Since our first review of Caffeing over a year ago, the café has undergone new ownership, and the look inside has completely changed too. It has now become more stripped-down, industrial minimalistic with bare concrete walls and flooring accented by the owner’s own motorcycle and bicycles. The no-fuss décor puts the emphasis on the quality coffee they brew.
The owner, Ruffian, visited Italy and experienced the coffee culture there firsthand, where coffee is a daily necessity – served quickly and drunk quickly by standing customers. Himself an ardent coffee lover, Ruffian’s main goal is to make good coffee for his customers, and he took his barista training very seriously. He trained hard for three years to compete in the China Barista Championships, and in 2016 he won 1st place in the Hangzhou Division. He also has a certificate from The Specialty Coffee Association of Europe.
His knowledge of coffee is enthusiastic and impressive, explaining to us the different coffee growing regions, the influence of soil and climate, processing conditions and brewing methods. We tried an Ethiopian coffee bean, brewed two different ways. First, the manual drip method produced a fruity, aromatic liquid with a clean light quality. There were a lot of complex flavours happening here, almost candy-like with a sweet fragrance. Then the same coffee bean brewed as an espresso, wow, completely different and very sour!
Costs are very reasonable for such high quality coffee. Manual dripped coffee (38-48RMB), Italian and flavoured coffees (18-36RMB) and fresh fruit juices (32-36RMB). Food is served as well, with pasta (32RMB), rice dishes (36RMB), pizza (48RMB) and snacks (24-56RMB).
The other great thing about Caffeing is that it’s a dog friendly café. Ruffian’s gentle husky dog is there every day, and customers can bring their own dogs. During our visit there were three dogs altogether, and they were happily running around. Customers wandered in regularly, petted the husky and then ordered their usual, sometimes off-the-menu drink from Ruffian. Being close to Zheda Zijingang campus, many university students frequent here as well. At night the café transitions towards beer and whisky drinking.