Header image courtesy of @caffeinated_hk (Instagram)
Most people say that the world is obsessed with Australian coffee culture, but we’d say that’s just because they haven’t yet set foot in one of Hong Kong’s outstanding cafés. Small as the city as may be, our neighbourhoods are brimming with boutique coffee shops, with new openings popping up across Hong Kong every other week. Join us as we follow the irresistible waft of freshly ground coffee beans to the nine latest café openings in Hong Kong. It’s time to get caffeinated!
Gather the crew (within reason and social distancing measures, of course) and hit up the latest addition to the third-wave coffee shops of Wan Chai. You cannot miss the sumptuous forest green shade of its shopfront and its retro-inspired interiors, but it’s the focused coffee menu that’ll draw you in.
Perfect for a quick grab-and-go on the way to work, Crew specialises in espresso-based and hand-dripped coffees, as well as cold-brew teas and tea lattes. And the best part? It neighbours on a laidback outdoor seating area that extends its colour-based aesthetics with a touch of nature and flora—looks like we’ll need to take more coffee breaks soon!
Crew, 9A, G/F, On Hing Mansion, 156–164 Queen’s Road East, Wan Chai
In a continuing trend of F&B establishments opening up with uncannily similar names (looking at you, Smoke & Barrel and Smoke & Barrels), Brew & Crew is a hole-in-the-wall hangout that pulls double duty as a minimalistic coffee shop by day and a lively neighbourhood bar by night.
When here, take advantage of the takeaway cold-brews supplied by local coffee brand Sofe Coffe, made with beans from Ethiopia and Papua New Guinea and sold by the bottle. You can also grab a scone to go, made lovingly by a Hong Kong bakery called & Scones. In its soft-opening phase, Brew & Crew is open from 1 pm to 5 pm only, so be sure to visit on time for this hidden gem behind PMQ.
Brew & Crew, 12A Shing Wong Street, Central
When this coffee shop proclaims that it’s “not just about coffee,” they are certainly not kidding—their food menu is stupendous as well. Bathed in the cold concrete appearance that we have come to associate with cafés in the Yau Tsim Mong District, Not Just Coffee combines the best beans from Brazil, Ethiopia, Guatemala, and Indonesia to craft their beverages, so expect to taste notes of hazelnut, dark chocolate, and cherry in a creamy and smooth package. As for the food, tuck into soba, udon, and pasta dishes of all kinds, as well as Japanese-inspired side dishes and snacks. We quite like the lobster bisque in Inaniwa udon noodles with avocado & prawn ($128) for its umami flavours.
Not Just Coffee, Shop D, G/F, Man Hoo Court, 450 Nathan Road, Yau Ma Tei | (+852) 2322 2849
Step into a tropical paradise at 8cm Coffee, a mural-bedecked coffee hole in Yuen Long. Instagram and cameras will no doubt have loads to feed on within its pastel-green décor, as an attractive shopfront gives way to speckled granite counters and a menu of bevvies made with Australia’s Melba Coffee & Tea. Opt for a well-balanced flat white ($48) with a side of 8cm Coffee’s signature Happy Breakfast ($128) that offers a modern take on the classic full English breakfast platter, avocado, quinoa & scrambled eggs on sourdough ($88) or a raisin scone ($38) for a fulfilling start to your day or late afternoon pick-me-up.
8cm Coffee, Shop 14, G/F, Ho Shun Lee Building, 9 Fung Yau Street South, Yuen Long
Immerse yourself in the rustic Japanese aesthetics offered up by Coffee Analog, a new coffee shop and dessert café in the heart of Prince Edward. Hidden behind a rough wooden façade, you’ll come across chic interiors that ooze a complex blend of sophistication and comfort, similar to a gentlemen’s lounge.
