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wiz_oz
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It is brewed but the main difference is they put in condensed milk which makes it quite sweet. The coffee is also very strong (very thick) The brewing is not done with a coffee machine. All very traditional. And very cheap.

I like it though.

Was a big group of American when in Laos and they all like it. Every morning it is "cafe lao"....

Some westerners love it, some do not. ..

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That is not the way I've seen it done here in my part of China.

There is certainly a 'fashion' for drinking coffee. I'm not sure that people actually like it though!

They tend to serve unground beans, which you have the pleasure of grinding yourself. These are then put into a glass percolator heated by burning a paraffin wax tablet.

When it's ready, everyone says "Oh it's too bitter" and adds about a jin of sugar per cup.

Then they order more beans at some ridiculous price.

A friend (a student) was working in one of the local supermarkets over the summer and found herself put on the new coffee stall. She told me that they sold very little and most of that was to foreigners.

It seems it is a 'be seen doing' thing rather than a genuine pleasure.

Like I said, fashion.

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Do the Starbucks in China insist on using the Italian names for cup sizes? Grande, venti etc, or have they adopted chinese names?

When I was in China I got hooked on those Nescafe 2+1 coffee sachets (coffee, creamer and sugar in one convenient package), it made it so much easier to get a hit of caffiene. It seems a step backwards coming back to the west and having to add milk and sugar seperately (you can tell I'm no coffee gourmet).

In some places in Hong Kong, they mix coffee and tea to form a new drink, can't remember what they call it though. However the way they use condensed milk in tea (western i.e. not Chinese tea) in Hong Kong, is one of the things I really can't get used to.

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In some places in Hong Kong, they mix coffee and tea to form a new drink, can't remember what they call it though.

It is called 鴛鴦, literally meaning mandarin ducks. This term applies to many things composed of two different elements. Ice cream mixing vanilla and chocolate flavours is 鴛鴦雪糕. If your shoes don't match each other, then you are wearing 鴛鴦鞋.

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Well, in Chengdu, you can buy coffee roasted in Japan, France, Spain, Germany, and Italy, in addition to the ubiquitous Nescafe. You can buy Blue Mountain if your budget allows. You find the aforementioned chemistry experiments and the latest electronically controlled hardware from Italy, including lots of commercial machines. There are coffee shops all over the city, many of them chains. There's an Illy cafe, which is my preferred espresso. There are a lot of people with a lot of money betting on the fashion, but whether it'll take off or whether there's going to be a massive shakeout, I'm really not qualified to opine...although Sichuan seems as good a testbed as any from which to attempt to transform a deeply ingrained teahouse culture to one based on coffee.

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It's not only in Chengdu. They have the same here in 'poor' Guangxi.

But I bet not one of those people drinking the coffee could tell the difference between the various types on offer.

It is purely conspicious consumption. The more expensive the better.

A fashion which will pass.

Unfortunately.

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Well, I think urban China is undergoing a coffee revolution of sorts, mainly caused by Starbucks. Like the US in the ‘90’s, I think it will work in the following way:

Stage 1) People drink Nescafe and rubber-tire-y robusta bean coffee.

Stage 2) People start going to Starbucks and get used to good arabica and a good coffee-shop atmosphere.

Stage 3) After a few years, independent roasters pop up with different styles of roasts, and more diverse bean selection, including “fair trade” coffees. Also, niche coffee shops with either, elitist, romantic, bohemian, or other stylistic ideas are established. Then, people revolt at the “commercialized” Starbucks.

So, Starbucks is the pot of the coffee world- a gateway to other things.

Although, I don't know if coffee will ever have any sort of mass appeal. Tea is so deeply rooted in the Chinese way of life.

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:lol:

I am not so sure. A lot of chinese in Malaysia no longer drink tea. Seems like coffee is lot more appealing or addictive.

And it will not just be coffee. Main reasons tea is so ingrained is that little or no coffee is produced in China. There will be other foodstuff like cheese, pizza and lots of other stuff.

But not need to fret though. Every society changes. Nowaday stir fry, noodles, won ton , bok choi etc etc is as Australian as anything.....

:clap

:clap

:clap

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Main reasons tea is so ingrained is that little or no coffee is produced in China.

And I'm sure major coffee-growing countries hope it stays that way as when the Chinese government decides that coffee should be designated a "key growth sector" or something of the sort, the misery of the average coffee farmer suffering under the current glut in production will only get worse.

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Main reasons tea is so ingrained is that little or no coffee is produced in China.

And I'm sure major coffee-growing countries pray it stays that way as when the Chinese government decides that coffee should be designated a "national key growth sector" or something of the sort, the misery of the average coffee farmer suffering through the current glut in production will only get worse.

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I don't think Coffee can ever replace tea in China.

Coffee really doesn't go well with food (other than sweet things like cake or breakfast) tea goes with everything.

In order for coffee to be palatable most people have to add milk/cream and sugar, tea you can just drink straight.

Black Coffee is too bitter/strong, and it would be like drinking Chinese medicine for fun.

However I did think that coffee could never replace tea in the UK, but now the value of coffee sales in the UK, is greater than the value of tea sales (but that's only because coffee is so much more expensive, volume wise people still drink more tea).

They keep saying that red wine is taking off in China, but I think it's like XO brandy, people drink it just because it's conspicuous consumption, they don't really like/appreciate the taste. Look at the way that you can go to top restaurants, order a very expensive measure of XO brandy, and then get it served mixed with tea. To a western brandy drinker, that would be sacrilege.

When I see people walking around in China drinking coffee from an empty jam jar, then I'll believe that Coffee's actually taking off in China.

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My first coffee in China came from a huge aluminum kettle, and was both sweetened and cream colored. Horrible for one who likes hers black. I used to buy jars of Maxwell instant in the Friendship store. It came with a little spoon with the name Maxwell written in Chinese characters, on the red plastic handle (Mai Wu kafei) I have a spoon to this day. Last trip there, the coffee had come a loooooong way.

But my first tea in China (1984) was something I never, ever expected. A container of hot water and a Lipton tea bag!!!

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