Jay Khan is the founder of COA, which was named top of the 2021 Asia’s 50 Best Bars list, as well as an initiative that supports Habitat for Humanity  

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Hong Kong’s bar industry took a major hit in 2020, which made COA’s crowning as No 1 on the 2021 Asia’s 50 Best Bars list all the sweeter. The bar, which launched in 2017 as a way for Jay Khan to advocate for 100 per cent agave tequila and traditional mezcal—two of the industry’s least understood spirits—has become a shining example of how a bar can be a place for community and education as much as drinking and revelry. For Khan, the spirit of COA is to guide, not to preach—and as a mixologist, his aim is to offer an experience rather than simply shake up a cocktail.

In 2020, together with fellow mezcal enthusiast Andrew Davis, he established Mezcal Mission to give back to society at the same time as sharing his passion for the agave spirit. Inspired by the stories of the producers he has met over the years and their commitment to their communities, Khan showcases their spirits in engaging mezcal and tequila workshops, with all proceeds going to support the work of Habitat for Humanity—a charity that provides much-needed resources and support to vulnerable families in need of housing. To date, Mezcal Mission has hosted more than 20 workshops, and continues to support the organisation.

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Jay Khan’s influence will expand to mainland China when the second branch of COA opens, in Shanghai’s Jing An district.  

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