Header image courtesy of @lemonadeweekend (Instagram)
Most people say that the world is obsessed with Australian coffee culture, but we’d say that’s just because they have not yet set foot in one of Hong Kong’s outstanding cafés. Small as the city may be, our neighbourhoods are brimming with boutique coffee shops, and new openings are popping up across Hong Kong every week. Join us as we follow the irresistible waft of freshly ground coffee beans to the latest and greatest café and coffee shop openings in Hong Kong.
Sham Shui Po, a hive of all things indie and underground chic, is home to a growing collection of third-wave coffee shops, and the latest addition to this eclectic scene is Flow. Located on a lively corner of an already buzzing neighbourhood, this new kid on the block is currently in its soft opening phase, rustling up refreshing ice drip coffee to cool you down on hot summer days. It comes with a touch of showmanship, too; just watch in amazement as Flow’s expert baristas take a knife to a block of ice to carve out a chunk and whittle it down to the perfect shape for your drink. Order a matcha chiffon cake or a classic blueberry cheesecake for an excellent finish.
Flow, Shop 3, G/F, Hing Ga Building, 195–201 Tai Nan Street, Sham Shui Po | (+852) 2452 2345
We’ll bet on it now: Southside’s Ap Lei Chau is going to become the next hipster hangout. Nestled within this maze of industrial buildings is Mad Three, a petite café operated and supplied by a team of local coffee enthusiasts at Mad Coffee Roaster. Beans are roasted and ground in-house for fuller flavours, and if you like what you taste, you can even buy a few blends to take home with you.
Stock up on your favourite coffee accoutrements here, or simply while away the hours with well-crafted pour-overs and cold-brew teas in minimalistic interiors of rough grey walls and wooden accents. Mad Three also does delectable bites, including the signature braised pork rice with Japanese soy sauce ($68) and tofu salad with sesame shredded chicken ($64), and it’s noteworthy for being one of few places in Hong Kong to serve Taiwanese-style egg omelettes.
Mad Three, Shop F, G/F, Hop Shi Building, 132 Ap Lei Chau Main Street, Ap Lei Chau | (+852) 6773 4386
Echoing the clean lines and simplistic aesthetics of Scandinavian design with the modern coffee culture of Japan, Five to One brings together the best of both worlds in its spacious shopfront. Aside from the stunning interiors, the coffees and desserts are the stars of the show, uniting taste buds on multiple fronts.
Start your journey with a full-flavoured cappuccino ($42) or a superior Uji matcha latte ($45) and tuck into a trademark panna cotta for a sweet treat—we would recommend the Earl Grey panna cotta ($28) for added depth. Similarly, the mysterious unidentified cake (starting from $48) is a house special and changes often, and is not to be missed out on. Dishes here are Japanese-inspired, such as the bonito soup udon ($78).
Five to One, G/F, 6 Victory Avenue, Ho Man Tin
Any day with a well-balanced cup of coffee is going to be a good day, and fortunately for caffeine addicts, a strong and decent cup of joe is always going to be guaranteed at Good Day Coffee Co., the latest café opening in the Jordan neighbourhood. Combining the effortless beauty of leafy flora with textured woodgrains and earthy greys, this hole-in-the-wall coffee shop is just about big enough for a grab-and-go bevvy, but you’ll want to stick around for a few selfies with the warm, rustic interiors.
All of your go-to coffee orders can be had here, from a nutty hazelnut latte ($38) and well-balanced flat white ($36) to the more outlandish cucumber sparkling espresso ($42) that’s definitely worth a try. If you’re lucky enough to snag the two bar stools just by the front window sill, take your time to feast on the sandwich selection at Good Day Coffee Co., which includes nibbles like egg salad sandwich ($42) and smoked beef sandwich ($50) as well as the peanut butter toast ($25) to unleash childhood memories.
Good Day Coffee Co., Shop B, G/F, 25 Man Ying Street, Jordan | (+852) 2330 0111
Keen-eyed coffee hunters will already have spotted this latest addition to the Sai Ying Pun scene and we don’t blame them; it’s a bit of a showstopper. Decked out in patterned tiles inspired by traditional Portuguese and Spanish designs with a bold, bright splash of sunshine yellow, Loffee is a tiny sliver of a coffee shop intended for takeaway orders only. As such, their minute menu specialises in just four drinks: black coffee ($30), white coffee ($35), soda coffee ($45), and soda lemon ($45)—perfect for those who get lost in too many choices. Strangely, this corner stall also serves up currywurst ($25) in a paper tray, a quintessential German street snack rarely seen in Hong Kong.
