Manner Coffee

The word "Manner" written partly across an inverted triangle.Manner Coffee was a recommendation from Anna, my barista at Monday’s Coffee Spot, Sumerian Coffee. Handily placed just a few streets away from Sumerian Coffee on the quiet Nanyang Road, I was very grateful for the tip since I’m not sure I’d have found it by myself, particularly since it doesn’t show up on any on-line maps that I know of and has no social media presence.

I’m not even sure I’d have noticed it if I was just walking past since Manner Coffee is literally a hole-in-the-wall operation (for the pedants out there, technically it’s a window-in-the-wall operation). However, the crowd of people standing outside, waiting to order their coffee, might have drawn my attention.

And what coffee! Despite its size, Manner offers espresso (house-blend) & pour-over (various single-origins) from a selection of beans, all roasted in-house. It’s takeaway cups only though, so don’t forget to bring your own.

You can read more of my thoughts after the gallery.

  • Why has this crowd gathered on Shanghai's Nanyang Road? Because of Manner Coffee!
  • Mind you, I had to wait until it was closed before I could get a decent shot of it!
  • Manner Coffee is literally a hole in-the-wall operation. Well, a window, for the pedants.
  • The coffee menu is to the right of the window, with espresso and single-origin pour-over...
  • ... while the retail coffee offerings are chalked up below. Very reasonable prices too!
  • So, let's see what it's all about, shall we? Unleash the espresso machine!
  • Manner Coffee is takeaway only, but fortunately I take my Kaffeeform cup everywhere...
  • ... even to Shanghai! And here it is, complete with a shot of the house-blend.
  • There is a solitary bench outside for those who want to stay...
  • ... and a litter bin for unwanted post-consumption cups.
  • I arrived just before closing time: as soon as the window was shut, the crowds dispersed.
  • However, I did buy a bag of the Yunnan Province Chinese coffee before Manner closed.
  • My coffee with Manner Coffee (which roasts all its own beans) in the background.
Why has this crowd gathered on Shanghai's Nanyang Road? Because of Manner Coffee!1 Mind you, I had to wait until it was closed before I could get a decent shot of it!2 Manner Coffee is literally a hole in-the-wall operation. Well, a window, for the pedants.3 The coffee menu is to the right of the window, with espresso and single-origin pour-over...4 ... while the retail coffee offerings are chalked up below. Very reasonable prices too!5 So, let's see what it's all about, shall we? Unleash the espresso machine!6 Manner Coffee is takeaway only, but fortunately I take my Kaffeeform cup everywhere...7 ... even to Shanghai! And here it is, complete with a shot of the house-blend.8 There is a solitary bench outside for those who want to stay...9 ... and a litter bin for unwanted post-consumption cups.10 I arrived just before closing time: as soon as the window was shut, the crowds dispersed.11 However, I did buy a bag of the Yunnan Province Chinese coffee before Manner closed.12 My coffee with Manner Coffee (which roasts all its own beans) in the background.13
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There’s not a lot to Manner Coffee. It’s literally a window at which you order your coffee, before waiting on the pavement for your order to be shouted out, at which point you’ll find your coffee waiting on the shelf beneath the window. Alternatively, you can perch on the bench that sits by the kerb on the opposite side of the wide pavement. Strangely, Manner Coffee, and the bench in particular, instantly reminded me of New York’s Gimme! Coffee, although at Gimme! Coffee you at least go inside to order.

Given its size, you could forgive Manner Coffee for just serving espresso, but there’s so much more to it than that, with a full pour-over menu offering a selection of five single-origins. There are also various over-ice options, plus a single-origin Ethiopian cold-brew on offer. Looking in through the window, I could see at least four people beavering away. However, I couldn’t see past the La Marzocco espresso machine to work out what the pour-over set-up was and, with my non-existent Chinese, asking was out of the question.

Given its set-up, Manner Coffee only offers takeaway cups, although there’s a generous 5 Yuan discount for anyone bringing their own cup. Fortunately, I take my Kaffeeform cup with me everywhere I go, even all the way to Shanghai (it’s now survived for five full months living in my rucksack), so I ordered a shot of the house-blend espresso. This was surprisingly long, the coffee coming across as quite sharp and fruity. I enjoyed sitting on the bench while I slowly sipped it.

A word about prices: my espresso was a snip at 10 Yuan (a shade over £1) while the rest of Manner’s pricing was similarly reasonable. It’s the only place I visited in Shanghai where I paid under London prices. Most of the rest of the shops were either on a par with London or heading towards Hong Kong pricing, particularly when it came to pour-over and retail bags of coffee.

Manner roasts all its own coffee and you can buy any of the beans, including the house blend. In all, there were seven single-origins on offer, including a washed and a natural Yirgacheffe, as well as Kenyan Guatemalan, Colombian and Sumatran beans. The prices varied from around £4 to £8 for a 250g bag. However, what caught my eye was the Yunnan, the same single-origin Chinese coffee I’d had at Sumerian Coffee. Whereas the two bags I’d bought there had set me back just under £8 each, Manner was half the price, so I made another impulse purchase. This one’s destined as a gift, so I will let you know what the recipient made of it in due course!

205 NANYANG ROAD • JING’AN • SHANGHAI • CHINA
+86 1860 513 0307
Monday 08:00 – 19:00 Roaster Manner Coffee (espresso + filter)
Tuesday 08:00 – 19:00 Seating Bench
Wednesday 08:00 – 19:00 Food N/A
Thursday 08:00 – 19:00 Service Counter
Friday 08:00 – 19:00 Cards Cash Only
Saturday 09:00 – 17:00 Wifi N/A
Sunday 09:00 – 17:00 Power N/A
Chain No Visits 2nd October 2016

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5 thoughts on “Manner Coffee

    • Hi Alice,

      I suspect that the roaster is actually somewhere else. Most of the coffee shop/roasters (with one exception) didn’t roast on-site. That said, who knows what was behind that window? There might be a whole warehouse in there for all I know. But I suspect not.

      Re trying Yunnan coffee. I think that could be arranged…

      Brian.

      • haha – there is a tendency for small spaces to be the norm to work in when it comes to China! A sample of Yunnan coffee would be welcomed by us this end- yours in anticipation and trust the remainder of the trip continues to please. i know tea is not your thing – but you CAN’T leave China without at least sampling their new crop greens- they keep the best for themselves so it would be an educational experience at the very least ..

  1. Hi Brian,

    Thanks a lot for the article. I am a friend of Manner Coffee’s owner and I am trying to create a Facebook page for his tiny “cafe”, is it okay for me to use the header picture here on your blog?

    Thanks again,

    Frank

    • Hi Frank,

      Yes, of course you can use the header picture. Just please mention on Facebook that it is “Copyright Brian Williams 2016” and also, if you can, place a link to the actual post. I’m not sure if the header picture here will be the correct aspect ratio for Facebook, so if you want the original (that way you can crop it yourself, plus the original won’t have “Saturday Short” written on it!) just let me know.

      Thanks,
      Brian.

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