Compared with other less cosmopolitan Chinese cities, Shanghai thankfully has a large and varied coffee selection that ventures far beyond the standard fare offered at large chains such as Pacific, Costa, Starbucks and Coffee Bean.
Most coffee shops and cafes will offer free wifi for patrons to use, so they make good places to rest, read, or work if you're a freelancer.
For coffee emergencies, the ubiquitous 85C provides potable Americanos and sea salt cream coffee (海燕咖啡 - hǎiyàn kāfēi). CMart convenience stores also have a cheap, non-toxic option available.
A recent collection of the /r/shanghai community may be found in this thread by /u/hongge; a summarised collation with external links is included below:
Buying Coffee & Beans
- Punk Cafe
- The Avocado Lady
- Any branch of supermarket stocking international goods such as City Shop, Carrefour, Fei Dan.
- 请给我一杯… (qǐng gěi wǒ yìbēi… ): "Can I please have one cup of ... "
- 美式咖啡 (měishì kāfēi): americano
- 浓缩咖啡 (nóngsuō kāfēi): espresso
- 卡普奇诺 (kǎpǔqínuò): cappuccino
- 单份/双份 (dānfen / shuāngfen): single / double shot
- 咖啡豆子 (kāfēi dòuzi): coffee beans
- 请（不要）磨豆子 (qǐng [búyào] mó dòuzi): Please (don't) grind my beans