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dfan92
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Joined: 26 Jan 2011
Posts: 11
Location: Houston
Expertise: Just starting

Posted Thu Mar 24, 2011, 9:48pm
Subject: Places for Coffee in HK, Pearl River Delta
 

I will be in Hong Kong and the adjoining areas for a summerlong internship, and I will mostly be staying on the Island side for most of the day, I'm commuting from the Shatin Area to Sheung Wan. Are there any notable establishments along that area?
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boblam
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Joined: 13 Mar 2011
Posts: 59
Posted Sat Mar 26, 2011, 2:52am
Subject: Re: Places for Coffee in HK, Pearl River Delta
 

]( Updated March 10, 2013
The new thing in HK cafe is "tasting", be it "coffee tasting" at Knockbox Coffee Company in Sheung Wan and "machine tasting" (ie. compare and contrast various setup from home use to high end) at Rabbithole Coffee and Roaster in Central (right in the heart of the central business district in Hong Kong).  I call these two places "extraordinary concept coffee place" which should help you look at your usual haunt in a different light after visiting there.  A must try if you are in Hong Kong

In term of area, Sheung Wan and Central remains a hot bed for lots of Indie cafes with Coco Espresso and Rabbithole Coffee and Roaster highlights of the area.  Nevertheless, Quarry Bay in the east side of the Hong Kong Island seems to be an up and coming with Pregio, Xen and just opened Espresso Alchemy (will visit later) so you have a choice now.  Tai Hang as an area is overrated for the coffee; only if you look for ambiance and things.  Kowloon Bay boasted lots of cafes with interesting characters.  The enthusiasm of the cafe owner is second to none but the cup quality was mostly capped by the clientele in the area unlike the audience in Sheung Wan and Quarry Bay.  Tell the owners when you visited you are interested in good coffee and you might be in for a surprise!

The special mention category are cafe I suggest you make a visit if you are in HK; the Extraordinary concept coffee place is a must visit!  Here's the list

Special mention: Extraordinary concept coffee place
Both Rabbithole and Knockbox are one two punch to Hong Kong coffee scene and compliment each other.  Together they take coffee lovers to another level in coffee, helping each coffee enthusiast look back to their usual haunt in a new light and in a way force traditional cafe to improve on what they are already good it.  I consider this not a competition but more of raising the bar in the HK coffee scene

1.  Knockbox Coffee Company, Mong Kok, Hong Kong: http://www.facebook.com/Knockboxcoffee http://twitter.com/#!/knockbox_coffee and Click Here (www.hkcoffee.com)
Run by coffee enthusiasts that got inspired by drinking coffee from Gwilym on the year he won WBC 2009.  Various coffee gears and coffee beans both in-house, locally roasted and international offering.  Proprietors and head barista are Certified Q-Graders and loves to discuss with you on anything coffee from roasting to brewing.  Recent upgrade include Probat's Probatino 1 kg roaster and Uber boiler, the first boiler that is actually in used in Hong Kong due to its emphasis on brew coffee.  More update/new equipment and coffee program to come at Knockbox.  A must visit for coffee enthusiast to 'refresh' their taste buds with its tasting menu called "Coffee Grand Slam" with three cups of anything anywhich way, ie three brewing methods with one bean type, three beans type on a single brewing equipment or combinations to your heart's desire.  Or you could try a "cupper duo" compare and contrast same bean from different roaster to see how each roaster coax its signature on the final product.  Other limited time offering includes "process duo" which compares the same bean with different process.  Classes on paper drip brew with Hario V60 are also available; check the schedule at the shop.  On top of these good thing, Knockbox is a place like a get together of coffee enthusiast and those will long for when the time is up for next time.  Highly recommended you drop by to check this fresh concept that is refreshing and exhilarating!!!  

