Coffee Culture Week brews in Shanghai

Shanghai Coffee Culture Week has officially launched its two-week coffee-themed event. From August 4 to 18, coffee connoisseurs from all over the city can participate in a series of fun-filled promotional and co-branding festivities. Free tastings, pop-up shops, and a night market are some of the anticipated activities that will be featured with the hope to revitalise the city post-lockdown.

Kicking off the event on August 4, food delivery app Meituan teamed up with homegrown coffee chain Manner coffee to host a pop store at Shanghai’s Expo Cultural Park. During the event, Meituan used a drone delivery service to serve customers a refreshing cup of joe – free of charge and delivered in less than three minutes.

Image: Xiaohongshu

Dozens of other popular coffee chains like Manner Coffee, Nowwa Coffee, and China’s first fully robotic coffee kiosk Cofe+ will also offer free coffee to the public through a variety of promotional events. In total, more than 1,000 cafés are expected to hand out 1.5 million specialty coffee cup sets.

As of June 30, Shanghai has nearly 8,000 coffee shops scattered throughout the city, rendering it the new “coffee capital of the world”. The rising trend in coffee consumption is largely due to younger generations who typically go for a cup of joe as they study or work in local coffee shops. Shanghai’s coffee culture has not only been a vital element of the city’s urban style, but it has also been crucial in building a high quality of life for residents and visitors.

China itself is seeing rapid growth in its coffee market. In the past 14 years, China’s overall coffee consumption has risen more than 1,000% with rates growing by 30% each year. In 2021, the value of China’s coffee market reached 381.7 billion RMB ($57 million) and is expected to exceed 1 trillion RMB ($148 million) by 2025. In addition, the global coffee chain Starbucks is expected to have more than 6,000 stores in over 230 Chinese cities by the end of 2022.

Overall, the two-week-long event reflects the staggering growth of coffee consumption in China. While tea is still the most popular drink of choice nationwide, it is undeniable that a coffee craze is steadily brewing in cosmopolitan cities.


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