found an amazing store thankfully near my house, well worth a stop if you’re in neighborhood. it’s called “bolofen,” on shijian st, which is the next light north of shipai rd between chengde and zhiyuan 2nd rds. in shipai. this guy is a coffee nut, he has a farm going in laos where he grows beans he uses for his espresso–which i haven’t tried, not my favorite at home–you could tell from talking to him he, well, likes coffee. nice guy, i was waiting to hear how “louhou” laos was but instead he told me how it’s his favorite country and how peaceful it is. anyway he roasts his beans there, he always has mandheling and brazil ready-roasted. the mandheling was the best i ever tried, that rich mandheling taste so strong, beautiful. his brazil is amazing too, he says it’s not santos but from a specialty coffee with yellow berries. typical smooth brazil but with an amazing chocolate scent and unsweetened chocolate aftertaste, pretty, pretty, pretty good. he roasts columbian and guatemalan to order, haven’t had the columbian yet but my first impression of the guatemalan was superior to the one in ximending, complex, though more expensive at 380/750 for a half/full pound. the brazil and mandheling are normally priced.
he’s at 46 shijian street, about halfway between chengde and zhiyuan. place has burlap coffee sacks plastered on the outside, you can see one roaster outside, it’s on corner of alley. phone 2827-8333, don’t think they speak english.