Mellower Coffee, whose spacious, industrial interior recalls a refurbished warehouse. Skinny light bulbs dangle from a concrete ceiling crisscrossed by black-painted pipes. Wooden seats bear canary-yellow pillows, which match the sun-bright Strada espresso machine.
The pride of the establishment is the artful espresso drinks, such as the latte (48RMB) and caramel macchiato (53RMB). But the buzz-generating beverage is the ‘sweet little rain’ (58RMB), an Americano presented with a cloud of candyfloss. The pink fluff perches on a stick above the rising steam, sweetening the coffee beneath as it melts. While the process is entertaining, the flavour outcome isn’t overwhelmingly impressive – there are probably more worthwhile ways to spend 58RMB.
Most coffee connoisseurs will be keener on the siphon, AeroPress and Chemex brewing options for specialty beans such as 90+ Perci (98RMB). With workshops available in brewing, cupping and latte art on offer at Melllower, it’s clear that coffee craftsmanship is taken seriously.
Unfortunately, the same standard does not apply to the food. The unpalatable ham and cheese panini (48RMB) contains a thick, rectangular slab of pink, processed meat, drowning in mayo and pressed on cheap-tasting white bread. The carrot cheesecake (42RMB) is not cheesecake at all, but rather, a dry, crumbly triangle topped with gluey frosting. While the cake’s spiced autumn flavours are passable, its texture points to a lack of freshness.
Despite these shortcomings, however, Mellower Coffee makes a worthwhile destination for its high-end beverages and enjoyable atmosphere.