Planet China

Coffee that’s the pits

The rescue of the 33 Chilean miners last month had Chinese viewers glued to the hour-by-hour coverage of events. While most of the online discussion has been about the poor safety record of many of China’s own pits, there has been some progress in Guangxi at the Donghua Coal Mine. The West China Metropolis Daily reports that the province’s largest colliery has been inspired by the Chilean experience to improve conditions for miners: with an underground coffee bar.

The 40 square metre area offers workers complimentary coffee and according to the newspaper features “simple yet chic decoration”. At 160 metres below the surface it must be the world’s deepest coffee bar. But don’t think Starbucks: it’s strictly self-service, and for instant coffee only. One miner told the newspaper: “If we feel sleepy or tired, we come and have a coffee.” He added that it was unfortunate that alcohol was banned underground: “Wine would certainly be more popular…”


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