***Knockbox new location offers cake and pastry from artisanal baker, J'aime bien Patisserie, on site, and sandwich is expected to be on offering soon***

The new address is G/F, 21 Hak Po Street, Mong Kok
The new hours is 10am-10pm 7 days a week

1.  Rabbithole Coffee and Roaster, Central, Hong Kong http://rabbitholecoffee.com/ http://www.facebook.com/rabbitholecoffeeroaster http://twitter.com/#!/rabbitholecoffe/ http://www.openrice.com/restaurant/sr2.htm?shopid=83034  Rabbithole is the other part of what I call "extraordinary coffee duo" in Hong Kong where locations and machine focus are its forte, complimenting what Knockbox's emphasis on coffee and make the coffee experience "full".  Various machines on hand including home use Gee machine to commercial machine Expobar and high end espresso machine Synesso with a further kick up several notch via pressure profile modded, a brain child of hkcoffee.com  Grinders include Eureka Mignon (rebatched as Nuova Simonelli in the US), Anfim Super Caimano, and the high end Eureka KR (low speed conical burr) while Rabbbithole carries a relative compact and good filter coffee grinder Fuji Royale for its filter coffee program.  Others might say you can adjust each machine set to any specific taste profile but you should try and see how different it actually is, particularly on the high end side.  You know the trade off you get with home use and commercial which most say just consistency but you can actually find the difference in the cup too.  Rabbithole also offered freshly roasted coffee beans on site from hkcoffee.com though the roast profile here is different which I called "bridge coffee", getting those who still enamored in the mouthfeel/body heavy cup with only little nuances to a whole new world of cleaner and clearer cup of espresso drink one usually find in a top cafe in the US and Canada vs. cafe scene in this part of the world that is usually dominated by European due to history and Australia/New Zealand due to proximity.  All beans are not those micro lots/farm specific, etc, so you can taste the ability of its roaster which I consider top notch here and the good quality bean makes it much easier for you to test the set of espresso machine as there's lots of nuance to be checked vs. those staled old bean carried by most shop that sells the machine.  On top of that, if you just want a cup of good coffee, you can go sit and enjoy at Rabbithole too but I suggest you take advantage of its 'machine tasting' capability here... Highly recommended!

Special mention: Traditional/classic coffee place

1.  Crema Coffee, Tsim Sha Tsui East, Kowloon http://www.openrice.com/restaurant/sr2.htm?shopid=15288 – The best espresso bar in Hong Kong for me.  I had a great cup on my recent visit to its new location, somewhat back to its old glory day as the café seemed to roast its Monsooned Malabar Gold (with its in-house roaster) lighter than a year before.  Best rich and velvety milk drink too; however you have to ask for warm milk drink to be on the safe side on temp as local prefers hotter than hot drink.  If Terry or Fiona are in that time and did coffee for you, you are in luck!  :)

4.  Coco Espresso, Sheung Wan, Hong Kong: http://www.openrice.com/restaurant/sr2.htm?shopid=19001 - ***Sheung Wan shop is under renovation while a new shop is now at Pacific Place Three.***    The coffee had been kinda easy to drink for newb at best and the owner told me a long while back that the taste is inspired by Vittoria Coffee of Australia though the bean was roasted fresh locally by LM agent.  The cup quality has tremendously improved lately, ie tastier black coffee and more velvety milk drink, complimenting its spot on drink temperature.  The serious limitation here is now its espresso machine, IMHO. The new 2 paddle group PID LM Linea finally arrived and modernized the cup profile to be quite similar to what I get from GB5, ie clearer, less body kinda thing.  Another strong point that is difficult to find elsewhere is the homey feel of the place which barista themselves play a major part.  It’s nice to sit there in the afternoon either reading or talking with barista on things.  Not an easy feat in Hong Kong market where everything is on a rush.  Coco also offered siphon brewing of single origin coffee from Square Mile Coffee and other local roasters.  You can trust Johnson on freshness of the bean and his openness in discussing about coffee.  Very decent siphon brew I had so far

Other cafes in Hong Kong that I like include

5.  Pregio by Barista Caffe, Quarry Bay: http://www.openrice.com/restaurant/sr2.htm?shopid=75621 Owner Chester Tam is well know figure in local media and a trainer/teacher on coffee.  Apart from decent Italian food for local standard, its coffee program were impressive with high quality grade bean from quality green supplier like sweetmarias on offer at the shop.  His own espresso blend was also great and a must try, closer to what progressive roasters use in North America and not easy to find in this part of the world that likes more oily roasty tone in their coffee to go with milk or to act as digestive after the meal.  This is the blend that won Grand Barista Champion in 2011 too and I consider one of the best espresso blend in Hong Kong.  This cafe is breathing on the next of the top rated cafe out there.  With time, it will further improve.

