Having designs on creating the perfect cup of coffee
By Zhu Jing
If you are looking for hidden independent coffee shops, then look elsewhere, as it’s fair to say that Museo Coffee is pretty inconspicuous.
It is easy to miss as it is located at the very end of a graduate entrepreneurship base next to an old residential area that’s about to be pulled down, some 4 kilometers from Shanghai South Railway Station.
Museo Coffee was established in 2013 by a couple. Some 10 years ago, Chris Lee from South Korea worked for a design studio in this industrial park, in the very building where he and his wife Zhou Liping would set up their coffee shop.
The couple were fond of the terrace outside the top floor, and when the premises came on the market, they didn’t hesitate in renting it and opening their own cafe.
The location might be a drawback but Museo Coffee has a loyal customers base, drawn by its coffee, homemade food and relaxed surroundings.
It is not hard to see that the owners are true coffee lovers, as the cafe is decorated with framed pictures of different-colored coffee fruits.
Books about coffee in English, Chinese and Korea are piled on the bookshelves, available for customers to browse.
There’s also a shelf exhibiting all kinds of vintage hand coffee grinders while the owners brought sets of painted cups and saucers from South Korea and display these too.
Design details are not forgotten either, with coffee-colored window blinds.
Currently the first floor — which was previously a photography studio — is closed for refurbishments.
In further evidence of the owners’ devotion to the bean, coffee workshops are held each week in a separate area, which can also be used for special occasions requested by customers.
The owners have a huge coffee roasting machine where they roast carefully sourced raw coffee beans — with a demonstration sometimes a highlight of a workshop.
Other workshop topics cover everything from the theory behind the perfect cup to coffee grinding and finally making a cup.
Museo Coffee offers a wide range of specialty coffee beans, both for sale and for drinking on the premises.
These include beans from Kenya, Ethiopia, Columbia, Guatemala, Costa Rica and Indonesia for hand-drip coffee.
If possible, Chris insists on making every order of hand drip coffee for customers himself. If you are not sure which coffee beans to choose, he will also give you some ideas and recommendations.
Besides its signature hand-dripped coffee, the cafe provides a variety of coffee-based drinks, both hot and iced, using its own house blend. And the handmade cakes by Chris’s wife are highly recommended.
The terrace provides customers with a view of the Huangpu River. It’s spacious enough to hold a small party or just a good place for customers to laze in the sun.
If you happen to visit the 2015 Shanghai International Flower Exhibition (opened until the end of May) at the Shanghai Botanic Garden, Museo Coffee is close by.