Taste of times past

( Shanghai Star ) Updated: 2014-10-22 08:42:50

Taste of times past

Evolution of Shanghai Brand coffee products through the ages. photos provided to shanghai star

Shanghai is home to China's coffee culture, and the company that once dominated the market is now making a comeback, bringing new flavors with just a hint of nostalgia.

Coffee or tea? This is not a question common for most Chinese, a nation with thousands of years of tea drinking history. But in Shanghai, where coffee culture was first established in the country, the beverage has many fans.

Desheng Café (德胜咖啡馆), located at the crossing of West Nanjing Road and Tongren Road, is well-known to many older Shanghai people, as it was once the best place to go to drink coffee with friends or take a date.

Founded in April 1935, Desheng Coffee Trading Company quickly won popularity across the city and became the leading Shanghai-style café.

It's registered brand "C. P. C" was changed to "Shanghai" in 1958, when it started production of its first iron-tinned coffee.

In 1959, the company further changed its named to Shanghai Coffee Factory, becoming the nation's earliest coffee producer.

A wider variety of products, such as coffee-tea, Lecovo (lekoufu) (cocoa-flavored instant beverage), malted milk (mairujing) (vanilla-flavored instant beverage), and chrysanthemum solid drink (chrysanthemum-flavored instant beverage) was launched in the following years.

The company enjoyed its heyday between the 1960s and 1980s. Along the city's iconic Nanjing Road, all the cafés sold coffee produced by the Shanghai Coffee Factory.

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