6.  Espresso Alchemy (EA), 4-6 Hoi Wan Street, Quarry Bay, Hong Kong  http://www.openrice.com/english/restaurant/sr2.htm?shopid=94780 A great addition to Quarry Bay coffee scene and a must drop by particularly those who likes coffee from down under.  Owner/roaster Peter Law is a genuine nice guy from Melbourne finally break the monopoly of the Sydney coffee group in Hong Kong on Australian coffee with experiences under his belt in roasting coffee in Aussie.  Probably the first Giesen roaster in Hong Kong which shows up amazingly in the cup at EA.  Single origin is a must and another milk drink style from down under with strong chocolate backbone plus a touch of acidity.  The EA house blend is big bold and forward with acidity while I love it Single Origin espresso.  If Peter is in the house, you are very lucky.  I would have move this one up a notch if the milk texture was a big better and sweeter but this is nit picking.  A must drop by in Quarry Bay!

7.  The Cupping Room, Shop 207, Stanley Plaza, Stanley, Hong Kong  http://www.facebook.com/pages/The-Cupping-Room/180292778721784  Significant improving from a good stuff even at its starting 9 months ago.  A star in Stanley and a place you need to visit if you are in the area.  Guest bean from around the world through Synesso and Mahlkoenig K30 plus continued development of coffee gear and beans.  Derek Kapo Chiu, the owner, won the 2012 Hong Kong Barista Championship and came in second at the 2011 Hong Kong Barista Championship.  Derek will represent Hong Kong at World Barista Championship 2013.

8.  CENG (Coffee Engineering), Shop 2101, 21/F, Radio City ( Solo Building ), 505 Hennessy Road, Causeway Bay www.coffeeengineering.com - Coffee Tasting, Training, showroom for coffee accessories, roasted coffee bean.  Filtered coffee on offering only for now and both V60 and Kalita type cone are tasty and delicious.  Small shop but nice view on 21 Floor should help make up for any short fall.  A very nice barista with tattoo.

9.  18 Grams in Tsim Sha Tsui http://www.18grams.com/tsim-sha-tsui - Big Bad Wolf blend is decent but not as outstanding vs. when Three Little Pigs at its Mong Kok branch come out.  Surprisingly good barista Cheska and May May serve my coffee.  Competition material here and I hope she changes her mind to participate in the competition.

10.  18 Grams at Gala Place, Mong Kok, Kowloon http://www.18grams.com/mong-kok  added on June 25, 2011 - This is a new branch of 18 Grams and Glory Coffee in Hong Kong on Kowloon side in one of the busiest shopping district.  What's so special about it is the return of the "Three Little Pig" blend to 18 Grams after a six month hiatus.  Three Little Pig blend is Mexican, Guatemala and Nicaraguan and one get the clean, citrusy sweetness in the cup that works very well with milk and black.  Nevertheless, the darker roast these days was not what I like but this suited local taste better, according to the cafe.  Still a good place to try if you are in the area but not what I consider the best blend in Hong Kong after the roast gets darker.

11.  Café Corridor, Time Square, Causeway Bay, Hong Kong http://www.openrice.com/restaurant/sr2.htm?shopid=10246 and http://www.coffeeassembly.com/ Felix was among the earlier force in the industry as a roaster and re-entered the café scene a couple of years back.  He brought back his love of coffee from Australia after a short stint of working in the café over there.  If you like dark roasted coffee, this is the place.  El Al, 2010 GBC winner, joined the café and seemed to make the perfect team there.

12. Xen Coffee, Quarry Bay: http://www.xencoffee.com/ Claim to fame is its all politically correct issues and Indie vacuum pot coffee (siphonist?).   Remain the destiny for siphon coffee lover though its coffee seemed to lack acidity to fit the local taste profile.

