A Chinese coffeehouse: Paodora – 潘朵拉·城市行动咖啡店

Coffee is not really a popular choice China, though tea and all its types and preparations are a must in any occasion since immemorial times.

Paodora Coffee Shop, Gongbei Underground

Covering the coffee void in China there is, of course, Starbucks, but for an improved version there is a franchise called Paodora, the commercial brand from the Taiwanese company ‘Jack and Magic Pea Coffee Shop Group‘, which they label their coffeehouses as ‘City Action Coffee Shop’, and sometimes the cups go with ‘New Style Naissance’ or ‘Quality of life; character of people’ and phrases with this flourished Chinese style, so sometimes it’s hard to tell which brand is what…

They specialize in tea and coffee in all the possible servings and preparations, and they have pastries and cakes, too, but most important, they are my favorite coffee shop ever for many reasons. Take into account I’m European and crazy about coffee. A good sign is they have automatic espresso machines in all their shops, which is rare in China, where soluble or drip coffee makers are the disgustingly only choice.

The shops are usually crowded because the cool status among the youngsters, as the design, the products and general perception of the brand are something fad and exotic in the fast-growing chinese cities, eager for novelties. Good thing is there’s almost one in each district of my city, some of them selling only pastries.

Here some examples on what you can have in there:

All the cups are sealed on the top for your convenience, to prevent any spilling. And about the prices, you can have a great espresso for 8 RMB (1 EUR; 1,2 USD). And a HUGE cup of ice coffee with milk is just 11 RMB (1,3 EUR; 1,7 USD), and when I say huge, I mean like this:

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And a carefully crafted mocca for 30 RMB (3,5 EUR; 4,6 USD), like this one:

Paodora coffee decoration

Bottom line: all prices range from 8 to 40 RMB. And absolutely personalized to taste (cinnamon, chocolate, milk…).

Another great thing they have is the baristas. They are really good at making coffee and handling an espresso machine, and as an example of their work, see their amazing foam figures below… Again: true espresso.. in China! Not from a Starbucks! And cheap! Decorated!

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If you stumble across one, don’t hesitate to order anything in there: you’ll love it. I never felt a yearning for the coffee back home!

Paodora ad

There is anything like this where you live? What is your favourite coffee spot?

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4 comments

  1. I used to go to “Jack and the magic pea” in Zhuhai, but never saw a “Pandora” pop up in my time there (almost 4 years ago!). If they serve cheap, good coffee and are popping up al over the place, I might just have to move back to the Mainland. I way overpaid for Starbucks coffee just today..

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    1. There’s a Jack and the Magic Pea (who came up with the name?? :D) at Bar Street, but in Jida there’s plenty of this Paodora coffee shops, and in Gongbei Underground too. We used to go to the Starbucks near a big shopping mall in there, but when we realized that in Paodora they were making such a good stuff we moved to it, but the pity is they have small space to sit and chat, while in Starbucks they have all the stuff to make u feel comfy… There’s no Paodora-alike shops in HK? (Confessing I like Starbucks!) ;)

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      1. The one on bar street was the one I used to visit. But now I hear there are 4 or 5 Starbucks in Zhuhai. How times have changed.

        I haven’t seen a Pandora in HK, there probably isn’t space between all of the Pacific Coffee and Starbucks shops… You’re right that comfy seats are worth a higher price!

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        1. Pacific Coffee! That’s true, there’s another brand in HK! :D I thought it was Sbcks monopoly all over. Here in Mexico now, Starbucks is the only option for a decent coffee since this beverage is not really popular… and the people actually drinkng they do it with Nescafe soluble…! Damn, its reaaally popular…! :P

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