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5-Star Brews

February 22, 2015
C5 Cafe

Something’s been brewing in Beijing of late. Traditionally seen as the capital of cha, a distinct waft of morning roast can be detected in the air thanks to a slew of coffee-centric caffs, including Soloist and Ocean Grounds. And now, a confident new contender has burst onto the bean scene in an arty enclave of North Sanlitun. C5 Cafe is a hip new java joint that puts an emphasis on hand pours and serves what may well be the city’s most expensive cuppa joe.

The sleek space is as clean-lined and uncluttered as its neighbouring namesake gallery with stark white walls, wooden tables and a sun-dappled glass ceiling. Slide over to the chemistry lab-styled counter – covered with implements for washing, grinding and extracting – and let the knowledgeable baristas talk you through the single-origin selections from exotic reaches such as Kenya, Ethiopia and Guatemala. True connoisseurs can plump for the 100RMB NeKisse 90°, then take a 15-minute turn around the small adjoining homeware shop as your soft, citrus-scented prize is meticulously prepared and poured. For more recent coffee converts there are beginner blends, plus smoothies in inventive flavours like vanilla-avocado and banana-black sesame. Flavour-packed salads and a tempting homemade berry tart provide healthy sustenance. Brew-tiful.

Bldg F / 5 Xiwu Jie / Sanlitun / +86 10 5844 3705 / 10am-7pm Mon-Fri