By: Cassilda Lee
Mention coffee to anyone living in Hong Kong and it’s sure to spark a spirited debate about what and where you’ll find the best cafes and coffee shops in Hong Kong. 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. They offer up a selection of award-winning blends, each with its own distinct flavour and 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, Hong Kong (other locations available)
In a list of cafes, one cannot leave out The Cupping Room – one of the first few independent coffee shops serving up quality coffee. They buy their beans from all over the world and roast them from their Roastery at Po Hing Fong, guaranteeing you a good cuppa. They also offer Australian inspired fare at their location in Sheung Wan 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. La Luz means ‘the light’ in Spanish and the cheerful cafe 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 their beans are of speciality grade which means that it 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, Hong Kong (MTR Mong Kok Exit E)
Established since 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. They roast all of their beans themselves and are 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, Hong Kong
Opened by Dawn Chan, two-time Hong Kong Barista Champion, this cafe is not one catered 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 should not miss. Look out for his special creations that he features each month if you’d like to try something a little more unique!
Where: G/F, Full View Building, No.142 Des Voeux Road Central, Hong Kong
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, they now have multiple locations worldwide and are back in Hong Kong, roasting all its coffee beans in-house at their headquarters in Discovery Bay. Rather than special creations, their philosophy is to serve up simple and straightforward coffees made perfectly.
Where: Shop 1050, Level 1, IFC Mall, 1 Harbour View Street, Central, Hong Kong (other location available at IFC Mall)
Located on the quiet end of Second Street, Polygon is a secret waiting to be discovered. They were the first to import Intelligentsia coffee beans – considered a major representative of third wave coffee, making this a big deal for coffee enthusiasts. They also offer a selection of teas and work with local company TeaCha for the leaves, brewing them at specific temperatures which help to bring out the best flavour. Did I also mention that they have an outdoor seating that’s pet-friendly?
Where: 14 G/F Second Street, Hong Kong
This little cafe is located in a quiet corner on Haven Street, perfect if you were 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, makes perfect for relaxing over a lovely cup of coffee. Don’t expect a wide range of options here as their menu is on the short but sweet side.
Where: G/F, 25 Haven Street, Hong Kong
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. They roast the beans themselves and even plate up banging brunch items. Plus, not only do they serve up classics excellently like a Flat White or cappuccino, more unique drinks are also offered such as the Fizzpresso – a combination of double espresso, passion fruit, lemon juice and tonic water.
Where: 18 Gough Street, Central, Hong Kong (more locations available)
Home to multiple award winning baristas, Accro Coffee is tucked away in Yuen Long amidst bike shops and local restaurants. They get their coffee from a multitude of countries, roasted in-house by owner Tsuyoshi Mok. Although it’s more humble in size compared to other places, it definitely does not lag behind in terms of quality. Coffee enthusiasts will definitely want to try one of their great brews.
Where: Shop 8, G/F, Fook Cheong Building, 21-27 Ma Wang Road, Yuen Long, Hong Kong (MTR West Rail Line – Long Ping Station B1 Exit)
Started off as a small espresso bar, 18 Grams now has 7 locations all across Hong Kong and roasts their beans in-house. They source their beans from around the globe and even offer a special signature blend collection, designed to bring out the flavour of your coffee. For the adventurous, they also serve 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, Elephant Grounds’s coffee 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, creating a perfectly smooth cup of caffeine to keep you going throughout the day. Not to mention their delicious ice-cream sandwiches, this is definitely a place to visit.
Where: Shop C, 42-48 Paterson Street, Fashion Walk, Causeway Bay (other locations available)
See more in our Wine & Dine section!