Caffeine Fixes in China
So you need a caffeine fix in China, huh? This is the only (short and sweet) guide you need.
The only reason you are reading it is because I’m exhausted from too little caffeine, and rather than run outside to get some, I figured blogging about it might provide a pick me up.
3 Types of Caffeine in China
Leaving out illegally produced speed & ephedrine for the moment, there are three main types of caffeine in China:
- Tea (who would’ve thought?)
Tea in China… is everywhere
Tea is ubiquitous in China. Whether it is of the hot, carry around in a tea case variety (green, jasmine, oolong, guanyin, or any of the other many types of Chinese tea), iced tea, afternoon ‘milk tea’, or ‘pearl milk tea’, you should be able to get a little caffeine. This is also (debatedly) the most common form of caffeine available in China.
Coke & Pepsi… sugary caffeine fix
You can find Coke and Pepsi, along with many of their offshoot drinks (nixay on the Dr. Pepper and Mountain Dew, though), pretty much anywhere in China. Definitely a decent caffeine fix for those who need it.
Coffee… the ultimate caffeine fix
Coffee is available everywhere in China – unfortunately, anywhere outside of the larger modern cities (and a handful of expat oriented travel destinations) coffee usually comes in the instant variety, chug just for a bit of caffeine, kind.
In the larger coastal cities, Starbucks is expanding at a furious pace, with other shops like Illy making some headway into the Chinese market. But not everyone can afford expensive good coffee in China.
Where do you get cheap good coffee in China?
This is a true conundrum… it’s hard to find good, cheap coffee in China. For those lucky enough to live near an Ikea, you can always get a french press (79-99 RMB) plus vacuum sealed decent coffee (19-25 RMB for 250 grams) to do the brewing on your own.
Beyond that, the only cheap coffee in China I know of is the local stuff from Yun’nan province, and the insta-crap from the store.
Final message to those in search of a caffeine fix
Don’t worry, in terms of caffeine, China won’t leave you high and dry. There are plenty of options in China for the caffeine addict.