Come at night for their well-stocked whisky bar, but make space during the day for the iced coffees and mystery cakes ($55) that change on a regular basis. So far, Basque burnt cheesecakes and Milo-flavoured chiffon cakes have already made an appearance! Who knew cake and whiskey went so well together? They also offer CBD-infused Aeropress coffees if that’s something that piques your interest.
Coffee Analog, 169 Sai Yeung Choi Street North, Prince Edward
Under a sky of contemporary installations of bird cages sits Orange Dish, a shared kitchen concept popping up in Sheung Wan’s Bonham Circus. Collaborating with a variety of local restaurants and vendors—with Schragels, Fûhn, and Cookie DPT amongst them—Orange Dish serves up supersized cookies, bagels with schmear, phở bowls, and artisan coffees all in one convenient spot.
Using beans from Hong Kong-based artisanal roasters Dr Sutton’s Coffee, Orange Dish crafts oat milk iced lattes ($20) from Vietnam-sourced ingredients—a bargain coffee if we’ve ever seen one!—for you to enjoy in the adjoining backyard. While you’re waiting for your drink to be brewed, don’t miss the gorgeous detail of how old-school Hong Kong shutters were incorporated as part of the coffee counter design!
Orange Dish pop-up, G/F, Bonham Circus, 40–44 Bonham Strand, Sheung Wan
A lone, iconic circular window spotlights Project C immediately even from afar and its Brutalist-inspired shopfront of unforgiving concrete renders this newly-opened coffee shop reminiscent of a slab submarine. Project C calls Hysan Avenue home and its sleek aesthetics stand out like a sore thumb—in the best way possible—among its moderate fashion and casual restaurant neighbours.
Whether it’s filter, espresso, or cold-brew coffees you’re after, they’ve got it all, so rest assured that the expert baristas can tailor something to suit your preferences. Each order comes with a cheat sheet of tasting notes as well to educate coffee lovers on the beans used to make the drink! For something a little different, Project C is also the first coffee shop in Hong Kong to specialise in oat brew ($55), a cold-brew coffee that incorporates oat milk, resulting in a surprisingly velvety mouthfeel against nutty flavours.
Project C, 29 Hysan Avenue, Causeway Bay
If you don’t know, now you know: Local Hong Kong café giant Elephant Grounds just opened its largest-ever location on the slopes of Sheung Wan. Boasting over 7,000 square feet’s worth of space for you to indulge in espresso beverages, iced teas, cold-pressed juices, smoothies, and homemade lemonades, look no further for the perfect get-stuff-done coffee shop where you won’t have to jostle for position for a charging outlet.
Featuring an in-house bakery that churns out fresh bread and pastries on a daily basis, a roastery room, and a pet-friendly outdoor seating area, the Elephant Grounds Roastery brings together the absolute best of casual coffee shop culture. For a hot summer’s day, tap into their menu of soft serves, sundaes, and ice cream sandwiches, or go for an iced coffee from the barista-manned brew bar. As for foods and baked items, we are head over heels for their sun-dried tomato focaccia ($24)—one of the best we’ve tried in Hong Kong.
Elephant Grounds Roastery, 233 Hollywood Road, Sheung Wan
Another coffee shop that celebrated its official opening mere days ago, Sammi #000000 is a sleek café in a quiet corner of Tsuen Wan that doubles as a monochromatic art gallery. Showcasing framed works and modern sculptures from local Hong Kong artists on a rotational basis alongside a whimsically designed menu—intended to emulate the periodic table—Sammi #000000 exudes a contemporary quality that makes for a fresh breath of air amidst the Japanese- and Scandi-inspired third-wave coffee shops of Hong Kong.
During its soft-opening phase, the beverage options are split almost evenly between coffees and teas, with standout items such as peach hojicha ($26), charcoal latte ($30), and melon green tea ($26). Fun fact: Wondering what “#000000” in its name stands for? It’s the universal hex code for the colour black!
Sammi #000000, Shop C&E, G/F, Wanson House, 115 Tsuen Wan Market Street, Tsuen Wan