<p>Danny and his wife Eileen escaped the grasps of corporate jobs to live the life of simple pleasures for cultural integration. Their travels inspired them to create an independent California-style coffee shop – <em>not a café. </em>This Californian author felt right at home in the minimalist high-ceilinged metal and wood motif shop with fresh flowers and herbs spouting from white-walled tires against walls that are thronged with shelves sporting coffee accoutrements and books in Chinese and English.<br /><br />Located on the ground floor of the MCC building no. 2, loft seating allows one to sip on a perfect cup of coffee while enjoying the view of the Yuhangtang River. Depending on the drink and bean type you choose, Danny will use temperature specific water poured over the exactly measured amount required into cups resting on scales to calculate the precise weight. Their business relies on the celebrated Intelligentsia organic coffee bean brand that sources from various countries in the temperate zone. They stock the notorious Black Cat Organic Blend, for which many a customer from other provinces have already come due to Weibo and word of mouth. Danny goes to Pasadena, California four times a year for new batches. That’s fresh!<br /><br />As we absorbed our 35RMB Latte (decaf optional!), he enlightened us in coffee history, culture and facts with the unmatched passion of one who loves what he does, aided by four cups of coffee a day. We learned more in one conversation with him than we had ever accumulated in a lifetime on this subject. That is his goal: to spread his love and knowledge of coffee with his patrons.<br /><br />To complement your drink, Eileen, who studied baking in Lyon, France, makes baked delights from scratch, such as the wonderfully composed Strawberry Cream Cake for 38RMB a slice. (Note: The author does <em>not</em> enjoy cake; however, his plate was empty in minutes.) Her platoon of pastries changes often so as to keep her arsenal from going stale, guaranteeing a unique experience each visit. English teas and Japanese beers are also available. Chinese customers who order in English or expats who order in Chinese may enjoy a 10% discount. Danny’s only intolerance is for those who smoke inside and are ill-behaved. Offenders will be shown out. Therefore, one may bank on a clean and quiet environment. Underground parking free for the first thirty minutes.<br /><br /><em>Photos by Giuseppe Tuchun</em></p><p><!--EndFragment--></p>
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