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Places for Coffee in HK, Pearl River Delta
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boblam
Senior Member


Joined: 13 Mar 2011
Posts: 59
Posted Thu Dec 22, 2011, 7:32am
Subject: Re: Places for Coffee in HK, Pearl River Delta
 

The cafe above is now opened.  It's called The Cupping Room

Address: The Cupping Room, Shop 207, Stanley Plaza, Stanley, Hong Kong

A brand new café in the south side of HK, sporting the first high end espresso machine, Synesso, in Hong Kong and running by the first runner up of the 1st Hong Kong Barista Championship (HKBC) Derek Chiu.

The café shows lots of potential with superb cup clarity which is a trait from Synesso machine I had it in different setting, different locations in Taipei, Bangkok, Toronto and Hong Kong. Nevertheless, I expect the café will further improve with time on the back of the fine-tuning of its operations. Its house blend espresso was roasted by Fahrenheit Five Hundred, new here but experienced from elsewhere, particularly from the land down under. Overall, the house blend was good but was nothing special considering almost all cups I had from Synesso that usually showed some great ‘wow’ in the cup.

The cappuccino had no chocolate powder in there which is a good thing but the overwhelmed coffee tone kinda killed any milk sweetness that may be there in the cup and diverted most of the attention away from the texture of the milk; the high side within an acceptable temperature range of the drink won’t help much on the tasting note either.

On the day I visited, the competition blend Derek used to win 2nd in the HKBC was on offering and, to me, this is a better option for espresso with its intense peach/stone fruit forward tasting note and very sweet aftertaste, my favorite of the day.

Its filtered coffee program kicked up a notch from what Barista Jam started but not as far reaching as what Knockbox Coffee Company, IMHO the best HK café for the year 2011, in Sheung Wan offers on a daily basis. There were four coffee choices from three major coffee regions roasted by two roasters on that day, local roaster CoffeePro which boasts only high score beans in its current repertoire and Mojo Coffee, a renowned roaster from Taiwan. One can pick and choose various brew method including V60 manual paper drip, Aeropress, and French press or just leaves it to the barista himself to decide on the best possible bean and brewing methods for you.

Derek chose me CoffeePro’s Kenya Karagoto for my V60 manual paper drip coffee. It was at best just OK, very typical Kenyan cup with lemony overtone and some fainted spice/complexity toward the very end which, to me, is really flat and lagging vs. its pedigree, making me wonder why we need to pay this much for this bag of coffee after tasting the cup. Also, I think it has less to do with barista as he did brew my owned bean and it tastes the way it was supposed to be, distinct, intense tasting note with complexity and layers of taste. (Social Coffee Company’s Costa Rica La Montana COE #16).

There remained rough edges on the coffee and operations but also ton of potentials at the Cupping Room. Even at that stage on the day I dropped by 1 week after the Cupping Room opened its door, I consider the Cupping Room a highlight for coffee lovers if you happen to be in the Stanley area. With time, I have no doubt this café will improve considerably on the back of choice and superb equipment and the professionalism and enthusiasm of the operator shown to me during my visit plus the neighborhood that has a wherewithal to embrace good things in life and the purchasing power to match their heart’s desire.

More pictures and comments here
Click Here (www.hkcoffee.com)
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boblam
Senior Member


Joined: 13 Mar 2011
Posts: 59
Posted Fri Dec 30, 2011, 2:19am
Subject: Re: Places for Coffee in HK, Pearl River Delta
 

Pregio by Barista Caffe in Quarry Bay
G/F, 46 Pan Hoi Street, Quarry Bay, Hong Kong

- Much better than I expect, particularly on espresso and not bad for its siphon coffee.  This is the place I can enjoy coffee in the area and can suggest anyone to drop by if one is in the area.  

- The roast is on the light side which is to my liking and which I consider to be the current Indie style vs. darker roast I mostly found and I like this espresso blend a lot, the same blend used by 2011 Hong Kong Grand Barista Champion.

- Sunday afternoon is for coffee lovers with proprietor Chester Tam, well known among local coffee scene and media, preparing coffee which should include pedigree beans from his secret stash.
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boblam
Senior Member


Joined: 13 Mar 2011
Posts: 59
Posted Sun Jan 22, 2012, 1:52am
Subject: Re: Places for Coffee in HK, Pearl River Delta
 

Rabbithole Coffee and Roaster
2nd Floor, 26 Cochrane St., Central, Hong Kong.
11am – 7pm
http://rabbitholecoffee.com/
http://www.facebook.com/rabbitholecoffeeroaster
http://twitter.com/#!/rabbitholecoffe/

Rabbithole is the first serious coffee place that opened right smacked in Central, the central business district in Hong Kong.  Simple menu with three Single Origin coffee to choose from for now via various brew methods of espresso and "slow brew", a filtered coffee as we know of.

Limited selection of freshly roasted coffee but you'll be surprised how a generic coffee can taste like!!! More coffee will be introduced either via agent and farm direct!!!

