Article By Tim King
1F, Han Shen Shopping Mall, Northwest Corner of Feng Cheng 8 Road and Wen Jing Road Intersection
(029) 6820 1003
9:30am – 9:30am
Average Price per Person /人均消费:37RMB
PROS:Good coffee, good food, good atmosphere
CONS:If you’re looking for the eatery, at the time of writing it’s hidden behind some construction for a new subway line. Staff assured me that those panels would be gone by February
For people like me that are laypersons in the ways of the coffee bean, going to a café involves a certain amount of trust in whoever’s behind the counter and in front of the espresso machine. I don’t know Ethiopian coffee from Vietnamese, but I would hope that they would understand the difference and use that knowledge to prepare a better coffee for me. While that’s a tall order in a lot of other cafés, at Mojo Coffee that kind of service is being brewed daily.
Mojo is a brand from New Zealand dedicated to providing the best coffee shop experience possible, and there are currently two locations in Xi’an, both on Fengcheng 8 Road in the north of the city. Getting off at [行政中心] and leaving the station through exit A3 will put you just a five-to-ten minute walk away. The first and older location is just a coffee shop, a place for a cup of joe and maybe a brownie; the second is a much more ambitious café and eatery where they also roast coffee beans in-store. Both locations keep with the same aesthetic: a sort of rustic vibe filled with wooden furniture and gorgeous tile floors that are all tied together by more modern, open design principles.
The first thing I did was take a quick stop at the coffee shop for a cup of something that’s kind of halfway between an Americano and an espresso that they called “Long Black” (which I just had to have inside me).After that, I made my way over to the eatery to see what was going on. It was kind of a slow day, being a Tuesday afternoon and all, but the staff wasn’t content to idle. Instead, they were having a tasting, led by the head roaster, and learning more about what they serve. I ended up having my second cup on the day, an espresso. I have to say that this is probably one of the strongest espressos I’ve ever had—a real kick in the ass that also had complex flavor and a very full body.
Now that I was wired, I needed a little something to eat, so I had them recommend a couple of dishes for me. First was something resembling a cobb salad, with egg and bacon bits and avocado and tons of fresh vegetables. It looked a bit overwhelming at first, but it wasn’t long before I was more than halfway through the serving—definitely a contender for best salad I’ve had in Xi’an. They also brought me a very unique sandwich: a open-faced cauliflower sandwich. It wasn’t on the menu, but it was sautéed cauliflower atop a piece of wheat bread that had a kind of mashed potato mixture on it. For an armchair carnivore like me, it looked like a stereotype of veganism on a plate. Don’t get me wrong, all the ingredients it was assembled from were great (especially the bread), but it never ended up being more than the sum of its parts. I topped it off with a brownie that was lightly sweet and served a la mode with some imported lychee ice cream.
Mojo has plans for expansion in Xi’an, but for now if you want to try out what they have to offer, you’ll have to head north. It might be a bit of a trip on the metro, but it’s well worth it for such a carefully crafted coffee shop experience.