13. KC Coffee, Kowloon Bay, Hong Kong: Closed!
http://www.openrice.com/restaurant/sr2.htm?shopid=47005 added May 21, 2012 All imported coffee from Honey Coffee, Fukuoka, Japan which seemed to be a well known roaster in Japan.  Interesting take on coffee and will need more visit.  The espresso was tasty but super short shot which seemed to be the practice I was told in quite a few cafe in Japan, reminding me of front and center tasting profile with little to no aftertaste years back in my coffee drinking.  Delicious and a good nostalgic thing but not what the current cafes are capable of.  The siphon coffee is also good but have the characteristic of updosing and strict/tight in taste profile, delicious still but not what the current cafes I visited are all about.  The milk drink is somewhat weak here with some milk powder tone in there.  Nevertheless, this is a great cafe and punch above its level considering the location in Kowloon Bay.  The staff is passionate and enthusiast and I'm sure could rise up to challenge.  Just ask and show your passion on coffee and see the surprise in this cafe.  In the area, this cafe is worth a visit

Pending -
Amical, Admiralty (near Three Pacific Place)Click Here (www.openrice.com) Change of barista which moves to Silly Boo in Tin Hau.  Both Silly Boo and Amical are pending upon further visits. cooperation between Coffee Assembly and partners who is passionate on coffee.  As far as I know, Amical is the first place that features coffee from Cameroon in a quality conscious cafe setting and the bean exceeds my expectation.  You should try its espresso which is Cameroon Single Origin.  Surprisingly good.  The other coffee are roasted by Felix and his team from Cafe Corridor.  The barista here is a gem, enthusiastic, passionate on coffee, further enhancing the experience in the cup... The skill in pulling espresso only makes it worth it to visit the place and I continue to admire Felix, El and his team at Barista Academy (Click Here (www.baristaacademy.hk)) on churning out good and passionate barista one after another.  The hand drip is great for the area and quite nice among cafe in Hong Kong, saving a few top notch place.  I can say I am happy drinking coffee here and Amical is like an oasis for good coffee in the area.  Worth a visit

Coffee Break, Kowloon Bay, Hong Kong closed
http://www.openrice.com/restaurant/sr2.htm?shopid=53837
added May 21, 2012 Served and studied coffee from Chester Tam, a well known coffee person in local scene.  Lots of special coffee stash from both domestic and international.  Don't let the outside of the shop fool you.  It has great hospitality and comfy to sit.  More visits are needed. ***Coffee Break closed down in September due to the issue with its location.  The owner indicated they are scouting for a new location though it might take a long while***


Delete:  A drop in quality, customer treatment or too long a time of the last visit to be sure of quality, rating and comparison excluded these places from the list: Barista Jam, Fuel Espresso, Holly Brown, Soft Aroma and Coffee Plus (Coffee Plus: most Barista that I know left the place so much so I can't ascertain on its coffee until making a visit)

You can find more info about cafés in Hong Kong at
www.openrice.com The name openrice came from the word-by-word translation from Chinese which means serve a meal.  Plug in the café names above in its search box and you get opinions from local how they like it.  Don’t be scared on Chinese writing as one will benefit from pictures post there.
www.cnngo.com The Asian site of cnn remains in beta stage but gives some basic idea of what’s what and who’s who in the scene.  Interesting links include
 a. Click Here (www.cnngo.com)
 b. Click Here (www.cnngo.com)
www.timeout.com.hk Offer some pictures and more of café scene in Hong Kong.. Interesting link included Click Here (www.timeout.com.hk)

Enjoy
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boblam
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Joined: 13 Mar 2011
Posts: 59
Posted Sat Mar 26, 2011, 2:54am
Subject: Re: Places for Coffee in HK, Pearl River Delta
 

I did post some cafe I know of but am waiting for moderators' look/approval as the length and link was marked as spam... :)

Until then.. :)
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dfan92
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Joined: 26 Jan 2011
Posts: 11
Location: Houston
Expertise: Just starting

Posted Sun Mar 27, 2011, 10:35am
Subject: Re: Places for Coffee in HK, Pearl River Delta
 

This is very comprehensive, much thanks!
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boblam
Senior Member


Joined: 13 Mar 2011
Posts: 59
Posted Tue May 31, 2011, 8:27am
Subject: Re: Places for Coffee in HK, Pearl River Delta
 