Offers hand-on experience with combinations of coffee machine/grinder setup plus training you how to maximize the potential of the set from really passionate people in coffee.  

On espresso, there are various setups you can choose from such the fully tricked out automatic pressure profiling Synesso and Expobar and grinders from Eureka Olympia KR (low rpm), Anfim Super Caimano, Eureka Mignon (an OEM for Nuova Simonella MCF grinder in the US) for now which customers can choose which set they want to drink or try for espresso and you can contrast and compare on the spot, even try your hands on each setting) On slowbrew, choose from siphon, paper drip, Aeropress and cold brew.

Or you just want to chill out al fresco at the back of the shop with whatever coffee you order from the shop.

In all, Rabbithole Coffee and Roaster and Knockbox Coffee Company are like one two punch to all cafes in Hong Kong but in a very good sense.

Rabbithole stresses on machine and walk you through the usage in a great and convenient setting smacked right in Central, Hong Kong.

Knockbox offers tasting adventure in coffee far and wide, 'training' one's palate on the way to appreciate what coffee can actually offer

Together, they let people see things in a different light on coffee and, once back to the usual cafe, let them see thing in a new light and more on the place they frequent. All cafe needs to improve along the way and it benefits us all coffee drinker as a whole.!!!

I consider both Rabbithole and Knockbox cafes of the year of the Rabbit in Hong Kong (Knockbox is a cafe of the year 2011 for me.. :))

Both are must drop-by for any coffee lover either local or visitor to Hong Kong.  They are quite close to each others so it's convenient to drop by both to see what passionate and capable hk cafe can offer you.  Top of the list to visit and unconditionally and highly recommended for these two extraordinary concept coffee places in Hong Kong!
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boblam
Senior Member


Joined: 13 Mar 2011
Posts: 59
Posted Sun Aug 12, 2012, 7:23am
Subject: Re: Places for Coffee in HK, Pearl River Delta
 

News - Moving

Knockbox Coffee Company moved from Sheung Wan on the Hong Kong island side to Mong Kok in Kowloon.  The new address is

G/F, 21 Hak Po Street, Mong Kok

Hours: 10am-10pm 7 days a week!  Friday coffee gathering, a knockbox's signature coffee tasting, remains on from 6pm Friday onward!

Knockbox now joined hand with J'aime bien Patisserie, also artisanal bakery, to offer pastry and cake on site.  Sandwich should follow soon.  The move should allow Knockbox to share its passion on coffee with a wider reach to public than a more artsy people in its previously location.  

Also, Knockbox adds a direct trade program to its coffee offering which is now available for retail sales.  

The first direct trade bean is Nicaragua La Bendicion Pacamara Natural "Knockbox" Nanolot; I believe Knockbox is the first Indie roaster/cafe to do direct trade in Hong Kong.  

CoE coffee which Knockbox participated in the program as judge on site in Latin America, bid and purchased is expected to land in Hong Kong soon, also the first time for an Indie cafe from Hong Kong to go to this great length to participate in such a prestigious program.

At the opening night last Wednesday and the first Coffee Premier on Friday night, I saw familiar faces but the pleasant surprise is the coffee tastes much better at its new location.  Well, don't believe me, just go try it out!

Knockbox Coffee Company - a must drop by no matter where you are in Hong Kong if you are looking for quality coffee with a unique coffee experience.
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pstam
Senior Member
pstam
Joined: 27 Jan 2004
Posts: 2,349
Location: Beijing
Expertise: Professional

Espresso: ECM, SAN MARCO, EURO 2000
Grinder: MAZZER
Vac Pot: YES
Drip: YES
Roaster: YES, HOME STYLE
Posted Wed Aug 15, 2012, 7:02pm
Subject: Re: Places for Coffee in HK, Pearl River Delta
 

This year, I was been in HK for a day, and visited some cafes along with a local barista who used to be in the local coffee association.  For my experience of this visit, I went to about 5-6 cafes, and the espresso were almost all too much sour, but the body were very thin and the tastes were week.

I was told that they were following the Third Wave Coffee and prefer lighter roast for their sour tastes.

Then I went back to see what the Third Wave Coffee is and found that for the Second Wave Coffee, baristi play with coffee, while for the third wave coffee, coffee come to play with baristi.

Is that right?
Or, the coffee drinks are improved in this way?

 
Peter in Beijing
-------------------
http://www.kaffa.cn/
-------------------
I am looking for the way and the place to extend our trainning courses.
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boblam
Senior Member


Joined: 13 Mar 2011
Posts: 59
Posted Sat Sep 8, 2012, 7:44am
Subject: Re: Places for Coffee in HK, Pearl River Delta
 

For the meaning of wave, please try this one

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Third_Wave_Coffee

Over the past five years that I have been drinking coffee more seriously in Hong Kong and elsewhere I have been lucky never encounter 'sour' coffee.  

