1. Amber Coffee Brewery
Regulars at The Cupping Room will recognise that it's Dawn Chan behind the bar at Amber; the two-time Hong Kong Barista Champion had a few quiet months since departing the much-loved coffee shop, but recently opened his own café on an unexpected stretch of Des Voeux Road, Central. An understated coffee bar with minimal seating, it may not be a place to linger—but for serious coffee drinkers it has become an essential destination.
While single origin coffees are part and parcel of this impressive coffee bar, Chan does like to have a bit of fun with his offerings—having competed in various barista championships where competitors are required to create innovative ‘signature’ drinks, he will feature different ones each month. In May, he presented the Something Sweet consisting of coffee, ice cream and a canele; this June, he is featuring his 2014 creation on the menu, the ‘Amber’, which is coffee mixed with pineapple juice, beer hops and earl grey tea.
An added bonus: Amber also serves wine, and stays opens until 9:30pm on weekdays (and until 6:00pm on weekends).
The beans: What sets Amber apart from many competitors is the fact that they do direct trading with the coffee farms to secure their ideal beans. Currently, among their selections are Kiamabara AA #161 from the Mugaga Farmers Cooperative Society in Kenya, regarded for their sweet, clean coffees; and Nkara from Dukunde Kawa Musasa, a fully washed Red Bourbon coffee from Rwanda. You can be sure to get a true coffee education by talking to Chan or any of his baristas.
The machine: The Black Eagle VA833 espresso machine at the shop is the one used in official World Barista Championship competitions.
Amber Coffee Brewery, G/F, Full View Building, No.142 Des Voeux Road Central, Hong Kong; +852 3106 0872