Updates for some cafes in Hong Kong
  1.  The "up and coming" area called Tai Hang, closed to Causeway Bay... Very nicely decorated due to space but it's either "imported italian coffee" with robusta or the barista refused to be trained.  These cafes are Kindergarten, Unar Coffee Company and Cafe Y Taberna, in order of my liking... Please type the name in local website openrice.com for more info, picture and location.. In conclusion, existing quality cafes in Sheung Wan (Barista Jam, Coco Espresso and Soft Aroma) and Causeway Bay (Cafe Corridor and 18 Grams) had absolutely nothing to worry about considering the level these much hyped cafes delivered ... :(
  2.  Up the ante:  
    • Barista Jam:  Start using VST basket, preferred 18 grams basket to 21 grams.  This is the cafe coffee enthusiasts should make a pilgrimage to if they are in the area... A surprise is in the shop too... :)
    • Coco Espresso: A version 2.0 of sort
       * New Espresso machine - PIDed Linea which replaced HX machine Astoria so no more annoying temp surfing and
       * New grinder conical burr Eureka Olympus K
      This combination gave a much clearer cup while maintains its previous character...  Nice.
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Paul_Pratt
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Paul_Pratt
Joined: 2 Sep 2002
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Location: Hong Kong
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Espresso: Marzocco SMAL + GS
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Posted Fri Jun 3, 2011, 1:36am
Subject: Re: Places for Coffee in HK, Pearl River Delta
 

Hi Bob,

I thought I would chime in since a bit of history is in order.  The machine now at Coco is temporary as you may know. We worked with Johnson to come up with something a little different for his shop, something that reflects his style that would make him stand out. We really tried to steer him away from GB5 for reasons of individuality and what works best in his tight space.  The answer will be revealed shortly, but lets say that I was able to pull favours and he is having a machine custom made that is a great solution for him and will give him the ability to push his skills further.

The machine he actually has (on loan) now is a very special machine for me because it was my own personal machine when we opened our first shop at 180 Electric Road in Jan 1998.  See the attached picture, behind the counter is some 24 year old idiot :)   You will also see the first Mazzers for HK that my partner hand carried from Italy, they were also, if I remember, 110V.  The other 2 original Mazzers we bought back in '97 I think are in Mui Wo.  Before we got the mazzers we used Anfims and Eurekas.

The 3 group Linea is also from 1997.  I gave the machine to Eddie back in 2008 when he bought my roasting business and he is not allowed to sell it to anyone but me!

The new Strada at Barista Jam is also quite a special machine since I managed to get one of the first EP machines and one of the first 2 group machines ever made. I understand they are not using it yet for drinks,  I'm not sure why since it has many programs already and if they are that afraid of it they should just set it to the same profile as the GB5 off-9bar-off !!  It makes no sense to me.

Over the years I looked at Tai Hang a lot since I lived there for a long time. A lot of the fantastic old walk-ups are gone already. We even came close to signing a space for a roaster there back in 2001 but it was too residential for it to work even with an afterburner.  To be honest re: those small cafes we should give them time to develop, I wouldn't venture inside without some strong recommendations.  Cafe Corridor took a long while to get up to speed and it was only really the 2nd time around that they started to get noticed.

Paul_Pratt: 180ElectricRoad (Small).jpg
(Click for larger image)
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boblam
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Joined: 13 Mar 2011
Posts: 59
Posted Fri Jun 3, 2011, 7:59am
Subject: Re: Places for Coffee in HK, Pearl River Delta
 

Hi Paul,  long time no talk since I bought the roasted coffee from you in 2007.  

Ladies and Gentlemen, this is the REAL guy that knows a lot, not me... :)  He's a legendary not just in Hong Kong but more likely outside too, AFAIK..  My pleasure that Mr. Pratt joined in this post.

Paul_Pratt Said:

Hi Bob,

I thought I would chime in since a bit of history is in order.  The machine now at Coco is temporary as you may know. We worked with Johnson to come up with something a little different for his shop, something that reflects his style that would make him stand out. We really tried to steer him away from GB5 for reasons of individuality and what works best in his tight space.  The answer will be revealed shortly, but lets say that I was able to pull favours and he is having a machine custom made that is a great solution for him and will give him the ability to push his skills further.

Posted June 3, 2011 link

So, it wasn't me who steered him away from GB5.. :D

Also, William told me he was surprised too Johnson get Linea.

For what it's worth and if Johnson still remembered, I told him not to get GB5 as his requirement, consistent cups, does not need $$$ machine and Linea will be excellent.. To tell the truth, I still like cups pulled by Terry and Fiona from Linea until these days, my all time #1 HK espresso bar, and I don't see why they need to change... If it ain't broke...

