We love this place. It is a tiny, open-air, street-side service café that connects one immediately with the location and the conceptual geography of the city. The sights, sounds, smells, and all the sensory data of this consistently busy but not frenetic downtown intersection are your soundtrack and wallpaper. The four stools opposite the service bar have you seated outside, but if you’re not inclined to face the galley kitchen and chat with staff, you can do as we do: step-back from the bar and watch the hubbub at the crossroads. Micway’s sense of place is drawn from and part of the environment they help create – and it’s places that do this right that contribute to the greatness of a city.
The caramel latte they whipped-up for us on our first visit (large @ 26RMB) was hot, sweet, and the best of its kind we’ve had in the city – bar none. We’ve been back four times, and the espressos have been consistently excellent. These are made on a Faema President, a damned good machine produced under the Milanese company Gruppo Cimbali. The name ‘Faema’ might look to you (as it did to us) like pinyin, but it actual stands for Fabbrica Apparecchiature Elettro Meccaniche e Affini – and they’re sort of the Bottega Veneta of espresso machines. Like our friends at Cherry Coffee, the owners of Micway are using top-end imported product: Molinari beans, Hershey’s chocolate, Anchor milk, and Torani syrups. Their hongcha (red tea) cheese cake – not of their making, but well-chosen - is divine. Bravo.
And Micway’s prices can’t be beat. All coffees (except espressos/macchiatos) come in three sizes, and are priced accordingly. Americano: 14, 17, 20RMB; Cappuccino: 17, 20, 23RMB; Latte: 18, 21, 24RMB; Espresso: 11, 13RMB; Macchiato: 15, 18RMB.
For 32RMB you can pair a large Americano and slice of cheesecake, or a latte and a piece of tiramisu. That’s hard to beat and something to remember if you’ve just polished off a sushi lunch at Zechuan, which is all of 20 meters east up Fengqi.
No gimmicks, and not a host of options, but they do coffee right. There’s a single table for three inside, and no WC. Credit cards are accepted. Staff have decent English (in case this matters), and are friendly and engaging without being in the least bit affected. Micway is a short walk (east) up from the Wyndham Hotel, and just down (west) from the intersection of Yan’an and Fengqi Roads. Nearly a year-old, Micway is still in place for a reason. Wansui, kids. Good job.
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