More Coffee Puns from Shanghai

I brought you a bad coffee pun about a “boozy latte” from this same robot coffee provider before. They just keep on coming! Here’s two more:


Yes, that’s right… this is an ad for a corn-flavored latte. Gotta give them points for originality, right??

This main line in the ad is a pun on 玉米 (yùmǐ), meaning “corn” (literally “jade rice”) and 遇见 (yùjiàn), meaning “to meet by chance.”


This pun is based on the phrase 非同一般 (fēi tóng yībān), which literally means “not the same as average,” implying “better than average” or “very special.” The idea is that “this is not your average cup of coffee.”

The pun comes in by swapping out the 非 (fēi) for the same sound in the word for “coffee,” which is 咖啡 (kāfēi). The same thing happened to the 般 (bān) with the character 斑 (bān), which means “stripes” or “spots,” (as in 斑马 (bānmǎ), “zebra”), which here relates to 斑斓叶 (bānlán yè), the pandan leaves in the picture.

These photos were taken a while ago, before the April 2022 COVID Lockdown in Shanghai. I’ve never had either of these (and I’m especially uninterested in corn-flavored coffee!). I do wonder if this bad punning robot coffee is going to survive… It’s been over a year since I wrote this:

never ever see people buying coffee from these kiosks. I don’t expect them to be around much longer.

Perhaps this coffee company exists simply to make these bad puns non-stop…


John Pasden

John is a Shanghai-based linguist and entrepreneur, founder of AllSet Learning.


  1. Stephen Hodges Says: April 15, 2022 at 12:09 am

    It also suggests “yummy” to me 🙂

  2. I love puns! Keep them coming! And definitely praying for all in Shanghai as you continue to bear with the lockdowns. Hope you are staying well.

  3. puns are like the only jokes i get (or make) in chinese, so i’m always here for them

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