Lujiazui brews up success with coffee festival
The annual coffee festival has returned to the Lujiazui area on an unprecedented scale.
The event, in its sixth year, is now being staged at the Lujiazui Central Greenland, Shanghai's largest downtown open greenland area, which is nestled amid skyscrapers. It will last to Sunday.
It features 213 coffee brands, highlighted by 25 independent coffee shops from across the country, including Secre Coffee from Guangzhou, Café Ankh from Shijiazhuang and Antidote Café & Bar from Suzhou.
Giant art installations made of coffee grounds have been erected to raise awareness of ecological protection. There are also interactive activities showing how coffee grounds are granted a new lease of life.
Lujiazui is home to nearly 300 office buildings and more than 500,000 office workers.
"We initiated the festival in 2016 to break the 'walls' between floors and buildings, and jazz up the concrete jungle," said Chen Bai, who is in charge of the festival.
Back in 2016, only 24 coffee brands took part in the festival. Every year since, that number has nearly doubled.
Today, Shanghai has exceeded New York in having the largest number of coffee shops in the world, and Lujiazui Subdistrict ranks No. 1 in Shanghai for having nearly 200 coffee shops.
"Our festival started in Pudong, a pioneer in the country's reform and opening-up, and we hope to lead the coffee industry," Chen said.
Chen sees Pudong as entry point for international coffee brands as well as window for domestic brands to enter the global stage.
The festival aims to promote a coffee culture ecosystem, hold competitions to discover and foster promising domestic coffee shops, and set up the equivalent of Michelin stars for the coffee industry.