It’s no secret that the Taiwanese artist and illustrator, Ming, who works under his brand name, WHOSMiNG, loves coffee, often pairing it with his penchant for travel. Whether he’s hitting the road for work or exploration, Ming always makes time to seek out the promise of an excellent cup of coffee.
Ahead of an exclusive weekend in London, joining us again at Charlotte Road as we celebrate Lunar New Year, the Year of the Dragon, we asked Ming to take us on a guided tour around seven of his favourite coffee shops across the globe. Read on to see which ones you’re adding to your next travel adventure.
PROPELLER COFFEE, TORONTO, CANADA
I first came across this coffee shop online, drawn to its fantastic style, and had been wanting to visit. During my trip to Toronto, despite limited time, I spent almost an hour commuting to this place. Upon arrival, I absolutely loved it, thankful for making the effort. I appreciate the open and spacious atmosphere where you can comfortably enjoy coffee. The chairs may look similar, but each one is unique, and I like that arrangement.
STUMPTOWN COFFEE ROASTERS, NEW YORK CITY, USA
I adore Portland for its creativity and unique design taste, where my #mingscups coffee cup illustration series began. Stumptown, originating from Portland, carries their distinctive taste. This NYC branch showcases many New Yorkers with a passion for coffee, dressed in uniquely stylish attire, sipping coffee, and drawing inspiration.
ONION, SEOUL, SOUTH KOREA
This coffee shop, with several branches in Seoul, is a representative local brand. Many coffee shops in Korea excel in baking, and Onion is one of them. Here, besides enjoying delicious coffee, there's a variety of bread to choose from – both savoury and sweet – satisfying any craving. The space also exudes a strong Korean style.
龜時間 (GOOD TIME), KAOHSIUNG, TAIWAN
Exploring coffee shops worldwide, it's rare to see one with a turtle as its brand image. The name, pronounced similarly to "good time" in Chinese, suggests enjoying time and slowing down life, reflecting the ambiance this coffee shop offers. I like their comfortable space and the tower rice and carrot cakes they provide, making it an ideal place to spend a day.
CAFÉ ARCÁNGEL, HAVANA, CUBA
This Cuban café embodies the style of the Old Town, blending in modern culture. Alongside coffee, they serve locally produced juices. Sitting in the cafe, watching old Cuban cars pass by outside, feels like a journey through time. As a side note, Cuba is the only city where I travelled with a takeaway cup, eager to create illustrations as a souvenir for this beautiful country.
NAGASAWA COFFEE, MORIOKA, JAPAN
The owner, Mr. Nagasawa, is a coffee veteran in Japan. The coffee is primarily lightly roasted, a unique feature compared to the predominantly dark roasts in other coffee shops in the Tohoku region. Mr. Nagasawa believes that good coffee should capture the original aroma of the coffee fruit for the best experience.
ORIGIN COFFEE (SHOREDITCH & SOUTHWARK) LONDON, UK
When it comes to one of my favourite coffee shops in London, Origin is a must-mention. I appreciate their focus on direct collaboration with various coffee-producing regions, not only supporting farmers but also providing delicious and unique coffee to consumers. Flat white and cold brew are my go-to choices, always delivering a satisfying experience for mind, body, and soul.
Not able to make it into one of our locations? Celebrate the Lunar New Year coffee collection from home. Order now.