Yes, I was told about the machine is actually on loan but did not have the clear idea and detail on his new Linea so thank you very much for your information... :)  I'm happy for him and this is great for the coffee enthusiast in Hong Kong... :)

Paul_Pratt Said:

The machine he actually has (on loan) now is a very special machine for me because it was my own personal machine when we opened our first shop at 180 Electric Road in Jan 1998.  See the attached picture, behind the counter is some 24 year old idiot :)   You will also see the first Mazzers for HK that my partner hand carried from Italy, they were also, if I remember, 110V.  The other 2 original Mazzers we bought back in '97 I think are in Mui Wo.  Before we got the mazzers we used Anfims and Eurekas.

The 3 group Linea is also from 1997.

Posted June 3, 2011 link

Wow!  Lots of memory in there!!!  I will try to go 'cherish' it, taking more pictures this weekend or next.  I had an espresso there last Wednesday when William at Barista Jam told me about his new machine..  I like the cup ie everything is mellow but you can distinguish all the nuances vs. everything stick out like a sore thumb, particularly Sumatra, when he used Astoria last weekend.

I gave the machine to Eddie back in 2008 when he bought my roasting business and he is not allowed to sell it to anyone but me!

Seriously, I love the "string" attached with Eddie... hahaha :D

Paul_Pratt Said:

The new Strada at Barista Jam is also quite a special machine since I managed to get one of the first EP machines and one of the first 2 group machines ever made. I understand they are not using it yet for drinks,  I'm not sure why since it has many programs already and if they are that afraid of it they should just set it to the same profile as the GB5 off-9bar-off !!  It makes no sense to me.

Posted June 3, 2011 link

Maybe those "privileged" regulars knew about this fact but I don't... Thank you very much.

I also don't understand the reason why it is a "display" model and I am not sure he wants anybody to know it earlier so I just left it as "a surprise is in the shop too"... Since you mentioned so I can talk freely about the machine now.  If William is mad, I told him to read this post then.. :D

Paul_Pratt Said:

Over the years I looked at Tai Hang a lot since I lived there for a long time. A lot of the fantastic old walk-ups are gone already. We even came close to signing a space for a roaster there back in 2001 but it was too residential for it to work even with an afterburner.  To be honest re: those small cafes we should give them time to develop, I wouldn't venture inside without some strong recommendations.  Cafe Corridor took a long while to get up to speed and it was only really the 2nd time around that they started to get noticed.

Posted June 3, 2011 link

It is getting so cool now there's lots of customers at Unar after 9PM!!!  But I hope it does not get any further gentrification.

Well, I don't want to be untruthful to myself and others about what were in the cup when I had it.  Also, my opinion is also very contrast (pole apart) to those who wrote very positive comments on these places.  I think it's very misleading but that's just me.  As this is the place newbie is more likely to start his coffee journey due to nice decoration and approachable location, I like to remind them that it's at best a very very early step and the real things were just a stone throw away.  In my writing, I did stretch myself far and wide to mention some good thing about them, hoping they took this time to develop and this is all I can do.. But this is a coffee enthusiast forum, I just don't want to sugar coat it... Hope you understand... :)
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Paul_Pratt
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Paul_Pratt
Joined: 2 Sep 2002
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Location: Hong Kong
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Espresso: Marzocco SMAL + GS
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Posted Fri Jun 3, 2011, 9:34pm
Subject: Re: Places for Coffee in HK, Pearl River Delta
 

Dear Bob,

Also, William told me he was surprised too Johnson get Linea.

For what it's worth and if Johnson still remembered, I told him not to get GB5 as his requirement, consistent cups, does not need $$$ machine and Linea will be excellent.. To tell the truth, I still like cups pulled by Terry and Fiona from Linea until these days, my all time #1 HK espresso bar, and I don't see why they need to change... If it ain't broke...

There are a few things to note here. Since around 2005 almost 99% of machines sold in HK + Macao have been GB/5 or FB80. Maybe one or two lineas only.  I would be lying if I said the main reason was due to PID temp control, in part it is,  but it was heavily influenced with other internal components that come with a GB5 to reduce the workload of the follow-up service.

