Shuyu Café: A Place With More than Just Good Coffee

Shuyu Café: A Place With More than Just Good Coffee

A place for everyone, the exchange of culture, a warm environment to meet friends, or escape to find that perfect writing space, Shu Yu Café has so much more to offer than that perfect cup of coffee.

Where does a prolific writer such as Ms. Shu Yu go to feel inspired and write? Her own coffee shop, of course! This unique coffee shop is prominently positioned beside the ancient Gongchen Bridge, where the Grand Canal flows into Hangzhou. With a comfortable lounge-like interior, and coffee served in delicate China cups, guests can feel right at home. Many do also feel inspired, and numerous budding poets come to create and share their work.

Splendid surroundings

Shu Yu Café is a place where Western food and coffee culture can intertwine with Chinese culture. The picturesque setting beside the Grand Canal has witnessed a lot of history, and is hoping to be included as a World Heritage Site in the coming years. The Gongchen Bridge is over 400 years old, and was built to receive the Emperor when he travelled from Beijing to Hangzhou. Nowadays, it is one of the two locations for the major fireworks show the city puts on each year as part of the West Lake Expo. The café is part of a mock-ancient Chinese village, built with beautiful dark wood. The interior is warmly decorated, and glows as much from care and love as it does candle and lamp light.

The perfect cup of coffee – and tea

With the notion that each cup of coffee has its own soul and should be treated individually, extra time and care is taken to create each perfect cup. Every coffee drink is hand crafted, and the barista has over eight years of coffee-making experience. Espresso drinks include all the classics such as Cappuccinos (38 RMB) and Macchiatos (48 RMB). There is a large selection of coffees, from Colombian (58 RMB) to Blue Mountain (78 RMB). The signature house blend, the Shu Yu coffee, is a delicious sweet blend that feels like it resonates in your soul. At 128 RMB a cup, it’s the most special drink you can have in the café.

Despite the sign outside announcing coffee, it’s as much a tea shop, with many regular patrons returning to sip hot cups of high quality tea. The menu includes all the classics such as Longjing, Pu’er and Earl Grey teas, as well as herbal teas. They range in price from 38-68 RMB.

Bridging cultures

The foremost desire is for the café to be a bridge between east and west, and a simple glance at the menu will attest to this. Not many places can offer chicken feet (18 RMB) and a beef burger (38 RMB) on the same menu. With a range of Chinese set dishes, as well as many Western dishes, everyone can find something they like on the menu, and in this brave new age, be tempted to try something new. From steak and salmon, to Western desserts like apple pie and chocolate brownies, Chinese people can feel at home in familiar surroundings while they taste new dishes and experience a new type of food so very common to Western people. And likewise, Westerners, seeking the enriching culture of ancient China, can relish the history of the surrounds, while feasting on those home comforts which are longed for in ones travels.

A place for everyone, the exchange of culture, a warm environment to meet friends, or escape to find that perfect writing space, Shu Yu Café has so much more to offer than that perfect cup of coffee. Stop by, and you’ll be glad you came.

The Verdict:

Service quality: good
Food quality: excellent
Price per head: less than 100
Environment: good

Add: 1 on the west side of the Gongchen Bridge, Gongshu District, Hangzhou
地址:  杭州市拱墅区桥西直街1号 Tel: 86-571-8809-0555
Tel: 0571 8809 0555

This article is brought to you by Best Food in China (www.bestfoodinchina.net). Best Food in China is the first and leading English-medium website featuring reviews on food, cuisine and restaurants in China. 

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Keywords: Shuyu Café Hangzhou good coffee Hangzhou gongchen bridge Hangzhou

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