Add: 1728 West Nan Jing Road, Shanghai 南京西路1728号
Tel: +86 5290 9012
Price: [coffee] RMB25-35; [pastry] RMB20-35
Visited: June 2016
Will return: For the space? Yes. For the coffee? No.
AUNN, a confident abbreviation for “All U Need Now”, is a chic and spacious café sitting on the busy intersection of Nan Jing road and Hua Shan road, right across the street from Jing An Temple. Its huge, sleek glass façade is impossible to miss among the bustling traffic.
A wide expanse of concrete floor is filled with about 30 tables – all positioned comfortably apart – and the large patio on the other side of the glass houses a dozen more. Interestingly, all the tables and chairs at AUNN are 3D-printed using recycled materials.
The skeletal chairs and pale tables combined with the concrete walls and floor give the place a raw and spartan feel and a pronounced industrial undertone.
The only pops of color in this huge space.
The floor-to-ceiling windows not only floods the café with natural light, but also lends itself to people-watching.
AUNN offers all the essential espresso drinks at just slightly higher prices than Starbucks, as well as a small selection of drip coffees, including their ever-popular cold-brew. Cakes, tarts, and croissants are also available if you want a quick breakfast or a little afternoon pick-me-up.
I started my afternoon with their famed Cold-Brew (35) served in a stylish metal bottle. On the day of my visit, their cold-brews were made with Columbia or Kenya, but the barista couldn’t tell me which one I got because the bottles weren’t labeled…
I would try to guess which one I had based on the flavor, but honestly the coffee was remarkably bland. At first I thought I had over-diluted it with ice, so I took a sip straight from the bottle. It tasted the same by and large, except for a slightly more noticeable bitterness. The lack of characteristics was quite surprising – and disappointing – since cold-brew usually shows off a coffee’s aroma while dampening its bitterness. I definitely prefer the cold-brew from Volcán.
Recommend: not really
Underwhelmed by the cold-brew, I decided to try their espresso drinks next. The Cappuccino (30 for small, 35 for large) was smooth and luscious, but a touch weak for me.
Considering that their coffees are all priced below RMB35, I would say the quality is adequate for casual drinkers. Personally, I wouldn’t come back for their coffee. But even if AUNN doesn’t quite give me all I need, the spacious café and comfortably-spaced tables make for a good workspace, and the minimalistic design makes it a suitable escape from the glaring sun and stuffy heat ahead.