There may be an estimated 1.3 billion tea drinkers in China but on a recent trip to Beijing I was lucky enough to stumble acorss that citys No 3 barista in the same Hutong (street) as my hotel.

Mr Lee owns Alley Coffee which is located a short walk from the Forbidden City and opposite Jing Shang Park. *The shop serves Chinese & Western food and real espresso.

Mr Wong has recently competed in the Chinese barista championships, coming 3rd in Beijing and 7th overall. *On the night we visited I enjoyed a pleasant long black and my fellow traveller two grande lattes. * *Another good thing is that the staff here speak english, serve western style breakfast and offer free internet while you drink.

Ive attached a picture of Mr Lee, Mr Wong and Mary (L-R) at the Unic 2 group and LaPavoni grinder. *They prefer to source Illy and Lavazza coffee but it is not always possible to order. *On the night I was there we were served a locally roasted product Tiamo.

Also in the picture you can see the writings on the walls. Visitors are invited to scrawl their messages on the wall.

If you are in the area, drop by and tell them Wayne sent you.