Header image courtesy of @monolab.hk (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.
If you love Omotesando Koffee, get ready for this: Sister shop Koffee Mameya is coming to K11 Musea, adding to its already stacked coffee hub! Founded by Eiichi Kunitomo, this beans specialist continues the good work done by Omotesando in showcasing the finest grinds and richest brews through “haute couture” coffee experiences, where guests can make reservations for one-on-one bespoke consultations with expert baristas to discover the most suitable coffee bean for their palates. Set within a modern, mood-lit space with both booth and counter seats—almost like a minimalistic izakaya, but for beans, of course—Koffee Mameya highlights Ethiopian geishas and rare micro-lot coffees.
Koffee Mameya, B217, B2, K11 Musea, 18 Salisbury Road, Tsim Sha Tsui
This one’s fresh off the stove: Coffee Obsession soft-opened just yesterday and has already been drawing the crowds to its petite Fortress Hill shopfront. Echoing a tried-and-true white-and-blue-green colour palette that we’ve seen duplicated across a slew of new coffee shop openings (why bother fixing what ain’t broke, right?), Coffee Obsession exudes a retro vibe, replete with speckled marble counters and matching ceramic tiles.
As you could expect from self-proclaimed coffee experts, the brews here are skilfully made, and you can take your pick from a focused menu that features espressos ($28), black and white coffees (starting from $35), cold brews ($65), hot chocolates ($50), and lemonades ($50). Coffee Obsession opens early at 7.30 am to cater to the morning crowd, so if you’re stopping by on the way to work, pick up a pain au chocolat ($38) or an apple turnover ($42) for a quick breakfast!
Coffee Obsession, Shop E, G/F, King’s Lodge, 4–8 Boat Street, Fortress Hill | (+852) 6605 6200
Keen-eyed coffee hunters on Instagram don’t miss a thing, and when Sip Coffee opened late last week, visits were made, coffees were drunk, and pictures were snapped—much to the delight of caffeine fiends around the city. The menu here is a little unusual, a wooden board embedded with illustrative pins and vague labels of the coffee experiences to be had.
Choose to have an Encounter ($60), an Innovative ($90), or a Selective ($120) experience, matched with espresso, black, white, or pour-over coffees, as beans are brewed based on your personal preference. Gorgeous glassware aside, the entire coffee shop makes for a beautiful photo opportunity, from its warm beige walls to concrete floors. If at all possible, gun for a seat at the custom-made wood-and-resin bar counter, a beautiful piece of furniture inspired by the soft, lapping waves of Lun Kwu Tan, a quiet stretch of beach in Tuen Mun that locals claim is one of the best places to catch the sunset in Hong Kong.
Sip Coffee, 7 Tseng Choi Street, Tuen Mun
Just when you thought the caffeine scene in Sham Shui Po could not get more saturated, in comes Slash Coffee Bar, an enigmatic coffee shop concept that transforms into a cocktail bar at night. Blessed with spacious high ceilings fused together with elements of industrial chic, vintage-inspired colours, and patterned floors, it’s evident that Slash takes its décor as seriously as it takes its coffee.
Beans are sourced from Ethiopia, Rwanda, Honduras, Peru, Mexico, Kenya, and more, for espresso drinks that pack a punch. Sweet tooths will also love their pastry offerings here, with homemade canelés ($35), brownies ($40), crunchy cookies ($40) in peanut butter and oatmeal raisin flavours, and financiers ($25) on offer. Don’t miss out on the Basque burnt cheesecake ($50), an indulgent slice of heaven to go with your coffee. Bigger bites come in the form of the cinnamon apple bacon sourdough toast ($90) and classic avocado and egg on toasted sourdough ($90).
Slash Coffee Bar, G/F, 107 Ki Lung Street, Sham Shui Po
Bohemian-inspired Fifteen (拾伍) pulls quadruple-duty as a café, bar, shisha lounge, and boutique. Capturing a unique blend of Parisian street café vibes with Hong Kong-inspired touches and tropical essences, Fifteen sits on the slopes of Soho, its enticing shopfront providing the perfect invitation for passersby to stop in for a drink.
Noteworthy also is the food here, completing the pan-global impression with an illustrated menu of Japanese bento (弁当; a single-portion takeout or home-packed meal). Tuck into the Obama miso mackerel lunch box ($88), the black truffle Wagyu burger lunch box ($118), and the Tokachi beef lunch box ($78), all served with onigiri and pickled vegetables. Try their signature espresso tonic ($50) for a refreshing cool-off drink after a long day of window-shopping around Soho.
Fifteen (拾伍), 15 Aberdeen Street, Soho, Central
Hookah lounges must be making a comeback, as we are seeing a second café-slash-bar-slash-shisha-bar opening up in Soho. You’ll need to go a little bit of digging to find Mono Lab, as it’s located on a high floor—but it comes with an urban view of Tai Kwun and terrace tables and seating to reward you for your efforts.
Homemade baked goods and confectionaries are popular here, so give the Basque burnt cheesecake with brownie crust ($58) and three-cheese “bagzel” ($48) a go (that’s a bagel and pretzel hybrid for the uninitiated). Mono Lab is also currently trialling a moon bagel ($48), inspired by the traditional flavours of mooncakes, with a filling of lotus seed paste and salted egg yolk.
As for drinks, single-origin beans rotate on a regular basis, with current selections from Colombia, Ethiopia, and Taiwan for pour-overs and from Bolivia, Colombia, and Ethiopia for espresso-based beverages. Whether your palate calls for something rich and bold, nutty and warm, or fruity and gentle, Mono Lab will have the right recommendations for you.
Mono Lab, 7/F, 31–33 Hollywood Road, Soho, Central
Had enough of cafés and shisha bars yet? Hold your horses—we’ve got one more for your consideration. At 14:41, concrete chic is the name of the game, as you’ll get to perch your behind on slabs upon slabs of the hard stuff—all in the name of aesthetics. Jokes aside, the coffee and food offerings are solid, with your usual espresso-based bevvies making an appearance on the menu, as well as a few mocktails for those not imbibing, such as a virgin Shirley Temple ($88) and Arnold Palmer ($88).
If you’re feeling peckish, turn your attention to the Parma Peach ($128), a sourdough toast with parma ham, feta, basil, peach, and balsamic dressing, or the Peeling Duck ($158), a medley of foie gras, duck breast, figs, red wine-caramelised onions on a brioche toast. Head on upstairs for the bar and lounge experience, or snag a seat right by the shopfront for a street-side shisha session. Instead of beer pong, engage in a round of espresso pong—which we’re sure will guarantee an up-all-night kind of outing!
14:41, G/F, Cheung Hing House, 41 Peel Street, Soho, Central | (+852) 2390 0778
New grab-and-go alert! It seems that this month, Central is taking home the top prize for the largest number of new coffee shop openings—and even though The Porter is just a coffee counter inside Ruttonjee Centre, we’ll still count it. Decked out in full black-and-white regalia, The Porter is keenly attuned to the aesthetics of the finance district. Officially opening on 5 October, this classy and clean “coffee concierge” offers cuppas, cakes, and even cookies from Cookie DPT for your enjoyment. While you’re waiting for your order to be made, take full advantage of their phone charging service for a quick juice-up.
The Porter, Level 1, Ruttonjee Centre, 11 Duddell Street, Central