Mention coffee to anyone living in Hong Kong and it’s sure to spark a spirited debate about where you’ll find the best cafés and coffee shops. We are serious caffeine addicts here at Expat Living, so we have come up with some of the top spots around town if you find yourself in need of a short black, latte or long mac, stat!
Opened in 2012, Coffee Academics has locations in Hong Kong, Singapore and China and was even dubbed one of the world’s best coffee shops by The Telegraph. It offers up a selection of award-winning blends, each with its own distinct flavour, and it roasts them in-house. No matter which store you go to, you’re guaranteed a good cuppa.
Where: Causeway Bay Flagship Store, 38 Yiu Wa Street, Causeway Bay (other locations available)
In a list of cafes, you can’t leave out The Cupping Room – one of the first few independent coffee shops serving up quality coffee. The store buys beans from all over the world and roasts them from its Roastery at Po Hing Fong, guaranteeing you a good cuppa. It also offer Australian-inspired fare at its Sheung Wan location and an on-site bakery at Central.
Where: Shop 8, Silver Jubilee Mansion, Silver Jubilee Mansion, 62-72 Po Hing Fong, Sheung Wan (other locations available)
If you find yourself in Jordan, make sure you pay a visit to La Luz. The business was founded by Elyce Chau, who has taken her background in the F&B industry and combined it with seven years spent in Brisbane to bring Aussie brand Parallel Roasters to Hong Kong at La Luz. The name means ‘the light’ in Spanish and the cheerful café offers fab Brisbane coffee, along with all-day breakfast, hot food, pastry products and a bakery. Elyce, along with co-owner Freeman Lau, are constantly developing their offerings, so watch this space!
Where: Shop 28B, Man Yuen Street, G/F Man Yiu Building, Jordan, Yau Ma Tei
Founded by the first qualified Q-grader for coffee in Hong Kong, Knockbox guarantees a good cup of coffee every time. Beans are roasted weekly in-house and never stay on the shelves past four weeks to ensure freshness. To top it all off, all the beans are of speciality grade; so, this is professionally judged coffee, receiving at least a score of 80 (out of 100) according to the Coffee Quality Institute (CQI) protocol. Now that’s good coffee!
Where: Ground Floor, 21 Hak Po Street, Mong Kok, Kowloon (MTR Mong Kok Exit E)
Established in 2009, Hazel & Hershey is arguably one of the oldest joints serving up quality coffee in Hong Kong. It’s a one-stop shop for coffee enthusiasts,offering everything from beans to cups, direct-trade beans and a retail boutique coffee shop. The team roasts all their beans themselves and they’re an authorised SCAE centre, providing professional trainings to baristas across the region, so they definitely know their coffee!
Where: Shop 3, 69 Peel Street, Central
Opened by Dawn Chan, two-time Hong Kong Barista Champion, this cafe is not designed for lingering and chatting with friends. Rather, it’s main goal is simply to serve up amazing coffee – and that it does. This is definitely a place that any coffee addict must try. Look out for the special creations featured at Amber each month if you want to try something unique!
Where: G/F, Full View Building, No.142 Des Voeux Road Central
First opened in Discovery Bay in 2013, Arabica owns its very own coffee farm in Kona, Hawaii, courtesy of owner Kenneth Shoji. After briefly moving to Kyoto, the store now has multiple locations worldwide and is back in Hong Kong, roasting all its coffee beans in-house at its headquarters in Discovery Bay. Rather than special creations, the philosophy here is to serve up simple and straightforward coffees made perfectly.
Where: Shop 1050, Level 1, IFC Mall, 1 Harbour View Street, Central (other location available at IFC Mall)
Located on the quiet end of Second Street, Polygon is a secret waiting to be discovered. The store was the first to import Intelligentsia coffee beans – considered a major representative of “third wave coffee”, making this a big deal for coffee enthusiasts. It also offers a selection of teas, and works with local company TeaCha for the leaves, brewing them at specific temperatures that help to bring out the best flavour. Did we also mention they have outdoor seating that’s pet-friendly?
Where: 14 G/F Second Street
This little cafe is located in a quiet corner on Haven Street, perfect if you’re hoping to get away from all the hustle and bustle. The store itself is on the smaller side, creating a more cozy environment. The beautiful layout – white walls, hexagonal tiles and rustic wooden furniture – is ideal for relaxing over a winning cup of coffee. Don’t expect a wide range of options here; the menu is on the short but sweet side.
Where: G/F, 9 Mee Lun Street, Sheung Wan
Spread over two floors on Gough Street and filled with natural light, NOC is great for sitting down and having a nice, long chat with friends or getting some work done. The team roast the beans themselves and even plate up banging brunch items. Plus, they not serve up classics excellently like flat whites and cappuccinos, they also offer more unique drinks such as the Fizzpresso – a combo of double espresso, passionfruit, lemon juice and tonic water.
Where: 34 Graham Street, Central (more locations available)
Home to multiple award-winning baristas, Accro Coffee is tucked away in Yuen Long amidst bike shops and local restaurants. The store gets its coffee from a multitude of countries, and it’s roasted in-house by owner Tsuyoshi Mok. It may be more humble in size compared to other places, but it definitely doesn’t lag behind in terms of quality. Coffee enthusiasts will definitely want to try one of the great brews at Accro.
Where: Shop D, G/F, Kam Shing Building, 162-164 On Ning Road, Yuen Long (MTR West Rail Line – Long Ping Station B1 Exit)
Starting as a small espresso bar, 18 Grams now has seven coffee shops in Hong Kong. Beans are sourced from around the globe and roasted in-house; there’s even a special signature blend collection, designed to really bring out the flavour of your coffee. For the adventurous, the team also serves up more interesting drinks such as a Red Velvet Latte.
Where: 1-3 Mercer Street, Sheung Wan (other locations available)
Independently roasted in small batches, the coffee at Elephant Grounds is just wonderful. The signature blend uses beans from all over to create a delicious cuppa: Sumatra creates an earthy body; Papua New Guinea adds complexity; and Brazillian Arabica provides nuttiness and acidity. Also, the ice-cream sandwiches are delicious!
Where: Shop C, 42-48 Paterson Street, Fashion Walk, Causeway Bay (other locations available)
See more in our Wine & Dine section!