Photography: King Fung
Since our last update on Hong Kong’s caffeine scene, we’ve seen specialty coffee culture blooming to new proportions. Over the last 18 months, a wave of new cafes have swept across the city, signalling a shift from espresso culture to more delicate brews and a more languid way of enjoying them. It’s a direction that’s becoming more common in Hong Kong’s pockets of coffee culture; Central, Sheung Wan and Wan Chai in particular have seen a boom in the number of serious brew bars where the provenance and freshness of their beans are as important as the barista’s latte art. It’s been a rapid and welcome evolution since the early adopters of the specialty coffee philosophy sprang up late last decade, such as Barista Jam, Coffee Assembly and Coco Espresso. A much wider range of young, independent venues – including those listed below – is now eager to educate the public about all things coffee, right back to the growers.
One of the earlier arrivals on Hong Kong’s growing third-wave coffee scene.
126-128 Jervois Street, Sheung Wan
This tiny Sheung Wan coffee bar has an Antipodean slant, serving Melbourne’s Market Lane Coffee beans and hearty breakfasts and lunches.
Shop F2, 33 Hillier Street, Sheung Wan
Brew or Drip
In Central and need a quick caffeine fix? This small but dedicated coffee bar (no seats) located in Landmark Chater features locally roasted beans.
Shop 115, 1/F, Landmark Chater, Central
Brew Note Coffee Roaster
The specialty here? Single-origin brews with a side of jazz. We’re big fans of the fruity, jasmine-scented “Mini Me” Yirgacheffe.
19 Fort Street, North Point. facebook.com/brewnotecoffee
“Roasting perfection, brewing happiness” is the motto at this cheerful Wan Chai cafe at 2 Anton Street. The original is on 197 Queen’s Road Central.
The Cupping Room
A Melbourne-style cafe that serves a fantastic range of coffee brewed from beans sourced around the world. Owner and barista Derek Chiu Ka-po recently came second in the World Barista Championships in Italy earlier this year. The original is on 299 Queen’s Road Central in Sheung Wan, but they’ve just opened a beautiful new café on 32 Swatow Street in Wan Chai.
299 Queen’s Road Central, Sheung Wan. thecuppingroomhk.com
Since opening their first hole-in-the-wall cafe in Causeway Bay, this Aussie-style coffee bar has expanded to branches in Mongkok, Wan Chai, Sheung Wan, and Sai Kung.
At the back of the ultra-trendy WOAW lifestyle store. Coffee hipsters come here not only for the strong brews, but the affogatos and homemade ice cream sandwiches.
11 Gough Street, Central. facebook.com/elephantgrounds
This cafe roasts its own coffee in-house. Head barista Yanbi Leung is certified as a Q Grader by the international accreditation organisation, the Coffee Quality Institute.
111 Caine Road, Central. filterslane.com
Hazel & Hershey
One for coffee tool geeks and budding baristas. H&H runs Specialty Coffee Association of Europe training courses.
69 Peel Street, Central. hershey.hk
Knockbox Coffee Company
A Mong Kok institution that provides a serious coffee education. Runs regular “Coffee Premieres” featuring fresh house roasts.
21 Hak Po Street. knockboxcoffee.hk
Handsome design space that is the exclusive importer of San Francisco’s Blue Bottle Coffee. The occasional cult roaster can also be found here, such as LA’s Bar Nine.
1 U Lam Terrace, Sheung Wan. facebook.com/lof10hongkong
Looks can be deceiving—this stylish brasserie offers a serious coffee menu featuring beans from Seoul’s Coffee Libre.
The L Place, 139 Queen’s Road Central. manohk.com
Both espresso and filter coffees are worth ordering here, made from beans roasted by Sydney’s Di Gabriel.
15 Swatow Street, Wan Chai
The name is an appropriation of the Cantonese for “black coffee”, and that’s exactly what this Quarry Bay brew bar specialises in. A branch in Central has recently opened (1/F, Bo Concept, 73 Wyndham Street, Central) and another at Kwun Tong’s APM mall is due to open soon.
22-28 Finnie Street, Quarry Bay. zai-fe.com