Shenzhen Cafe Review: Fast Lane Coffee

By Bryan Grogan, November 29, 2018

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The Place 

Situated in Shenzhen Software Industry Base, Fast Lane Coffee caters to all manner of young and trendy workers in the area, billing itself as an alternative to the ‘fast coffee shops’ around the city, which sacrifice quality in favor of speed and efficiency. With German company Hanover Coffee and convenient-eating company Maik’s Gourmet at the helm, these two businesses bring their unique skills to bear upon this new coffee spot.

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Image by Bryan Grogan/That's

The Coffee

Upon arriving at Fast Lane Coffee, we decided to try the shop’s special menu. Amongst the options are coconut milk coffee (RMB25), grapefruit espresso (RMB28) and coffee tonic (RMB25). Grapefruit espresso was not available at the time of our visit, so we took a tipple of the coconut milk coffee instead, which comes with ice. This blend is, needless to say, very sweet – though not as sweet as we thought it might be. The coconut milk blends well with the coffee, creating a milkier taste than your average cup of joe. 

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Image by Bryan Grogan/That's

Feeling an initial buzz, we were keen for more, and so we dove right into the signature espresso (RMB18). We started with a sip and were delighted to taste the bittersweet coffee thread across our tongues. We delayed no more and threw the rest of our tiny cup down our throats and, after some initial grimaces, savored the taste for a moment. 

Finally, we sampled the Sumatra gayo organic (RMB30). Supposedly the strongest single-origin coffee on the menu, we were not overly impressed with this earthy beverage. But we can’t complain too much: Fast Lane’s prices are right, the service is prompt and for those chasing a quick latte in the morning, this may well be the place for you.

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Image by Bryan Grogan/That's

The Vibe

Constant activity and bright light beaming in through glass walls prohibit the shop from feeling like, as many coffee shops do, a library where hushed voices are the norm. With just two stools and a tiny alcove in which to serve customers, folks stand around with coffee cup in hand either staring at their phones, jumping from one foot to another or striking up a conversation with someone nearby.

Price: RMB18-32
Who’s going: busy techies, salad bar snackers
Good for: fast coffee, convenient snack options
Nearest metro: Houhai (Exit J), 21 minutes 

Open daily, 8am-10pm. See listing for Fast Lane Coffee.

[Cover image by Bryan Grogan/That's]

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