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  • Hong Kong?

    Going to HK next mont, anyone know of any good espresso bars?

    Cheers

  • #2
    Re: Hong Kong?

    HK Island
    -----------
    Cafe CoCo in Sheung Wan, round cnr from Cosco Tower (review: baristabrothers.com)
    Zambra on Jaffe Rd in Wanchai
    Cafe Corridor opposite Times Square in Causeway Bay

    Kowloon
    ----------
    Crema Cafe in East TST (in the alley between Penninsula Ctr & Kowloon Regal Hotel)

    Happy caffinating

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    • #3
      Re: Hong Kong?

      You rock!

      Cheers

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      • #4
        Re: Hong Kong?

        Anyone have a hk update?

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        • #5
          Re: Hong Kong?

          Just found Zambra the espresso is good!
          They also do french press kopi luwak and JBM. Now I know Ill be coming back!

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          • #6
            Re: Hong Kong?

            I am told a fresh roasted batch of kopi luwak arriving to Zambra tomorrow.....so I will definitely be back!

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            • #7
              Re: Hong Kong?

              I also recommend cafe coco, been there four times in three years, the owner is from melborne, Oz style cappacino.

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              • #8
                Re: Hong Kong?

                Cova is one place I dont go any more, use to be good.

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                • #9
                  This thread hasn't been updated in a while. I have lived in Honkers for the past two years so I'll attempt a quick summary of decent places I have tried.

                  My personal favourite is Barista Jam on Jervois St in Sheung Wan. They make very good coffee and their foccacias, pastas and breakfasts are good too. They also sell machines and equipment upstairs and freshly roasted single origin beans, a real rarity in HK. Cafe Coco is a long time favourite as well. They have a lot of competition now though: as Sheung Wan has gentrified it has become awash with new coffee places. On a recent visit, I passed two new cafes in Jervois Street alone.

                  In Central, Fuel Espresso is probably the best option but very expensive. Rabbithole gets rave reviews, personally I found it a bit pretentious and expensive. Eat Right on Staunton Street does really good Toby's Estate coffee although the takeaway service is slow.

                  In CWB, Cafe Corridor was good last time I went although that was ages ago. Cafe Zambra in Wan Chai was good when I was there two years ago but by all reports has slipped.

                  In Mong Kok, seek out Knockbox Coffee in Hak Po Street. It is tricky to find in an unassuming street but the coffee is fantastic. They do tasting nights on Fridays and the chalkboard is a good read too. They sell roasted beans as well but you have to order them from their website before you go in, they keep minimal stock in the store itself.

                  I recently tried the Cupping Room in Stanley and was disappointed. They have the name and the setup but the coffee was ordinary. Perhaps I got a bad barista.

                  In terms of chains, Cafe Habitu is okay but a bit inconsistent. I have found Classified very good at Stanley and Central, they are the only places I've tried them. Simply Life is pretty good too.

                  The big chains - Pacific Coffee and Starbucks - are pretty ordinary. A lot of milk and not enough coffee. Pacific Coffee delivers really odd foam on its cappucinos - it stands straight up like a flat top about a centrimetre above the top of the cup. Almost as thick as a marshmallow.

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                  • #10
                    Crema - over back of TST - run by a very nice Honky couple. Never had a bad rissy there either.

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                    • #11
                      if you are in HK look up Holly Brown cafe, Scott Callaghan is working there, that should be some guarranty of high standard. Been there three times in the last two years.

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                      • #12
                        Well after 3 years in Hong Kong I have moved back to Melbourne so this will be my last update. I have to say that in the time I was HK side the serious coffee industry absolutely boomed, admittedly from a very low base.

                        I spent my last six months in Sheung Wan and the number of espresso bars there is approaching Melbourne-style saturation. When I first went there it was just Coco Espresso and Barista Jam. They are still two of the best but they've been joined by 18 Grams, the Cupping Room, Brew Bros, and one at the bottom of the Holiday Inn with a name I can't recall. I always had my first allegiance to Barista Jam because they sold me my home machine and their scrambled eggs on toast are excellent, but I had good coffee at all of the above. I had a soft spot for Brew Bros which has only been open about a month. They are from Melbourne and make a big deal of the fact that their coffee comes from Market Lane. They have a copy of The Age Good Cafe Guide by the counter, in case you want to read about Melbourne cafes while sitting in Hong Kong.

                        I never travelled far and wide in search of coffee once in Sheung Wan (typical HK-sider) but noticed there are also a number of apparently serious coffee places in Wan Chai along the tram line. No idea if they are any good but their presence shows there is a market. In Central, the situation is more or less unchanged, still great coffee available at Fuel Espresso, Classified and Holly Browns.

                        It appears the "standard" price of a coffee in HK is increasing, the serious cafes are up to HK$38 for a milk-based drink, $6 more than Starbucks. They generally charge less for an espresso or a long black, because milk is pretty pricey in HK.

                        The other thing that drive you crazy about cafes in HK is their opening hours. Finding a cafe other than Starbucks open before 8am on a weekday, before 10am on a Saturday and open at all on Sunday is a huge challenge. I would have thought the early hours of Sunday morning was prime caffeine vending time. Finally since Brew Bros opened, Sheung Wan has a cafe open at 8am on Sunday, but I suspect that anywhere else you'd be struggling.

                        Well, back in Melbourne now and enjoying every coffee. I didn't think Melbourne could have any more espresso places than when I left but it seems to have about half as many again, and they are all rustic and whimsical. Hmm.

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                        • #13
                          Time to refresh this thread...

                          I've only been to Hong Kong for a few days at a time, not a resident.

                          My first recommendation is actually closer to the airport: % Arabica Headquarters (yes, with the percentage sign) in Discovery Bay. I believe I last visited in 2016, and it still stands out as my best coffee of 2016, a 10/10 on each of the roast level, the bean freshness, the resting time, the brewing... the beans I bought there and flew back with gave me 3-4 days of happiness before staleness won over, and now I cannot remember what they were.

                          In Central/Sheung Wan, Po's Atelier and Lof10 pulled really beautiful espressos in the usual Swedish minimalist concrete atmosphere. Po's Atelier also sells quite good breads and pastries. Nearby Just Coffee Hipster warrants a visit just for the name, although the technique is there and the prices very low; the beans, though, had been roasted 2 weeks prior and the taste was starting to show.

                          I'm not a huge fan of Classified, which is a kind of somewhat lower quality version of Mecca in Sydney - marble, Aussie coffee making, and wine and cheese bar with brunch menu. It's OK; the Wan Chai branch is nicer, I think, by virtue of being higher than the street it's on, and in a quieter area.

                          Some of the way up the escalators in Central, there is a side street and about a third of the way down is Cafe Lavande. A competent espresso accompanied original cakes, but what makes this place special is that it achieves that very Hong Kong sense of disorientation that comes as you step off a crowd into a totally silent, plant-lined place. Like teleporting. There's also a few real estate offices whose ads you can peruse in case you need to put Australian prices in perspective.

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                          • #14
                            I was back in Hong Kong recently and I can add a new recommendation - Why 50? cafe on Hillier Street, Sheung Wan. They have a Slayer, as far as I know the only one in Hong Kong, and it does not disappoint. As good as anything I've had in Melbourne. I had a flat white and it was sheer joy. Takes the edge off paying about A$6.50 for a coffee, at least it's a good one!

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