[Shanghai] The Coffee Academïcs

The Coffee Academïcs

Add: 1 South Wu Lu Mu Qi Road, Shanghai 乌鲁木齐南路1号
Tel: n/a
Website: http://www.the-coffeeacademics.com
Hours: Mon-Sun 9:00am-9:00pm
Price: [coffee] RMB23-115; [pastry] RMB39-49; [food] RMB45-128
Visited: May 2016
Will return: Definitely

Located below Glo London and just around the corner from the much-Instagrammed bar & café Blackbird, the Coffee Academïcs is a worthy addition to the coffee scene in the former French Concession. Established in Hong Kong in 2012, this specialty coffee purveyor and roaster has won numerous awards over the years, and has recently made a foray into Singapore and now Shanghai.IMG_4163 copyIMG_4159 copy

Unlike so many tight and cozy speciality cafés in Shanghai, the Coffee Academïcs offers a wide and open space flooded with natural light.IMG_3994 copyIMG_3948 copy

The decor is casual and has a sort of rustic country charm…IMG_4140 copyIMG_4128 copy

… but it was obvious that a lot of thought went into the details.IMG_4133 copyIMG_4154 copy

So true…IMG_3995 copy

The Coffee Academïcs features an extensive coffee menu, including classic espresso-based coffee, specialty lattes, and a wide variety of single origin beans brewed with your choice of V60 or Chemex. They also serve a different Globally Inspired espresso-based coffee every month, such as a Portland-inspired Citrus Espressoda for this May and a Seoul-inspired Red Bean Es-Bingsu for June.IMG_4014 copyIMG_4016 copy

The sleek and glossy Mirage espresso machine from Kees van der Westen is certainly eye-catching.IMG_3981 copy

Their single-origin beans are sourced from coffee farms around the world, including their own coffee farm, the Baruffee Estate in Panama. Their roasted coffees have consistently scored 91-94 in The Coffee Review, making it the highest-ranked roaster in Asia. For now, the beans are roasted in Hong Kong and shipped to Shanghai, but they will start roasting the beans in-house as soon as they’ve figured out a way to ventilate in their roasting room.IMG_4011 copyIMG_3957 copy

My first cup for the afternoon was a Pepper Agave Latte (45) with raw agave nectar, topped with ground black pepper. The pepper was an interesting addition. While it didn’t blend as seamlessly with the coffee as salt with caramel or cayenne with chocolate, it offered an invigorating and lingering bite that was quite intriguing. One caveat though: remember to stir before taking a sip, or you’ll end up with a mouthful of black pepper on your first sip – clearly speaking from experience here…
Recommend: yesIMG_3938 copyIMG_3929 copy

But my favorite on this visit was undoubtedly the hand-dripped cup of Hawaii Kona (60).IMG_4012 copy

As soon as the water hit the ground beans, the air was filled with the pleasant aroma of tropical fruits and a hint of peppermint. The first sip revealed a light acidity that was very easy to drink, and left behind a distinct coolness on my tongue. With time, the acidity became more pronounced, as did a sweetness reminiscent of caramel and vanilla. Definitely my favorite bean right now.
Recommend: definitelyIMG_4008 copy

The baristas were very friendly and professional. I had a most educating conversation with Hex about the art of brewing coffee.IMG_3952 copyIMG_4146 copy

There was a nice variety of good-looking desserts on display – eclairs, Mont-Blancs, tarts, and pound cakes. They also have a selection of light eats on the menu, including salads, panini, pasta, and pizzas, all of which are made in-house.IMG_3972 copyIMG_4121 copyIMG_4123 copy

Also available are some single-origin chocolate bars from Raiz Chocolates, an artisan chocolatier in Hong Kong.IMG_4169 copy

The Coffee Academïcs is still in soft opening for now, with the official opening scheduled for June. They’re still fine-tuning some details, but it is well on its way to becoming my new favorite café.IMG_4149 copyIMG_4145 copy

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