Header image courtesy of @murmurisum (via 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.
We sure hope you’re not completely fed up with Sham Shui Po yet because there’s another new opening in this hip neighbourhood to add to your coffee-hopping list. If clean lines and white aesthetics are the sorts of things that your Instagram feed lusts for, you cannot go wrong with Kokoni. Inspired by the pure and minimalistic design that modern Japanese coffee shops are famous for, Kokoni specialises in brewing espresso drinks using beans roasted by Studio Caffeine, sourced from Indonesia, Papua New Guinea, Kenya, Colombia, and more. Best of all, it’s pet-friendly and there is actually space for you to sit down and enjoy your beverage—unlike many newly opened grab-and-go coffee bars. Grab an egg drop sandwich ($78) and a latte ($40) and bask in the bench seat outside the café!
Kokoni, 156 Ki Lung Street, Sham Shui Po
This one’s fresh off the stove: Island Mosa is a brand-new opening in the unlikely neighbourhood of Hung Hom, bringing a peaceful and much-needed slice of Japanese teahouse vibes to the bustling residential and industrial hub. Unsurprisingly, it echoes much of the modest and pristine visual philosophies that made the Land of the Rising Sun a firm favourite with Hongkongers. Casual caffeine enthusiasts will delight to learn that this zen outpost serves your usual roster of coffees and teas, all curated by Holim Coffee, an expert in Taiwanese coffees and roasted coffee beans. With the added touch of handmade cups that remind us of traditional matcha bowls, courtesy of local ceramic artist Allen Chiu, it’s almost too easy to pretend like you’re spending the afternoon in a forgotten countryside café. We’re still waiting to learn more about this well-hidden gem while it progresses through its soft-opening phase so stay tuned for more updates!
Island Mosa, G/F, Wuhu Residence, 111 Wuhu Street, Hung Hom
In times when you cannot travel, one must seek out establishments that are evocative of our desired destinations. And for a touch of classic British department store infused with old-school beauty counters, you could do worse than Starting Over Espresso, a cosy coffee shop perched on the corner of Old Bailey and Elgin. Decked out in a pleasing marine-inspired palette of navy and white, rest assured that your coffee fix will be seen to here, whether you are in the mood for a cortado ($45), a flat white (starting from $40), or a Belgium hot chocolate ($50). You can also pop by for elementary sensory courses or coffee tasting workshops, where you can treat yourself and your boo to an elevated caffeinated experience! As it’s just a stone’s throw away from Tai Kwun, we would suggest stopping by for a warming macchiato (starting from $35) and resting your feet after an inspirational day out.
Starting Over Espresso, 17 Old Bailey Street, Central | (+852) 9242 5433
Billed as your ultimate one-stop-shop for the quintuple threat of coffee, tea, food, beer, and shisha, Yiu Yao is the newest kid on the Wan Chai block. A street art café like no other, you’ll be treated to an eclectic mishmash of cultural references here, from a Supreme-branded stepstool to a custom-painted ventilator-slash-art installation by local muralist Bao Ho. Illustrated basketballs, skateboards, and metal shutters aside, this streetside haunt is actually perfect for those who are looking for an off-the-beaten-path coffee destination and a casual grab-and-go mocha ($40). You will not get much in the way of comfort here, as the seating is mostly padded cushions on concrete steps, but you’ll be sure to get a ton of edgy Instagram snaps for your effort.
Yiu Yao, 8 Chan Tong Lane, Wan Chai
Love all things green—and not just the colour? You’ll want to swing by Photosynthesis (光合作舍) in Kwun Tong. Serving up lovingly brewed pour-over coffees and floral teas in an urban jungle (seriously, there are plants everywhere), this sun-soaked upstairs café is the perfect weekend escape. Aside from its strong joes, Photosynthesis also offers plant rescue and curation services and use their retail space to promote sustainable living. From coffee regrounding to paper recycling, what can be upcycled or disposed of responsibly will find a way here. Photosynthesis also offers engaging workshops, such as a DIY kokedama (苔玉) session for you to craft your own “green moon” moss ball to take home. If you have ever desired a wealth of gardening advice along with your coffee, this is the place.
Photosynthesis (光合作舍), Unit 621, New City Centre, 2 Lei Yue Mun Road, Kwun Tong
From the experts at The Coffee Academïcs comes an aromatic concept called The Tea Academïcs, focusing on all things—you guessed it—tea. Currently in its soft-opening phase, this upstairs teahouse sources premium leaves from around the world to crafts its beverages, drawing on the best harvests and rich flavours from Sri Lanka, Japan, China, Taiwan, Sri Lanka, and more. Revel in tea-inspired beverages and tea lattes for an indulgent experience, such as the refreshing jasmine tea & yuzu kombucha ($68), the full-bodied pu’erh-infused hot chocolate ($58) and the oolong tea latte ($58), both served with plant-based milk. As one of Hong Kong’s only tea cafés, The Tea Academïcs goes one step further and cooks up only vegetarian dishes, with mouthwatering items like Omnipork dan dan noodles ($98) and matcha miso ramen ($88) making an appearance on the menu.
The Tea Academïcs, 1/F, LHT Tower, 31 Queen’s Road, Central
Continuing the trend of blue-green colour palettes that seems to be the calling card of cafés opening in 2020, The Third brings speciality coffee and pancakes to an oft-forgotten corner of Hong Kong. Perched on a quiet street corner in Yuen Long, this pet-friendly coffee shop combines indulgent treats with robust brews, and we would expect nothing less from the creative team behind Sai Ying Pun’s beloved Tuckshop by Social Club. Tuck into a weekend brunch of American-style bacon & eggs pancakes ($80), loaded with sunny-side-up eggs, seared bacon, hash browns, and drizzled in maple syrup. As for drinks, you cannot go wrong with The Bomb ($50), a powerful double espresso drink with fresh lime and ginger beer. Standing out in stark, colourful contrast to its grey surrounding, it’s impossible to miss—be sure to bookmark The Third for your next coffee trip to Yuen Long.
The Third, Shop 1–B, G/F, Tai Fook Building, 69 Kin Tak Street, Yuen Long | (+852) 9682 6565
Venture to the sleepy nook of Peng Chau and spend a slow day at Island Table Grocer Café, the friendly neighbourhood coffee shop that you wish you could take full advantage of every day as your “home office.” Vibrant verdure and old-school floor tiles reminiscent of traditional Hong Kong tong lau (唐樓; Hong Kong-style tenement buildings) give this hole-in-the-wall coffee shop a rustic charm, but aside from the familiar coffee and tea menu, it’s the personal pizzas you’ll want to come for. Made to order and available for lunch from Wednesdays to Fridays, the BBQ duck pizza ($55) is a personal favourite, topped with smoked duck breast, mushrooms, and a melange of bell peppers, and slathered in barbecue sauce and mozzarella and Parmesan cheeses.
Island Table Grocer Café, G/F, 9C Wing Hing Street, Peng Chau