As Hefei develops, more and more inhabitants are developing a taste and appreciation for coffee and the coffee house culture that comes with it. The youth of Hefei are particularly enamoured by the new coffee craze, which has triggered an increase in the number of cafes in the city. And not only has this trend been driving up the quality of coffee, but many of these coffee houses are proving to be the best places to relax in town.
1) Seem Coffee House 西美咖啡画廊 View In Map
Situated on Wuhu Road just west of the Anhui Clock Tower and Grand Theatre, the Seem Coffee House is a great venue for relaxing in style. Comfy, but not too spacious, art is the running theme of this coffee house, and you’ll find oil paintings, sculptures and carvings dotted around the place. They even have a mini library for you to peruse during your stay (though good luck finding any classic literature), and a room for card games. Free wifi is provided throughout, and every night from 20:30 they have soft folk music performances. As well as the usual coffee choices, they have Madagascan vanilla coffee, and strong Brazilian coffee to satisfy your caffeine cravings.
Add: Next door to the Anhui Grand Theatre, Wuhu Lu, Hefei
Tel: 055 1226 1778/055 1288 9666
Opening times: 09:00-23:00
Getting there: Take the 111, 121 or 119 bus to the Bell Tower (大钟楼)
2) Kona Coffee 科纳咖啡 View In Map
Although it looks relatively humble from the outside, on the inside, Kona Coffee has a lot of character, from the cartoons painted on the walls and ceiling, to the stick figures scribbled all over the place. The relaxed atmosphere makes Kona a good place to come and chatter away an afternoon with friends while sipping on their mellow coffee. The place gets its name from the world-renowned Hawaiian Kona coffee bean, noted for the smooth, rich-tasting coffee it produces. If the arty atmosphere gets you in a creative mood, you can even have a go at making your own coffee, from the grinding the beans, to adding flavour, filtering and tasting. The price is the same as a normal cup of coffee, so it’s worth a try.
Add: At the intersection of Kexue Avenue and Tianbo Lu, Gaoxin District, Hefei
Tel: 055 1537 0558
Opening times: 10:00-01:00
Getting there: Take bus 3, 22 or 903 to Kexue Avenue (科学大道); it’s a short walk from there.
3) SPR Coffee (红星路)View In Map
SPR is very easy to find, just opposite the north gate of the business district. It’s on the second floor and you’ll know you’re in the right place by the presence of paintings on the left hand side walls, and a Chinese history photography exhibit on the right, with portraits, pictures and exhibits from the Qing dynasty onwards. The movie world is an integral part of SPR Coffee, and they show movies here every day (usually four showings per day): their own motto is “天天好咖啡，天天好电影” (great coffee everyday, great movies everyday) and a mix of populist and classical movies is shown.
All your coffee needs will be fulfilled here, with an extensive menu of cappuccinos, mochas, espresso and macchiato to keep you awake during the movie(s).
Add: 68 Hong Xing Lu (above Ruilifeng Beauty Salon), Hefei
Tel: 055 1263 9089
Getting there: Take bus 109, 117, 121 or 129 to Shangzhidu station (商之都站)
4) Yanmo Shiguang 研磨时光 View In Map
The Chinese name of this chain branch means ‘Grinding Time’ and is so called because all the coffee is hand-ground and it is done in an open setting so you can see exactly what is happening. Here they insist on using high-quality coffee beans and imported machines that use steam pressure to extract the best bits of the bean and create great-tasting coffee, but it is also known as “coffee for Chinese people” because it isn’t as bitter as other coffee outlets’ coffee. The staff here are very attentive, and their flair for creativity can be seen on the surface of your cup of coffee: depending on what your order they will create a flower-like image using the natural coffee and milk foam colours.
In May and June you can find ‘coffee cocktails’ which are iced coffees with added spirits. Most come layered (alcohol, milk, and coffee) and appear in the glass as three different coloured layers. Stir well before drinking!
Add: 2F, Shang Jie, Huaihe Lu Walking Street, Hefei
Tel: 055 1267 2299
Opening times: 10:00-22:00
Note: there is another branch on Suzhou Lu (宿州路) about 50m south of the Drum Tower commercial building.
Tel: 055 1265 3388
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Keywords: hefei coffee houses where to get coffee Hefei cafés in Hefei
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