torsdag 24. mars 2022

How Shanghai’s Coffee Culture Brewed Up a Revolution

In the 2021 film “B for Busy” — one of last year’s sleeper hits — the characters are anything but overworked. Members of Shanghai’s idle rentier class, they spend their days flirting, taking art lessons, and drinking coffee. In this fantasy version of Shanghai, even street cobblers treat their coffee breaks as sacred, grinding their own beans and telling off the protagonist in Shanghai-accented English for interrupting “coffee time.”

Shanghai’s infatuation with coffee has become shorthand for what makes the city different from the rest of the country: Coffee is seen as a symbol that either denotes its tolerant, Westernized culture — or its petit bourgeois affectations, depending on your point of view.