“Life begins after coffee” is something you’ll often hear from your coffee-holics friends. There’s something about the wafting aroma of coffee beans in the morning that is simply magical. From coffee libations that will get you tipsy to interactive java experiences, we spill the beans on our favourite cuppas as well as cafes we want to keep returning to again and again.
A real good roast: Cupping Room Coffee Roasters
A longstanding fave among the office workers in Central, Cupping Room Coffee Roasters has won the Hong Kong National Barista Championships five times, so you know the coffee is on point. For many of us, it’s all about exploring the flavours, which, at Cupping Room, comes from their locally roasted blends. You definitely have to try their much-talked about hand drip filtered coffees!
Using their competition selection blend, Gesha Village 2019 Lot 78 is as good as you’ll get around town if you enjoy your cuppa with a fruity and floral finish. Attaboy, their popular home blend (a combo of two very thoughtfully selected beans) is used in their espresso, lattes and cappuccinos; it has a good kick to it and goes amazingly well with their brunch-hype items. Beyond all of that, they have oat milk as an alternative – bless!
Cupping Room Coffee Roasters; 18 Cochrane St, Central
Latte lovers looking for that extra boost: Elephant Grounds
Kick back with friends over Elephant Grounds’ full-bodied lattes. Coconut coffee can be found in a few iterations but hear us out – EG’s Bulletproof is going to be your favourite biohack. Popularly touted as an aid for boosting energy levels as well as improving memory and concentration, Bulletproof is a delicious blend of espresso, butter and coconut oil. Or steel yourself for a happy high with their smoked milk affogato with smoked chocolate melting into the coffee.
Thanks to award-winning barista, Alex, Elephant Grounds is big on latte art as well. Good coffee goes hand-in-hand with good food, so it’s well worth sitting down to the wholesome brunch items such as the pepper seared tuna cold bowl. Weekends tend to pull a late brunch crowd seeping into the café all the way until 4pm.
Elephant Grounds; 66 Caine Road, Central; +852 2535 7155
Follow the hottest coffee trend: The Coffee Academics
With coffee infused cocktails that will keep you buzzed, coffee-loving partygoers will rejoice over The Coffee Academics’ collaboration with mixologist Antonio Lai. We love how Lai has turned cold coffee concoctions (cold brew, nitro, cascara and water wash decaf) into innovative cocktails to introduce evening time coffee moments.
Most coffee-holics say smell is what really awakens the palate, and the Morning Nitro is sure to do that. This fragrant cocktail is based on nitrogen-infused coffee, pandan syrup, gin and a Martini Rosso vermouth. It sits at the juxtaposition of bitter and sweet.
Without doubt, another worth mentioning is TCA Espresso Martini – a beautiful blend of vodka, espresso and Kahlua coffee liquor that comes garnished with coffee beans – one of the finest Hong Kong has ever seen. This café cum bar is really pushing boundaries by incorporating tapas to their menu – imagine downing these cocktails with TCA’s lobster roll…mmm.
The Coffee Academics; 3/F, K11 Musea, Tsim Sha Tsui
An interactive java experience: Omotesando Koffee
The Japanese concept of interacting with in-house baristas has taken the world by storm, and Hong Kongers are appreciating this personalized one-on- one coffee experience. Here at Omotesando Koffee, their methodology lies in two things: its signature cube-framed bar which houses their baristas and their precise approach to brewing coffee right in front of their customers.
Their espresso is hand-dripped slowly at a controlled temperature to ensure that all the oils and essences from the beans are absorbed to the best of its ability. More unique than your typical café brew, is their iced cuppucino; it’s light and airy as the milk is blended beforehand to aerate it.
We also suggest their café latte doppio – where the initial sip is fairly balanced but after a few seconds you’re left with a subtly fruity note that pleasantly coats your mouth. Try any (or all!) of these drinks with one of Omotesando’s signature cube-shaped baked custards called kashi.
Omotesando Koffee; Shop no24-25, Lee Tung Avenue, No.200 Queen’s Road East, Wanchai
Most Instagramable boutique neighbourhood café: Caffe Habitu
Smart phones at the ready! Everything about Caffe Habitu is a perk-me-up, from the natural lighting flooding into the beautiful white-washed & wooden interiors to the indulgent brunch fare. Approaching coffee as an artform, their acai soy caffe rose, with homemade rose syrup, has got to be their standout beverage. Skipping out on artificial colouring and syrup, Caffe Habitu uses freshly pressed beetroot and ginger juice for their signature caffè such as mocha, earl grey and muscovado ginger.
Sign up for their slew of workshops at wallet-friendly prices, an avenue for coffee enthusiasts to socialise, exchange knowledge and collectively learn the coffee cupping process to re-create their favourite beverage at home. Cheers to more Instagrammable moments!
Caffe Habitu; Shop 22B Cityplaza, Taikoo, Quarry Bay; +852 2904 8676