Just to deviate a bit, to my knowledge, the "sour" word in Chinese and some Southeast Asia language can be used to describe fruity, acidy or vinegary, etc but I would rather call the first two the way it is and the last one I will call it sour.

I think newer cafes increasingly focus on the taste of origin and will not go too heavy hand on the roasting.  I think it's more akin to Cantonese food which is on a milder side on taste and is cooked in the way to try to let the ingredient shine.  Whether this is an improvement for all, I am not sure.  But lots I know and I consider this is the coffee that we like.
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boblam
Senior Member


Joined: 13 Mar 2011
Posts: 59
Posted Sat Sep 8, 2012, 7:56am
Subject: Re: Places for Coffee in HK, Pearl River Delta
 

If you are in Causeway Bay, CENG!

If you are in Causeway Bay, it's worth it to drop by CENG (Coffee Engineering).  

The new coffee place in Causeway Bay with breath taking view from 21st Floor of Radio City building looking toward Hysan Place.  Should be great view at night and the coffee shop closed at 9:30pm weekday and 8:30pm weekend and holiday!

CENG is run by Reeves Chung, Licensed Q Grader and Sensory Judge for Hong Kong Barista Championship.  If you like barista with nice tattoo, you're in for a good one here.

CENG offers filtered coffee, roasted bean and coffee courses/training.  Espresso will come later once Mr. Chung finalizes his espresso blend.  I am very ok with both hand drip paper filter coffees via Hario V60 conical paper and Kalita trapezoid paper filter (ie Melitta type) and suggest you to try his artisan work in the cup if you are in the area!

The shop is small but very tidy with all the good coffee accessories.  For grinder, I saw Baratza Maestro Plus, Virtuoso, Gaggia and the cute and colorful Bodum at the store on the day I visited.

On the roast bean, one good thing about this place is that you can try all the bean they have first, then decide which bean you want to place the order as they sell the coffee bean roast to order. Then pick it up later. This kicked up a notch from what Fresh/hkcoffee.com lefts behind.

However, the problem is that Mr. Chung can't roast on site due to the building regulation so it will take some time for you to get the bean after placing the order, unlike Fresh/hkcoffee.com which you can wait 10-30 minutes for the bean, depending on the crowd at the time.

Coffee Engineering (CENG)
Shop 2101, 21 Floor, Radio City (Solo Building) -- close to Causeway Bay exit B
505 Hennessy Road, Causeway Bay
Tel: 6406 6144
M-F 12pm-9:30pm
Sat, Sun and public holiday 12pm-8:30pm

www.coffeeengineering.com
http://www.facebook.com/pages/CENG/448429651839051
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pstam
Senior Member
pstam
Joined: 27 Jan 2004
Posts: 2,349
Location: Beijing
Expertise: Professional

Espresso: ECM, SAN MARCO, EURO 2000
Grinder: MAZZER
Vac Pot: YES
Drip: YES
Roaster: YES, HOME STYLE
Posted Wed Sep 12, 2012, 1:22am
Subject: Re: Places for Coffee in HK, Pearl River Delta
 

In my eyes and minds, those coffee as so-called the third wave is not preferable to most clients.  Whether in HK and the mainland, they are not so good as expected.  In deed, there are many coffee people prefer a lot about them, but not the normal people.  It seems that the coffee is going to be enjoyed by the coffee people only, but escaping from the clients.  Probably after years, there will be the coffee for coffee people only, and only normal coffee is for the normal people.

 
Peter in Beijing
-------------------
http://www.kaffa.cn/
-------------------
I am looking for the way and the place to extend our trainning courses.
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boblam
Senior Member


Joined: 13 Mar 2011
Posts: 59
Posted Thu Sep 13, 2012, 7:21am
Subject: Re: Places for Coffee in HK, Pearl River Delta
 

Thank you for your comment.  There are always different market segments and that's the beauty of it.  Whether the third wave coffee is good/preferable for most clients, leave it to the market.  I believe the market for the third wave/origin appreciation is now growing, not stagnant or decline.
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boblam
Senior Member


Joined: 13 Mar 2011
Posts: 59
Posted Thu Sep 13, 2012, 7:40am
Subject: Re: Places for Coffee in HK, Pearl River Delta
 

Hong Kong Barista Championship 2012 - Final result (September 12, 2012)

Contestant/workplace
  1.  Derek Kapo Chiu/The Cupping Room, Stanley
  2.  Dawn Chan/Barista Jam, Sheung Wan
  3.  Wong Pak Chuen/The Cupping Room, Stanley
  4.  Kris Wang/Cafe Golden, Shek Kip Mei
  5.  Bosco Tai/Foodgears Coffee & Beverage International Limited, San Po Kong
  6.  Herman Chan/Coffee Academy & Roasting Studio (Caffe Habitu group), Causeway Bay

Derek will represent Hong Kong at the World Barista Championship 2013 in Melbourne, Australia.

Congratulation!

Official announcement here:
http://event.hkcoffee.org.hk/HKBC-Finals-Schedule/
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