Yang Jian / SHINE

Patrons drink coffee at a beer garden outside a historic Columbia Circle building on Friday.

A coffee festival was launched in downtown Changning District, inviting locals and tourists to cafes located in or near many of Shanghai’s famous historical structures.

The Changning Coffee Culture Festival kicked off at Columbia Circle on Friday and will run through the end of May with activities along the Centennial Yuyuan Road and its neighboring historic streets.

Shanghai is one of the cities with the most coffee shops in the world. A total of 6,913 were operating across the city in January of last year. There is an average of 2.85 cafes per 10,000 inhabitants in Shanghai, the same density as in New York, London and Tokyo.

The city government launched a Coffee Week last month to promote coffee culture.

For the event in Changning, the district government released a map with 46 coffee shops and organized guided tours around them.

Changning Coffee Culture Festival Kicks Off

Yang Jian / SHINE

A coffee bazaar in Columbia Circle.

Akimbo Café Lab on Yuyuan Road is located in the 91-year-old house where writer, translator and scholar Shi Zhecun (1905-2003) lived upstairs. It combines a gift shop with innovative and cultural products, an art gallery and cafe.

The nearby Gaman Café is inside the former residence of Chen Guangpu (1881-1976), founder of the city’s first private bank.

The Seesaw Coffee at Columbia Circle offers regular community events such as vinyl collector talks, plays, and craft workshops.

“Grandparents told me that Shanghai was full of cafes with trendy decorations and jazz music in the 1920s,” said Xu Yingting, owner of Before Sunset Coffee on Wuyi Road. “I would like to restore the vintage style of traditional local cuisine. coffees.”

A number of cultural activities will take place during the two-month festival at popular venues such as Columbia Circle, once a popular country club for Americans between 1927 and 1942 and the former site of the Shanghai Institute of Organic Products, once. the city’s main vaccine production. based.

Changning Coffee Culture Festival Kicks Off

Yang Jian / SHINE

On Friday, guests take a coffee break poolside at Columbia Circle.

The city’s premier coffee and theater festival will be held at the grounds during Labor Day between May 1-5, during which 25 coffee-related dramas will be staged.

The Story Shop on Yuyuan Road, inspired by the Japanese novel “The Miracles of Namiya’s General Store”, will launch a coffee recycling project. Customers can swap coffee cups from nearby cafes with coffee grounds, which can be used as fertilizer, air purifier, and skin care products. The paper cups will become an art installation and will be displayed in the boutique.

Many of Changning’s cafes and bookstores will also host book clubs to promote coffee culture.

“Cafes are always linked to innovation and entrepreneurship,” said Xu Jinjiang, director of the literature institute of the Shanghai Academy of Social Sciences.

“The flourishing coffee culture in Changning is expected to boost the district’s culture and innovation as well as entrepreneurship sectors,” Xu said.

Changning Coffee Culture Festival Kicks Off

Yang Jian / SHINE

Customers can taste different kinds of coffee during the two months of the festival.