Loffee, Shop 7, 129 First Street, Sai Ying Pun
What you see is what you get with Poise: It might look like a quaint co-working space, full of Eames chairs and beechwood tabletops, but this quiet slopeside coffee shop is, well, actually quite a good spot to work in. Our favourite beverage has to be the Nutella latte ($45) with full-bodied notes of hazelnut and cocoa, but there’s a soft spot in our hearts for the floral lavender and red rose petals tea ($35) for a soothing touch.
Prop open your laptop and settle in for a cosy and productive office-on-the-go experience, fuelled by a hearty all-day breakfast ($128) of scrambled eggs, sautéed mushrooms, avocado, smoked salmon, bacon, and sausage, or a healthy nibble of the honey barbecue pulled pork sandwich ($78).
Poise Coffee, Shop 3, Golden Phoenix Court, 1–2 St Stephen’s Lane, Sai Ying Pun | (+852) 9883 9461
Just a stone’s throw away from Victoria Park is Superhooman, a community café nestled within the maze of Tin Hau eateries. It may well be that you’ll accidentally stumble into this quaint coffee shop while exploring the neighbourhood. Bathed in light and textured walls, its minimalistic décor is amplified by a lively wall of hanging plants, marrying a concept of industrial ruggedness with the calm of nature. Health and wellness is the focus of their menu, with dishes like the salmon poké rice bowl ($98) and quinoa chicken salad ($88) spotlighted. Four-legged friends are welcome, too, though you’ll definitely want to keep their house-blend coffees to yourself—its notes of fruit and crisp flavour are irresistible.
Superhooman, G/F, 16 Tsing Fung Street, Tin Hau | (+852) 9181 1193
Buried deep in the basement levels of Landmark is Hypebeans, a coffee experience that is not quite “brand new,” but a renewed interest in this well-kept secret has recently been reignited through the magic of social media. Positioned as a community-friendly space where all can gather to build lasting relationships, we take it to mean that coffee snobs are highly welcome here to discuss their views on the blessed bean.
Its menu is short and sweet, with a focus on espresso-based drinks as well as more original creations like the spiced espresso yuenyeung ($55) and Ovaltine espresso ($52), which have been making the rounds on social feeds. Simple benches allow for a sit-down experience to enjoy your artisanally crafted beverages in-between high-end browsing. If you’re curious as to why Hypebeans seems to sound so much like Hypebeast, it’s because this coffee shop is actually the first communal venture launched by the popular contemporary fashion and streetwear publication, which roped award-winning barista Sawada Hiroshi into curating their beverages and beans.
Hypebeans, Shop B30, B/F, Landmark, 15 Queen’s Road Central, Central
Marrying the best of bohemian living with a love for cacti and charming afternoon tea sets, Boholic is pretty much an Instagrammer’s dream come to life. Sweet tooths will love the artful curation of their menu, highlighting fan-favourites of tiramisu ($58), soufflé pancakes ($128), lemon meringue tart ($58), and more. While the coffees on offer are extensive, we would suggest turning your attention to the refreshing strawberry avocado smoothie ($48) or cheese milk foam green tea ($46) instead to gel with the avant-garde vibes.
Whether you’re here for the whole experience—including fruit smoothies, desserts, and all—or simply here for the snaps, you will find your whims catered to. Just be prepared to wait your turn to pose in Boholic’s trademark rattan swing chair, surrounded by potted plants and boho-chic accessories.
Boholic, G/F & 1/F, Sea Panorama Court, 561 Fuk Wa Street, Cheung Sha Wan | (+852) 2388 3668
Much loved by coffee zealots across Hong Kong, award-winning Studio Caffeine has outgrown its original Temple Street location—and even its second outlet in Tai Hang—and is moving further north with its latest opening. Establishing its third coffee shop in the veritable food desert of Fo Tan, we sense that this forward-thinking café might be onto something in choosing to lay down roots in this industrial neighbourhood.
Sticking out like a (modern and gorgeous) sore thumb amongst the utilitarian factory buildings, step into Studio Caffeine for a quiet afternoon away from the blaring noises of the city. Snag a pebble-shaped cushion by the windows to best admire the Japanese shoji and natural art installation gracing the centre of the room and calm your mind with their popular green tea latte ($45). Served with next-level latte art that you’ll be loath to sip away, a stacked bagel sandwich is the perfect companion to go with it—we’re quite partial to the A.C.E. salmon ($98) with avocado, cream cheese, scrambled eggs, rocket, and smoked salmon.
Studio Caffeine, Shop B02, G/F, Block 1, Kin Ho Industrial Building, 14–24 Au Pui Wan Street, Fo Tan | (+852) 2811 1731