Article By Eugene Lombard
Ground Coffee / Yuan Yan, Shop nr D24, Localand, Glorious Plaza, Gaoxin.
Average Price per Person /人均消费: 36RMB
Brew. Cup of joe. Dirt. Mud. Rocket fuel. Cuppa. Daily grind. The list goes on. So many ways to name a much-loved beverage; coffee.
The coffee scene in Xian is expanding at a rapid pace. You can find a variety of shops. Big, small, down alleyways, up hidden staircases and on obscure corners. They all boast interiors that are unique and inviting. An Instagramer’s dream! All of this comes as an absolute treat for the coffee lovers among us. And if you haven’t found that special coffee shop yet, you’re bound to find it sooner or later.
It’s nice to have a coffee spot to which you can break away, one that serves that cup of coffee just the way you like it, with the seat by the window, great for getting lost in your book.
But sometimes we’re looking for a totally different experience, like having some Chinese coffee perhaps?
I know just the place.
Situated in the Localand block of the very creatively designed Glorious Plaza, you’ll find the creative space known as Ground Coffee. Once you step inside you are immediately greeted by the inviting aroma of coffee. This is heaven. Not only do they make coffee but they do their own roasting* as well. And to make things even more interesting, the coffee beans come from their own farm in Yunnan Province.
Ground Coffee is all about coffee. Of course, you can still find a quiet corner and read your book but this coffee shop offers so much more. The baristas are all extremely knowledgeable. They’re not just there to take orders and make coffee, they’re there to share what coffee culture is all about and they are more than happy to tell you the story of the Yunnan farm.
There is ample seating to be found, with 3 floors and a balcony setting to choose from. I would however highly recommend the ground floor. From there you can observe the roasting process and if you want a drip style coffee, you’re more than welcome to sit at the counter and watch the preparation process.
At Ground Coffee, they offer two styles of coffee; the classic Italian style coffee like Americano and Cappuccino. These are usually machine made; and Japanese drip style coffee; this is a more subtle coffee making process and tends to capture the aromatics of the coffee bean much better.
There are over twenty different roasts to choose from, of which fifteen are from Yunnan, and the rest are very special roasts from across the globe; one being the Don Pachi Geisha from Panama (the only coffee shop in Xian to stock this and at 98¥ a cup, a very special brew).
Yunnan coffee is not as strong as coffee from the traditional coffee producing countries. It’s softer, more balanced and almost fruitier in a way. This is very evident when enjoying a cup; you pick up a variety of aromas when smelling it and the taste is not as strong and bitter, instead you get a pleasant, lingering aftertaste.
Attention to detail is key at Ground Coffee. The color of your cup depends on the strength of your coffee. Light coffee gets served in a white cup and black cups are reserved for stronger coffees. Even the deserts are matched with a particular roast. A chocolate desert pairs well with a high roast coffee. A light roast tends to be more acidic and pairs well with a fruity desert. The menu is setup in such a way that all the roasts are grouped according to their roast level, ranging from light to full.
You really get the sense that coffee is the focus point of what they do and this is clearly visible the second you enter the door. They are living and breathing coffee culture.
Yes, I still want to get lost in a cozy window seat drinking a cup of comfort coffee, reading a book. But every once in a while, enjoying something out of the ordinary is just as good if not better.
So, whether you’ll stick with the tried and tested, (you’ll want to try the Black Honey Jade roast) or whether you’re feeling fancy and want to treat yourself to the Don Pachi Geisha, Ground Coffee is definitely worth a visit.
*Roasting is the toasting of the coffee beans, which gives coffee its distinct flavor. In general, we get high, medium and light roast coffee beans.
If you give this a try, let us know about your experience by messaging us at firstname.lastname@example.org.