Coffee’s sleeping giant

There’s an unusual scene in the large Chinese cities of Shanghai, Chongqing, Beijing, and Guangzhou. Rather than occupying stores selling Sinkiang Black Beer, green tea, or pearl milk tea, city goers are flooding coffee shops for a daily caffeine hit.

“Coffee drinking in China is a fashion, not a habit,” says Shirley Liu, Yunnan Volcafe General Manager. “Five years ago, you wouldn’t have seen any coffee shops in the city. Now they’re everywhere.”

The country is dominated by large global chains such as Starbucks, which opened its Reserve Roastery in Shanghai in December 2017, but Shirley says there’s a noticeable uprise of independent coffee shops moving into the specialty scene.

“Very few people drink coffee at home. China is a tea dominant country so coffee drinking in dedicated shops is becoming popular,” Shirley says. “These days there are more young people such as students who

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