Specialty Coffee from Convenience Store

If you have read my previous post on my status update and flash visit to Taipei, you might notice a box of coffee was lying on the low left corner of the feature image.

This is one of the two Specialty Coffee products available under the Taiwan 7-11 City Cafe Premium sub-brand.

At that time, I have no idea on what “City Cafe Premium” is all about. Out of curiosity on how they can deliver Specialty Coffee at such a low selling price of NTD 160 for a pack of four drip bags, I bought one for tasting.

The coffee packs are roasted and packaged by Taiwan’s largest Coffee Roaster Yeuan Yeou Enterprise Company Limited for the 7-11 convenience store chain. Currently the City Cafe Premium has two offerings: Ethiopia GUJI MESSINA and Costa Rica TARRAZU BENEFICIO LA VIOLETA. The one I bought was Ethiopia GUJI MESSINA. I have tasted Guji a number of times before so it will be easier for me to see how the City Cafe Premium compares with the others.

The coffee pack comes as 4 handy drip bags that you don’t need to use any hand drip coffee set to prepare it. Just pour in the right amount of hot water and the coffee is ready for you.

The coffee beans of Ethiopia GUJI MESSINA are natural processed, roasted mid-way between light and medium levels, and with a fruity aroma – Passion fruit, melon & apricot.

Detailed brewing instructions are printed (Sorry, Chinese only) on the side of the pack. This basically works as below:

  1. Follow the “OPEN” mark to tear off the top part of the drip bag.
  2. Pull the paper clips on two sides of the drip bag and place on top of the coffee cup.
  3. Pour in 190 ml of hot water at around 90 to 94 ℃, in 2 to 3 parts. Overall brewing time is around 70 seconds and to collect 170 ml of coffee.
  4. Remove the drip bag and the coffee is ready for serving.

The beans were grinded to a relatively coarse level suitable for brewing and come with a strong passion fruit fragrance.

The drip bag contains 10g of coffee (which is slightly heavier than those typical size of 9g, available in the market). It is suggested to prepare with 190 ml of hot water that I think is slightly too much. I personally will use 150 ml (at a brew ratio of 1:15) for a stronger taste.

First part of 45 ml water.

Second part of another 60 ml water.

and finally, the remaining 45 ml of water.

Just like other Ethiopia beans, the body of the coffee is slightly on the thin side. However, the balanced sweet and sharp flavour of the coffee will definitely leave you a great impression.

Personally, I think this Ethiopia GUJI MESSINA is on par with quite a lot of Specialty coffees served in coffee shops. At NTD 40 per cup, the City Cafe Premium coffee may possibly be an emerging competitor in the market.

By the way, I felt a little regret as I forgot to buy a pack of Costa Rica TARRAZU BENEFICIO LA VIOLETA when I left Taipei in January. Hopefully when the COVID-19 is over in the near future, I will visit Taipei again and try this coffee pack. Stay tuned.

One more thing …

Yeuan Yeou Enterprise Company Limited has it own coffee shop chain – CAFE!N (硬咖啡) in Taipei, this will be one of my targets in my next visit to Taipei.

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