CHINA> Regional
Beijing cafes opt for safer substitutes
By Zhan Lisheng, Wang Hongyi and Li Aoxue (China Daily)
Updated: 2008-09-23 07:27

Several coffee and tea outlets in Beijing have replaced their milk and creamers with "safer" alternatives.

Starbucks has switched to using soymilk for its coffees.

He Lou, a Starbucks employee at the Anzhen shopping mall in Chaoyang district, Beijing, told China Daily milk from Mengniu, which tested positive for melamine, is no longer being used.

The company is now using soymilk of the Vitasoy brand imported from Hong Kong, he said.

The change to soymilk has had an affect on customer numbers, He said, but declined to give a figure.

"Some customers do not like it, as the taste of coffee is sweeter and has a strong smell of soy," He said.

In Guangzhou, a waitress at a Starbucks outlet in the Teem Shopping Mall, said the outlet is using soy milk imported from the United States.

"We will do so until Mengniu milk is officially confirmed to be safe," she said.

Starbucks outlets in Shanghai, and Zhejiang and Jiangsu provinces will continue to use with milk, as it comes from a safe supplier - the Nanjing-based Weigang Dairy Group.

RBT, a popular chain of tea shops, has replaced its Yili milk with Nestle milk after learning that the product was also tainted.

Southern Metropolis News said Monday McDonald's, Greenery Coffee Shops, and Renxin Restaurant, a popular Western food outlet in Guangdong province, were not affected, as their milk is not supplied by any of the Chinese milk producers involved in the scandal.