Where to have coffee in Shanghai 上海


For me, one of the most important parts of exploring a new place is knowing where to stop for a great coffee on the way. I spend a lot of time researching and finding some of the most popular coffee shops in each area alongside some smaller, up and coming, local favourites. I've decided to start sharing my experiences and hopefully help save you some time in finding your next caffeine fix wherever you are in the world!

In this blog we’ll be exploring what China has to offer!

It may take you by surprise that speciality coffee even exists here! I read recently that instant coffee still makes up around 80 percent of China's coffee market. But, despite the stats it seems the third wave is beginning to take hold throughout the nation. So, if you find yourself in China in need of a great coffee, here are some of our favourites that you can find in Shanghai. Cheers!

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#1 Café del Volcán

A little cafe at 80 Yongkang Road. It's a very small space but makes up for it with very friendly staff and great speciality coffee. They were very happy to share with us about the different coffee options available and teach us about the variety of styles and processes that they offer. They also have a 'coffee of the week' that is worth asking about and maybe taking a bag home with you.

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#2 Seesaw Coffee

A minimalist coffee shop tucked away in the Jing'an Design Center. A beautifully clean and modern space with plenty of indoor seating and a large courtyard if you're looking for a bit more natural light.  We arrived a little before closing hours so pretty much had the place to ourselves, though I hear it can be super busy during the day. They serve a great flat white and some nice pour overs. Definitely worth a visit if you can find it!

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#3 Peet’s Coffee

At 9 Donghu Lu is China's first outlet belonging to West Coast coffee chain Peet's. It's a little different from the US look and feel, with a bright and modern design. It has a large patio space and window seating. 12 coffees are available at any time, all brewed within 28 days of roasting at their semi-circular bar. They have a great retail section with a variety of different products for baristas and home brewers. They also have something called a 'discovery bar', where tasting flights, courses and custom cups are led by the shop's baristas and roasters. A full coffee experience. The only downside is the busyness. We struggled to find a seat inside for around 20 minutes. It's worth the wait though.

Find out more about Peet's Coffee and their story here.

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#4 Roaster Cafe

In a tiny space at 4 Yuyuan Lu, just around the corner from Cafe Del Volcan, you'll find Roasters Cafe. It's perfect for a take-away, as there's no seating! Plus a number of flavoured lattes that you can order hot or cold. It's also well known for it's in house roasting. As we waited for our order, we watched as they hand selected the green coffee beans, removing defects in preparation for roasting, right in the front of the shop. It was amazing to see the care put into each cup of coffee. Worth dropping by to grab something on your way around.


Asking for coffee in the local language

你好! 我要一杯咖啡。 (nǐ hǎo! wǒ yào yī bēi kā fēi.) — Hello! I would like a cup of coffee.

Types of coffee

拿铁 (ná tiě) — Latte

浓缩咖啡 (nóng suō kā fēi) — Espresso

卡布奇诺 (kǎ bù jī nuò) — Cappuccino

摩卡 (mó kǎ) — Mocha

美式咖啡 (měi shì kā fēi) — Americano

玛奇朵 (mǎ qí duǒ) — Macchiato

星冰乐 (xīng bīng lè) — Frappuccino

冷萃 (lěng cuì) — Cold brew

茶 (chá) — Tea

Sizes of coffee

小杯 (xiǎo bēi) — Short

中杯 (zhōng bēi) — Tall

大杯 (dà bēi) — Grande

超大杯 (chāo dà bēi) — Venti


Thanks for reading! If you know other coffee shops in Shanghai that we should add to the list, let us know in the comments below…