In all honesty, of all the coffee cities I’ve been to (Copenhagen, Amsterdam, Dublin, Galway, Capetown and Prague) Hong Kong had the most consistent cup. Smooth and silky sweet coffee seems to be the standard there and it’s incredible. We spent 8 days in the crazy, vibrant city and drank some delicious coffee. I think I only had one bad cup of coffee the whole time we were there and that was probably just the barista having an off day. I’m sure if we went back the next day the coffee would be back to silky smooth.
Anyway, I will take you through the best tasting, most unique and some of the shortfalls of the cafes we went to. I hope that you can take this guide with you when you visit Hong Kong and enjoy the same experience we did.
If you do use this blog as a guide when you’re over there drop a comment! I would love to here how you got on and if this guide helped or was it just a whole load of shite!
1. The Coffee Academics
This was the first thing we did when we landed in Hong Kong. We dropped our bags off in our hostel and headed straight for the nearest Coffee Academics. This little spot was on the edge of an upmarket shopping mall ( All shopping malls in HK seem to be upmarket!?).
We were so jet lagged and droopy from our flight but our flatwhites helped pick us up out of our slump! I was surprised by the taste because I nievely thought that a cafe at the edge of a shopping mall might not provide the best tasting coffee, but how wrong was I? The cafe also provided a cool view out over the ever busy Carton Road. It was fun to just sit there and sip our coffees and watch the traffic wardens try to manage the chaos on the street.
Side note: Their flatwhites are like Irish cappuccinos in terms of size. It’s smooth and not really foamy (just the way I like my coffee) unlike a cappuccino, but its 8oz? It’s so interesting to see other parts of the world interpreting different sizes for different coffee drinks.
I give these guys an 8/10 for overall quality and cafe design!
Instagram: The Coffee Academics
2. Barista Jam
Barista Jam is located near a cluster of specialty coffee shops. It’s like the coffee center of HK. Barista Jam has a nice simple interior, the coffee was Colombian and just as smooth as The Coffee Academics’. However, these dudes did their flatwhites to the same size as the Irish do them (6oz)? Anyway it was good.
The best thing about these dudes is the products they sell! They have a whole second floor dedicated to coffee apparatus and supplies. It’s great! I actually got a cold brew maker here. They sell more stuff than any other cafe I’ve ever been to. If you need anything coffee related, go here! They also have stuff you’ve never seen before. Check it out for the craic.
I give these dudes 7/10 for their consistent coffee and loads of supplies!
Instagram: Barista Jam
These dudes! You’ll know what I’m talking about the minute you walk through the door. You’re greeted by this massive trophy “4th Place in The World Barista Championships!”, holy samosa!
These dudes are all about taste and consistency. We came back to the cafe multiple times when we were in HK and the coffee was insanely good. Every. Single. Time! They also have the best cup design I’ve ever seen from a cafe. Both their takeaway and sit-in cups are amazing!
Okay so don’t get angry at me, but I actually forgot to take a photo of the takeaway cup design. This is because I was so consumed by the taste!… I’m sure if you check their Instagram link, which I will put below, you’ll see the design in some post they have. The only thing I’d say about the cafe is, it’s tiny. It gets crowded fast and deservedly so! They are good.
I give Amber a whopping 9.5/10! They are in the top 3 of my all time favourite cafes!
Cup design: yummy
Omotesando have a cool concept with their cafe. It’s set up like a science lab. It’s very minimal and their baristas wear lab coats and are serious about their coffee. These guys have taste above everything else.
The cafe has a nice very simple design. You could see your self sitting there for a couple of hours in the afternoon doing some laptop work. It’s pretty sweet.
However, these dudes were actually the guys that had the worst cup. Coffee tasted a bit over extracted unfortunately. But! This could have been just the barista having an off day. The way the place is set up it looks like they are serious about their coffee! I’d still go back here for another cup of coffee.
I give these dudes a 7/10 for design and concept.
5. The Cupping Rooms
I actually didn’t get any photos of these guys… I don’t even have an excuse, just forgot. The coffee is great though! They were selling the best range of filter coffees of all the cafes we visited. They were selling competition roasts and natural single origins! Kinda expensive though… But very tasty. If you like a really nice filter like me, it’s worth the money. They also had a nice Ethiopian espresso too! Check out their Instagram for some cool snaps of their place. It is located in that little coffee cluster center place in HK. You could go wild around there.
They also have some champion baristas!
I give these dudes a Solid 8.2/10 for filter variety!
Instagram: The Cupping Rooms
6. 18 Grams
These guys are all about cold brew. They do a slick cold brew and its well presented! They also do food.
It’s a bit of a small place so tis a bit cramped and things get messy but it’s a nice spot especially if you want to sit out on the street and take in all the craziness of Hong Kong.
I give these guys 7/10 for a well presented cold brew
Instagram: 18 Grams
7. Elephant Grounds
Elephant grounds wins the best cafe design in HK! It’s an open styled cafe. There isn’t a front to the cafe, it’s just open to the street and it’s pretty cool! Nice open seating too and loads of vegetation! Very unique cafe and the coffee is tasty too.
These guys have cool cups too. They also do their flat whites in 8oz cups? HK you’re all over the place! It was tasty though.
I gives these guys 8.2/10 for great design and good coffee!
Instagram: Elephant Grounds
If you are looking for a coffee destination that’s next level, Hong Kong is your next spot! I was honestly really surprised at the quality of coffee in HK. It also seemed that most of the cafes do their own roasting. This kinda roastery/ cafe thing hasn’t hit Ireland yet. It’s cool to see and it gives each cafe a unique flavour.
Cafes stand out more in HK than they do in Ireland. They all look different and have their own personality. Ireland and Europe need to take a leaf out of the Hong Kong book.
So the final score for Hong Kong coffee: 54.9/70 = 78% on the good coffee scale!
I will eventually do a coffee scale for all the places I visit and then have a masso map with all the scales and cafes so we can all enjoy coffee everywhere!
Have your own input! Tell me what you think about the guide and the cafes in it! would you score them as high?
Check my Instagram for more!