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Beijing’s Best Brew

July 21, 2014
Soloist Coffee Co.
It’s no easy task to turn the land of tea into a country of coffee converts, however, the western world’s favourite source of caffeine is fast finding a foothold in the East, with a growing number of Chinese swapping their morning lapsang for a steaming long black. And in Beijing it isn’t just run-of-the-mill chains Costa Coffee and Starbucks gaining prevalence; hip little joester Soloist Coffee Co. – fast gaining a rep as the place to go for a first-rate brew – has now unveiled its first permanent locale in Qianmen after the rave success of its pop-up during last year’s Beijing Design Week.

Tucked down a narrow hutong alley not far from Tiananmen Square, Soloist achieves a relaxed and retro vibe with exposed brick walls, industrial table lamps and reclaimed chairs from an old church. But the approach to coffee is nothing short of scientific. The main counter looks rather like a chemist’s laboratory with various implements for filtering and frothing, small measuring scales and glass jars filled with in-house roasted beans from exotic reaches, such as Ethiopia and Indonesia. And although the emphasis is firmly on the expertly made joe, loose-leaf tea, snacks and a selection of sweets are also on offer. Opt for the decadently creamy cheesecake, which comes with a friendly warning from the staff – it ought to be eaten only after you’ve finished your cuppa, lest you overpower the delicate dimensions of the coffee.

39 Yangmeizhu Xiejie / Qianmen / +86 10 5711 1717 / 11.30am-8pm daily /