Ocean Grounds Organic Coffee & Tea successfully replicates the laid-back, surf-worn feel of southern California while serving up the best and most labor-intensive cup of coffee in Beijing. Those looking for a grab-and-go drink should hit the espresso bar for lattes and cappuccinos (¥20-45) and Tea Journeys drinks (¥39/¥42). Everything is made with Wonder Milk products and organic sweeteners, although CEO Jim Lee discourages customers from adding milk or sweetener to the coffee, urging instead that they treat each cup like a wine and experience the subtleties that arise from its place of origin.
Those with at least 20 minutes to spare should grab a stool on the Discovery Bar, which features a seasonal rotation of house-roasted coffees from around the world (¥43/brew), including Peru, Guatemala, Brazil and Ethiopia. We tried a coffee from Goroka, Papua New Guinea, along with two macaroons (¥10/each) from French bakery Amandine. The coffee was hot enough to wake us up without singeing our tongues. It smacked of cinnamon, with an aftertaste that reminded us of going camping. Each cup comes from roasted beans that aren’t ground until they’re ready to be consumed. The coffee is all “dosed,” with the beans weighed and the container labeled with how much water to use—a way to ensure a perfectly crafted cup of coffee even during a rush. Lee has three brew methods, or three kinds of coffee-making “toys” that wouldn’t look out of place in even the most serious lab, that take anywhere from two to 10 minutes. Nothing ever, ever sits in or on a warmer. This artisanal coffee house is a welcome addition to Beijing’s increasingly caffeinated palate, but those on a budget shouldn’t toss out their Nescafe packets just yet.
Our rating: 4.5/5 stars
Where: Unit 327, 3/F, U-Town Mall, 悠唐生活广场三层327室, Tel: 5637-7527, 光华路5号院世纪财富中心B1层
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About The Author...
Mikala Reasbeck eats cheeseburgers while toying with the idea of returning to her vegetarian ways. This West Virginian also enjoys betting on horse racing, riding bikes, meeting quirky people pursuing their passions in Beijing and getting her nails did. She is not really a maiko.