Published: 12:55, July 3, 2020 | Updated: 23:14, June 5, 2023
PDF View
Par Cafe publishes rankings of boutique java joints
By He Qi

The rapid growth of specialty-coffee shops in Shanghai in recent years indicates the market's progress. (PHOTO PROVIDED TO CHINA DAILY)

To raise greater awareness about coffee culture in Shanghai, Par Cafe, which is under the Family Mart brand, published its Specialty Coffee Review on May 27 and named the top 10 coffee shops in the city.

The review consisted of shops with one-, two-and three-star ratings. It was based on factors such as taste, service, environment and branding.

"The reason for us to do the review is because Shanghai has the largest number of coffee shops in the nation," says Wang Yongyi, marketing director of Family Mart on the Chinese mainland.

"We hope that consumers can better experience the specialty-coffee culture. On the one hand, we want them to try more great coffee. On the other hand, we hope they can understand that Par Cafe is committed to high coffee quality," he adds.

Five coffee experts, including the chairman of the jury, Lin Tung-Yuan-he was the winner of the first Taiwan Barista Championship in 2004-reviewed 50 specialty-coffee joints in Shanghai.

"Generally speaking, the specialty-coffee shops in Shanghai are enthusiastic about coffee," says Lin.

"The shop owners used to focus on presenting what they think is good coffee, but they now also pay more attention to the feelings of customers and try to understand their preferences."

The rapid growth of specialty-coffee shops in Shanghai in recent years indicates the market's progress. (PHOTO PROVIDED TO CHINA DAILY)

Lin says the number of specialty-coffee shops in Shanghai has been growing quickly over the past few years, an indication of the progress of the coffee market in the city. As such, having such a review would make consumers more interested in coffee.

According to him, 50 percent of the rating was based on flavor, 25 percent on service, 20 percent on the environment and 5 percent on market influence.

"The first step for me is to look around the store and its design because 'adding points' to the city is an important function of a specialty-coffee shop," Lin says.

"After entering the cafe, I will evaluate the level of professionalism according to the decoration, the interaction with the barista and the introduction of its featured products. Then I will observe the brewing process and whether the barista is transferring the correct coffee knowledge to the customers," he adds.

When asked about his coffee recommendations for people who are still unfamiliar with coffee, Lin says these individuals should order a cappuccino or a flat white.

He explains that compared with the latte, people can taste more of the coffee beans and how the milk is processed with these two types of beverages.

Lin says a good cup of coffee depends not only on the quality of the coffee beans but also on the skill of the barista. These variations of coffee can quite accurately reflect the ability of a barista.

"There are shops that have great-tasting coffee but I did not give them high scores because the overall atmosphere and professionalism are lacking," says Lin.

"I think it is important for shops to give the right perception of specialty coffee to customers through all these elements."