Terry and Fiona's machine is one of the old school machines with a PID which I did for them in 2005. You are correct that there would be a noticeable different in the cup since it has a different group to the GB5 and 80's.  Without going into details I believe it is not about temperature but about flow restriction and extractions producing a fuller bodied coffee, this is my own personal preference of group as well but many people would say the opposite and prefer the new group design.  Temp control is just one component if you ask me.

Anyway now we can push for a special machine for Coco using new components with the old school set-up. So let's wait and see.  I think they and the customers will be happy. His Astoria machine is actually also non standard machine as well. It is a HX machine but uses a custom order group design and HX system, different than a standard HX thermosyphon and much different than other CMA machines.  Very cool and I think it produces a very well rounded coffee.  

Maybe those "privileged" regulars knew about this fact but I don't... Thank you very much.

Actually HK + Macao have a lot of treasures hidden away.  In Macao you will find GB/5 number 5 or 6 I think, it was the very first GB5 exported for sale, the first 3 or 4 went to the WBC in Seattle in 2005. We got the first one, for Hofex in 2005.  I want to buy it back so I can't tell anyone where it is :)  Only Felix knows where it is since he and I installed it.  

I also don't understand the reason why it is a "display" model and I am not sure he wants anybody to know it earlier so I just left it as "a surprise is in the shop too"...

The Strada is quite intimidating since it is so full of gizmos. But it is possible to run it as a normal machine and not let it get the better of you.  To run it in full manual mode would be a big mistake in a shop if you ask me. The manual mode is for playing and experimenting, the customers would only get the pre-programmed versions.

Well, I don't want to be untruthful to myself and others about what were in the cup when I had it.  Also, my opinion is also very contrast (pole apart) to those who wrote very positive comments on these places.  I think it's very misleading but that's just me.  As this is the place newbie is more likely to start his coffee journey due to nice decoration and approachable location, I like to remind them that it's at best a very very early step and the real things were just a stone throw away.  In my writing, I did stretch myself far and wide to mention some good thing about them, hoping they took this time to develop and this is all I can do.. But this is a coffee enthusiast forum, I just don't want to sugar coat it... Hope you understand... :)

Yes I agree, this is what is missing in HK. So much fluff, talk and self proclaimed "experts" in HK - the truth hurts sometimes. But if it elevates things then everyone wins.   Even though I had a very very small part of the set up of Crema it was great to see Terry realise his dream (he was a coffee nut for several years before the shop) and the way they go about their business without much fuss or fanfare is brilliant and a lesson for others.
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boblam
Senior Member


Joined: 13 Mar 2011
Posts: 59
Posted Fri Jun 3, 2011, 10:51pm
Subject: Re: Places for Coffee in HK, Pearl River Delta
 

Wow!  Again, thank you very much for all the information and details.

I just came back from Coco Espresso and, while I had somewhat different cups from the one I had on Wednesday which I prefer, it's really steps upward from what I have had there over the years with Astoria, making me looking forward for an even better cup from Coco with a new machine coming soon.  Also, saw a VST 18 gram basket lie sort of hidden under the Linea...  :D Will be going to Barista Jam later today... :)

This is really an exciting time for coffee scene in HK, particularly after Moses Chan's TV program in 2009, allowing more interest and $ to easily come into the business.  For a micro level that I witnessed myself, customers came to Coco, have coffee and asks details on coffee and type of grinder, etc and the recommendation they get to go to specialty shops.  I felt really good as this is a good foundation for good cafes/coffee culture going forward so I hope it feeds each other, resulting in less struggle for any coffee lover to get a good cup of coffee in HK in the future, ie one just drops by a cafe, get a cup and it's good...

Again, thank you very much Paul for your time and post.  :)
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Paul_Pratt
Senior Member
Paul_Pratt
Joined: 2 Sep 2002
Posts: 303
Location: Hong Kong
Expertise: Professional

Espresso: Marzocco SMAL + GS
Grinder: Vulcano
Drip: Pourover cone works best for...
Roaster: Probat
Posted Thu Jun 9, 2011, 5:35am
Subject: Re: Places for Coffee in HK, Pearl River Delta
 

Bob we will test the Strada this saturday afternoon at BJ.  Nothing fancy just come down I think from 3:30pm onwards.

Paul
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