PARAS: Minimalistic Heaven in Shanghai.

PARAS: Minimalistic Heaven in Shanghai.

PARAS Coffee first opened its doors in 2013 and became a destination place in no time, even after 4 years you will still have to wait for a while in a line to enjoy coffee and great food here. The Xiangyang Rd. shop has a very good location that is in city center but yet not too commercial: it’s facing Xiangyang Park and Russian Orthodox Mission Church, which give it a great view and still nice to stay at.

Interior design was made by Paul from MHPD in collaboration with the owner of the place, Mona, who studied art in London before she decided to open her own coffee shop. The original idea was to keep it comfortable but also modern and fun, and design duo made it possible by transforming traditional Chinese restaurant building with low ceilings and small windows into young and hip place with a lot of air and light. Main trick that they used was putting mirrors on the walls to reflect more light from windows and see-through glass roof. The airy and light atmosphere in PARAS perfectly goes with grey unpainted walls, minimalistic furniture and tableware, creating a pretty instagramable place all together.

Except for having a remarkable design, PARAS Coffee is also proud of its menu as they offer really great food with fresh ingredients-like eggs Benedict and quinoa power bowls and so on-and light-roasted specialty coffee such as SOE Yirgacheffe and meiji milk for espresso-based milky coffees. The food offering is something that is really hard to find in Chinese coffee shops as the government has pretty harsh requirements on size of the kitchen, its equipment etc.

That is why one of the missions of this place-except for providing a great coffee-is changing perception of a coffee shop in China, that it can be fun, artsy and with a really delicious food. There are many meanings of word ‘PARAS’ in different languages-including a name of a Pokemon-but creators of the place wanted to leave a space for guests’ imagination so they can choose for themselves what PARAS means for them.


Photo/ Qian Zhu朱骞