Yichun Wu - Aug 01 2022

With Coco Hang

Coffee lover & Industry insider.
Co-founder of a Chinese online instant specialty coffee brand.
In charge of product marketing.

01. My Coffee Journey

• Start drinking instant coffee with my mom as a child.

• Officially developed the habit while being an international student in New Zealand by drinking the first cup of Flat White.

• Keep drinking coffee every day.

• Co-found a coffee brand and become a product marketing expert.

02. New Zealand Coffee Culture that I’ve experienced

• The origin of “Flat White” coffee.

• The great taste of coffee in New Zealand brought by both qualified coffee bean and qualified milk. People usually drink espresso coffee with milk.

• A lot of local independent specialty coffee shops. Shops and restaurants are usually closed at weekends, but coffee shops open 7 days a week. Coffee shop is an important social place for locals.

 • Locals take coffee as a daily drink. For weekdays, some of them drink 2 cups of coffee in morning, one at home, one buy in store and bring to company (the cup of Flat White is small compared to regular latte). For weekends, they go to coffee shops with family and friends, drink some coffee, then go hiking or biking. They also usually have a close relationship to baristas. They are like friends, chatting about what happened in daily life.

03. Chinese Coffee Culture that I understand

• Coffee culture is niche in China. Only a few cities have “coffee culture” (almost only Shanghai), the majorities even don’t drink it.

• Compared to coffee, Chinese usually prefer milk tea for that it’s not bitter but also has caffeine in it.

• People in Shanghai drink a lot of coffee and it has become a common knowledge for others around the whole nation. Probably because they posted many organic social media contents about how they suffer without coffee due to the lock down in Covid-19 pandemic.

• Different coffee drinker segments in Shanghai: People who want to keep fit, People take it purely as energy booster, People who enjoy localized creative coffee. Dark roast coffee is preferred.

04. My insights as an industry insider

• Most of the coffee drinkers in China cannot clearly tell the difference between coffee qualities, for that coffee is a “foreign product” and they haven’t been educated the complete and clear concept of a cup of good coffee.

• Consumers’’ coffee drinking habit develop routine: sweet instant coffee – freshly made sweet coffee drinks (e.g.: mocha, matcha flavored coffee) – coffee with milk and syrup - coffee with milk - black coffee - specialty coffee.

• The rise of Luckin Coffee is the reflection of this fact. Luckin actually do not sell “coffee”, it sells “coffee taste drinks” with flavors that local consumers familiar about, such as green tea, coconut, sesame, even traditional herbs.