Despite early naysayers predicting that coffee would never take hold in tea-drinking China, Starbucks, who have made large gains in the Chinese market, are predicting that China will become the largest non-American market for coffee in just two years.

Nestle launched a special edition of their Nespresso coffee makers earlier this year, in partnership with luxury retailer Shanghai Tang. Starbucks are also seeking to expand into Chinese homes with the introduction of their Verismo single-serve machine. The US coffee giant also intends to open a further 850 stores around China by 2015, doubling their current foothold in the country (let’s hope they’re all as attractive as this classical garden style Fuzhou branch).

While tea is still the number one hot drink, with over 1 million tons of it consumed in China every year compared to a mere 25,000 tons of coffee, coffee is swiftly catching up. Euromonitor International, a London-based research company, expect coffee sales to triple to over 10 billion RMB by 2016.

Source: Shanghaiist Oct 2012

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