Flat white may be Beijing's brew of the moment

Updated: 2015-03-03 06:56

By Michelle Yang For China Daily(China Daily)

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Cafe Zarah (Gulou)

This German expat-owned establishment is known for quality coffee served in a cool courtyard setting. The flat white's 30 yuan ($4.78) price tag isn't low, but I have high hopes. But these plummet when my coffee is served. Why? It's in a glass instead of a cappuccino cup, meaning more milk than the standard 5.5 oz. I'm also disappointed to be told that it's a single shot, as an authentic version comes with two.

But after a sip I'm quickly converted. The characteristic microfoam is dense and smooth, and though there's more milk than usual, the deep coffee flavor does the talking. I'll be back. Rating: 8.

Jamaica Blue (Guomao)

I was excited to discover the Australian cafe chain Jamaica Blue in Beijing. The Central Park branch had been refurbished since my last visit. Awkward dark leather couches had been replaced by casual wooden tables and benches and the winter sun imbued the place with a laidback Australian atmosphere. The menu even included sausage rolls - a quintessential Aussie snack!

To my delight a 26-yuan small is served in a cup and not a glass. But for all the promise, the delivery is weak. The coffee flavor is timid at best, while the milk seems limp. I'll be back, but not for coffee. Rating: 5.