|Cafe Deadend's "Dirty Double"|
(Edit Oct 2013: Just so you know, this was written in Dec 2012. Since then, good coffee places have continued to open. I guess I'll start a 'living' list one of these days, but for the time being, please keep in mind that this is now old).
Cafes and Coffee Bars
Here's a quick roundup of cafes I frequent (and like), so you can stop getting your fix at Starsucks (admittedly I still go for sausage rolls and lamingtons), and heaven forbid, Pacific Coffee. (Having said that, Pacific Coffee has been trying pretty hard with their huge flagship Pacific Coffee Emporium in Causeway Bay, complete with drip bar etc. Let's just say I like the retail section a lot more - it's a good place to buy the uber-cool Hong Kong upcycling brand OOObject's mugs, planters and so on.
Some of these are serious third-wavers, others just make a good commercial cup. I'm not going to make that distinction here - I mean, I can't really. I'm a caffeine addict, not a connoisseur, and while I like hand drip (aka pour over), siphons, ice drip etc., I'm perfectly fine with a 'boring', 'old fashioned', well-made espresso-based thingamajig with properly textured milk, thankyouverymuch.
Speaking of addiction, I've also indicated with an asterisk (*) if I know they sell beans, so you can brew at home too.
- Coco Espresso* - been there for eons in Hong Kong coffee terms. Still going strong. Also in Wanchai.
- Cupping Room* - absolutely brilliant. Probably my current fave in HK coffee-wise.
- Barista Jam*
- Cafe Deadend - you almost feel like you're in Sydney or Stocklholm in summer, with outdoor seats and whitewashed interiors. Anyway, their Dirty Double (double espresso with cold milk; don't swirl and take your first gulp - I have actually dreamed of it after trying it for the first time). Bonus - they have a bakery, Po's Atelier.
- Cafe Loisl - Viennese-ish and always full, probably because there's WiFi and a little terrace.
- Il Caffe - good espressi & related milk drinks, no WiFi, but I'm mostly here for the cuteness of it. It's basically how a Japanese person imagines a Milanese coffee shop to be. I almost expect there to be sartorially superior pinstripe suited men reading Corriere della Sera, gazing out onto an Omotesando that's teeming with petite Japanese women wearing camel-hued Maxmara. (It is, in fact, opened by some very dapper guys behind a tailoring shop called Il Sarto, just across the street). The croissants are devastating, however.
|Hand drip at Rabbithole|
- Rabbithole Coffee* - choose your brewing method, then choose your beans (or vice versa). I consider them third wave for newbies. Not a good idea if you're going with non-coffee drinkers as they don't serve anything else there (aside from hot chocolate - sorry Ann!). We took a fun class there. Moved to Wanchai.
- Fuel Espresso - an old write-up from me here of the ifc branch. There's also one in Landmark.
- Coffee Assembly - probably one of Hong Kong's first roasters.
- Cafe Zambra* - espresso bar inside Great Food Hall.
- Amical - the Star/Sun Street precinct was just begging for this. And now they have it!
|The Coffee Academics|
- 18 Grams* - my write-up of the Causeway Bay branch.
- Cafe Corridor - reliable stalwart right opposite Times Square.
- The Coffee Academics - I'm a little on the fence about this one. They have a silly minimum charge of $70, and their coffee ranges from meh to great. They do have pretty fast WiFi though, and on weekdays it's relatively quiet. They're also part of the Caffe Habitu chain, in case you're keeping track of f&b empires.
|Caffe latte at Unar Coffee (in the dark!)|
- Unar Coffee Company - hipster hangout with good caffe lattes and a little outdoor seating when the weather's nice.
|Piccolo latte at Espresso Alchemy|
- Espresso Alchemy* - they usually have a couple of beans to choose from.
- Pregio by Barista Caffe - slightly more specious than Espresso Alchemy, just a couple of streets away. Haven't tried espresso yet - they do drip and siphon too.
- Xen Coffee - possibly Hong Kong's first siphon cafe (bar UCC Coffee)
- The Cupping Room* -
I kind of wish they were closer to me Now also only in Sheung Wan (yay!) , but it's also brilliant that after a day of kitschy shopping at Stanley Markets (it's not actually a tourist trap, if you know what you're looking for) you can get one of Hong Kong's best cups of joe.
Chaiwanese - Possibly the only cafe on this list that also serves excellent cafe food. (18 Grams in Causeway is okay). Full range of brewing techniques on offer, but I tend to have espresso-based drinks when I'm eating (strictly a personal preference). sadly closed :(
- The Cupping Room* -
|Daniel of Chaiwanese, at Island East Markets, Oct 2012|
Tsim Sha Tsui
- 18 Grams* (Tsim Sha Tsui) - a little bar inside CitySuper
Tsim Sha Tsui East
- Crema Coffee - moved from its old location but still in TST East.
|The relocated Knockbox, in Mong Kok|
Mong Kok- Knockbox Coffee* - so awesome that it's tucked among car repair shops and next to a public basketball court - perfect place for a little respite in Mong Kok (and oh my goodness, do you need it). I did a hand drip class at their old location in Sheung Wan.
- 18 Grams* (Mong Kok) - in a perfect location to teach teenyboppers to drink coffee, start 'em young! (I kid...)
Kwun Tong (these are on my list to try, despite being closest to where I live, I've never been!)
- Cafe Essenza* - same owner as Coffee Assembly & Cafe Corridor
|Accro Coffee, Yuen Long|
- Accro Coffee - very Japanesey cafe tucked away in Yuen Long.
Buying Locally-Roasted Coffee Beans (and equipment)
Fresh - equipment, beans and a very active forum (see below)
TATA - not (all?) locally-roasted. A bit of a hidden gem among early coffee enthusiasts in Hong Kong.
Hario - equipment only. I believe these are the official (or one of the official) distributors of Hario in Hong Kong.
Hong Kong Coffee Blogs, Forums, Groups etc.
- Fresh Coffee Forum - there are very serious people on this forum... which is a little scary but also means it's a wealth of knowledge/opinion. It's mostly in Chinese, or a mix of Chinese & English.
- Hong Kong Coffee Blog - self explanatory.
- Moving Coffee - the photo-heavy blog and online shop of local coffee consultant Edmond Keung.
- Hong Kong Coffee Lovers Meetup Group - again, self explanatory.