to catch up on your emails over some proper coffee and a pain raisin. They also offer salads, pastas and sandwiches with hunks of freshly baked bread on the side.
Price: Americano 24, Latte 26
Address: No 194 Midhongji Road 宏济中路194号;
M049 Sino Ocean Taikooli (near PALACE Cinema) 远洋太古里M层M049 (近百丽宫影城)
Opening Hours: 9am – 8pm
This independent roaster and cafe is located across from Wanda Department Store on the East Second Ring. It is a really beautiful space with coffee to match. The menu lists a total of 14 single origin coffees from Ethiopia, Kenya, Colombia, and other far reaching parts of the world. The well informed staff can make recommendations to find a flavour and roast to suit you. We are also happy to have a decent caffeine alternative to the Green Siren in Wanda, where there is stiff competition for seats during peak hours. Jason’s also promotes coffee culture in Chengdu visa consulting; providing fresh roasted beans, coffee-ware and training to other coffee shops and restaurants in the neighbourhood.
Price: Most coffees and desserts are 25RMB-35RMB.
This little venture near Lan Kwai Fong is owned by Gan Shilin (who also has represented China in the World Barista Championships) and is the jewel in the Chengdu coffee scene’s crown. He offers really wonderful single origin espresso from Guatemala and a lovely house blend with other Central American beans thrown in. The pour over coffee is served two ways; over ice and steaming hot. The beans are roasted locally and ground in store with each cup you order – you can also buy the beans to take away. The menu features cakes and pastries too, but the coffee is definitely the main attraction. Gan holds tastings most evenings at around 6pm and coffee paraphernalia is available to buy on site.
Chengdu-Expat Let’s Grind
Price： Pourover from 30RMB
Address: 39 Tangba Street, 镗钯街39号
WeChat ID: letsgrind
Opening Hours: 9:30am – 7pm
To all the coffee addicts, PY Common sense coffee is here to bring you a warm greeting everyday. From Americano to flavored latte, soda drinks to hot tea, they also have pound cake and Cannelés in store. With its 2 stores in Jinjiang District, PY is planning to open a new one near Tongzilin soon.
Price: Americano 20, Latte 26 (Pick your flavor from vanilla, blacksugar, chestnut, hazel nut, sea salt caramel, cinnamon)
Address: 2-2 Qingyunbei St,. 庆云北街2号附2号 9am-8pm
4 Huaxingdong St,. 华兴东街4号 8am-8:30pm
Rooted near Evergrande Plaza, Pause coffee now has 5 stores in Chengdu. With its unique storefront, Pause Coffee offers guests a time for a cup of coffee down the hectic areas. What attracts more is their affordable price with multiple flavors to choose from.
Price: Americano 15, Latte 20 (Pick your milk from Fresh Milk, Milk Lab, Soy, Almond, Oatly)
Address: Taikooli: 14-6 Yucheng St,. 玉成街14号附6号
Dongmen Bridge: 69 Jiaochangba East St,. Dongda Rd,. 东大街较场坝东街69号
Evergrande Plaza: 67 Sanguiqian St,. 三桂前街67号
Financial City: Floor 5, Building D, Zhonghai International Center, 177 Jiaozi Ave. 交子大道177号 中海国际中心D座5楼盈创星空孵化器
Opening Hours: Weekdays 09:30am – 9pm Weekend 10:30am-9pm
No.42 Binhe Road, Wangping Street
Monday to Sunday：10:30- 01:00
Price: Americano 26, Latte 32
Chengdu-Expat Elephant Grounds
New in TaiKoo Li Chengdu, at the former Costa Coffee location, close the The Temple Café.
The independent coffee roaster, Elephant Grounds scouts quality beans directly from small farm producers around the world to brew their exquisite tastes. On top of single origins, the café mixes earthy Sumatra, aromatic Papua New Guinea, and nutty Brazilian Arabica to create a distinct espresso blend. Simply ask their friendly baristas to recommend the right one for you to go with their signature ice cream sandwiches or Asian-inspired cuisine.
1342,Sino-Ocean Taikoo Li 8 Middle Shamao St. （Old Pacific Coffee location)
Opening Hours: 10am-10pm
Wild Pigeons 野鸽子
Wild Pigeons is Chengdu’s new cafe. It provides good quality coffee, especially the single origin, also brings you some dessert including Croissant and Baguette.
Opening Time: Monday-Sunday 8:00am – 9:00pm
Address: 5-2 Hangkong Rd, Wuhou District 武侯区航空路5号附2号
OMERTA CAFE BAR
Opening Time: 11am-7:30pm Closed on Tuesday
Address: 61 Hongshun St,. 宏顺街61号
Address: 8-5 South Zongshu, Street 棕树南街8号附5号
Opening Time: 08:00-20:00
Nitrogen coffee won’t be available until 1 p.m. The interior decoration of the shop is relatively simple, but the coffee production materials are surprisingly high quality, and the milk is Meiji.
Address: 20 Gan Huai Shu Street, Jinjiang District
Time: Monday – Friday：11:00-20:00；Saturday to Sunday：13:00-20:00
Chengdu-Expat wow! coffee
Price: Americano 24, Latte 28
Address: 7-3-1-2 Jinxiu Huayuan, No.3 Tongzilin East Rd,. 桐梓林东路3号锦绣花园西区内7-3-1-2
Opening Hours: 10am-7pm
No. 98, 21, Qingheli Nanduan, Jinjiang District
Tuesday to Sunday 11:00- 20:00
Price: Americano 21, Latte 23, Flat White 20
Address: Funian Plaza: T3-12 Funian Plaza, 666 Jitai Rd,. 吉泰路666号福年广场T3附12号
Yintai City: Building 16-12, No.1999 Yizhou Ave, Mid Sec. 益州大道中段1999号16栋附12号
Opening Hours: 8:30am-6:30pm
The cafe is decorated in Japanese style. It is surrounded by residential compound. This cafe can make iced coffee which is very different.It’s a great place to go when you need to relax.
Address: No.2-8 Chengke Road, Wuhou District, Chengdu City, Sichuan Province
Chengdu-Expat Urban Picnic Cafe
Price: Americano 21, Latte 23, Flat White 20
Address: No.6, 48 Jinquan Street 金泉街48号附6号
Opening Hours: 8:30am-7:00pm
Of course there are other Coffee shops in Chengdu worthy of a mention. Check out these places too…
Jinjiang District 锦江区
Wuhou District 武侯区
Qingyang District 青羊区
Chenghua District 成华区
Gaoxin District 高新区