798 art zone | beijing travels cont.

just returned from a week in xi’an.  we have been getting in a quite a bit of traveling the past couple months, and it has been nice to see other parts of China.
alas, my blog is still working to catch up in documenting these different experiences, so i will continue on in my recap of beijing for now.

we spent one afternoon in an artsy section of beijing – the 798 art zone.  i am always refreshed and inspired to be around different forms of creativity.  and there definitely seems to be a creative community in this city.  at 798, we liked walking around and seeing the different spaces…

… fun figures…

and becoming one with the art. =)

but i confess the highlight of the day may not have been the art, but rather drinking coffee at the 798 art cafe from the coolest coffeemaker contraption ever!

how this works:
1) glass container on the left contains coffee grounds.  metal container on the right is filled with water. the oil lamp is lit to heat up the water.
2) as the water begins to boil, it travels over to the glass container side and mixes with the coffee grounds.  as the water empties from the metal container, the metal container becomes lighter in weight, and eventually shifts upward, due to the connected weighted metal ball (on the opposite side) that tips downward.  when the metal container shifts upward, the lid to the oil lamp (that was originally resting on the metal container) flips down and puts out the flame.
3) as the air cools, a vacuum is formed within the metal container and it sucks the coffee back over from the glass side.
4) freshly brewed coffee ready to serve.

aside from it brewing a good cup of coffee, i admit this contraption probably appeals to our techie minds too.  when we ordered the coffee, we had no idea it would be brewed this way right at our table.  but as you can see, we thoroughly analyzed how this mechanism works. perhaps not everyone would get quite as excited?

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