Coffee Break Chinese

Free podcasts

Listen to our free podcasts and learn or improve your Mandarin Chinese on the go, where and when it suits you.

Online courses

Take the next step and sign up for a course on the Coffee Break Academy, accessing video materials, lesson notes and bonus audio content.

Join in

Improve your vocabulary, build your language skills and keep up with the Coffee Break Chinese team on social media.

Meet your hosts

Coffee Break Chinese is brought to you by teacher Crystal and learner Mark. 

Crystal is a native Mandarin speaker and experienced teacher of Chinese who has taught many learners in group and one-to-one situations.

Mark is the founder of Coffee Break Languages and has taught French, Spanish and Italian both in schools and through the other Coffee Break podcasts and courses. 

Crystal will correct Mark’s pronunciation and answer his questions about Chinese, and you can learn through these interactions in each lesson.

How does Coffee Break Chinese work?

Think of Coffee Break Chinese like going for a coffee (or a delicious cup of jasmine tea!) with your friend who happens to speak Mandarin and is helping you learn in a relaxed, enjoyable way. Then add a solid structure and carefully constructed pedagogy which ensures that you progress through the lessons and build on previously-learned language.

Coffee Break Chinese is not a simple series of “listen and repeat” audio programmes: in each lesson Crystal explains how the language works, helping Mark – and you – to manipulate the language and use it in practical situations. As a learner Mark asks questions, and makes mistakes, so through Crystal’s explanations, corrections and pronunciation tips you’ll build your confidence and begin to understand and speak the language.

In the same time it takes you to sit down and enjoy a coffee in your favourite coffee shop, you can make progress with your Mandarin. Our 15-20 minute lessons are perfect to keep you focused and let you develop your confidence in regular sessions.

Your Coffee Break ... your way

Free podcasts

Each Season of Coffee Break Chinese offers a huge amount of free content available as audio podcasts. You can access these on our website, on Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts and Spotify and each lesson lasts around 15-20 minutes - the perfect Coffee Break length!

Online course

If you'd like to take your learning further and make faster progress, we offer a full online course for each Season. Resources include bonus audio materials, video episodes and lesson notes. See below for further details for each Season.

Free podcasts

Audio content for all seasons
  • Audio podcasts

Online course (£GBP)

per season of 40 lessons
£ 96
One-off purchase
  • 40 Audio lessons
  • 40 Bonus audio lessons
  • 40 Video lessons
  • 40 Lesson notes

Online course ($USD)

per season of 40 lessons
$ 104
One-off purchase
  • 40 Audio lessons
  • 40 Bonus audio lessons
  • 40 Video lessons
  • 40 Lesson notes

The £GBP price quoted above includes VAT for the UK. VAT is added automatically at the local rate for customers purchasing within the EU. Customers from elsewhere in the world will not pay VAT. Please note also that we offer bundles of multiple seasons on the Coffee Break Academy.

Join the conversation

Join the conversation with the Coffee Chinese team on social media! We post regular language and cultural information on Facebook, and you can keep up with Coffee Break Languages on Instagram.


Follow Coffee Break Chinese on Facebook and practise your language skills with our cultural and language posts three times a week.


Over on the Coffee Break Languages YouTube channel, you'll find useful videos to help you improve your Chinese. Read on for more information.


Come behind the scenes with the Coffee Break team, and build your vocabulary and understanding with our regular Instagram stories. Follow @coffeebreaklanguages .

Access the full course

The podcast episodes of Season 1 of Coffee Break Chinese can be found below. We also publish Chinese-themed videos on our YouTube channel.

Frequently Asked Questions

Coffee Break Chinese is a production of the Radio Lingua Network and we produce all Coffee Break Languages courses, along with One Minute Languages and High Five Languages for younger learners. The Radio Lingua team is made up of experienced teachers and native speakers and we’re based in Glasgow, Scotland. To find out more about the team, visit our Meet The Team section of the website.

We offer free content in the form of audio podcasts for each of the seasons of Coffee Break Chinese. In the audio podcasts you’ll be able to build your understanding of Mandarin Chinese and hear how words are pronounced. However, there’s no guidance on how the words are written. This is where the online course comes in. The course offers additional materials:

  • full versions of each audio lesson;
  • a video version of the lesson which allows you to see the “words on the screen” as you listen;
  • bonus audio content allowing you to consolidate your learning futher;
  • lesson notes with vocabulary and additional explanations.

If you’re serious about learning Chinese we would suggest that you consider the online course to help you make faster progress with the lessons and build a deeper understanding of the language.

The audio podcasts deal with the spoken language, but in our video lessons and lesson notes we provide all content written in both Pinyin (romanised Chinese) and Chinese characters. You’ll therefore get used to seeing the words and phrases contained in each lesson written in both Pinyin and characters.

Our audio podcasts are free and you can access them here on the website, on your favourite podcast app, or on Spotify. We offer a paid online course which provides additional materials. The cost for one season is £96.00 GBP including VAT, or $104.00 USD excluding VAT. Please see above for further information on pricing.

We do not currently have an app version of Coffee Break Chinese. In the past we have had problems with a group of developers who have stolen our content and published it within paid-for apps. These apps are not published by Coffee Break Languages. We’ve written extensively about this situation on our website. Please do not purchase our content through these apps. The only way to access Coffee Break Chinese lesson notes, bonus audio and video versions is through the Coffee Break Academy.

We do not currently offer one-on-one Skype lessons. If this is something which interests you, we would suggest that you sign up with our partner italki where you can access individual teachers and native speakers to practise your Italian. Visit italki.com to get a voucher for $10 USD in italki Credits when you purchase your first lesson.

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