Hong Kong Hustle: Coffee Shop Hopping at Jervois Street

I didn’t get to have all the coffee that I want back in Hong Kong but I took note of the interesting cafes that I saw while strolling around the area. Hopefully, they’ll be of help for you as well! 

Most of these are found at Hong Kong Island – in Sheung Wan, Wan Chai, and Causeway Bay. Hopefully, this list will grow – because I’ll definitely go back soon! Maybe a lesson or two from the Coffee Academics… and an overcaffeinated vacation…

Ah! One can dream…


 

IMG_5513The Coffee Academics 
38 Yiu Wa St, Causeway Bay
+852 2156 0313
10am – 11pm

IMG_558818 Grams Specialty Coffee
77 Wing Lok St, Sheung Wan
8am – 7am (I’m not sure if this is serious tho lol)

IMG_5590VEYGO Coffee
Kai Fung Mansion, 2-24 Jervois St
Sheung Wan
+852 2205 1011
9am – 10pm

IMG_5591Catfe
85 Jervois St, Sheung Wan
+852 3590 2686

IMG_5592Fetch Coffee
109 Jervois St, Sheung Wan

IMG_5595Backerei Cafe
G/F Western Market, Sheung Wan

IMG_5602Agnes B. Cafe L.P.G.
17-19 Yun Ping Rd, Causeway Bay

IMG_5675Rabbithole Coffee and Roaster
3 Landale St, Wan Chai
+852 2528 0039
7:30am – 8pm

IMG_5692Barista Jam
126-128 Jervois St, Sheung Wan
+852 2854 2211

IMG_5694Cupping Room
LG/F 299 Queen’s Road Central
Sheung Wan
+852 2799 3398

IMG_5695Corner Kitchen Cafe
226 Hollywood Rd, Sheung Wan
+852 2547 8008

IMG_5697Caffe Habitu
Hung Hom, near HK Polytechnic Uni

 

Starbucks Reserve

I guess when I started working the night shift, my coffee habits really shifted. I drank my usual Iced Americano at night like a milk night cap, and lost of juices (and sometimes alcohol) in the morning. But I couldn’t pass the opportunity when Starbucks Reserve opened in the neighborhood.

20140514-094014.jpg The signature “Reserve” signage by the door gives it away

The third wave movement must have caught up with the big coffee chain, and I am glad! Contrary to others who would scoff at this latest addition to the already awesome caffeine fix Starbucks gives, I am actually glad that I have more options in the metro. Again, just couldn’t pass up.

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So off I went with my friend Nica to check what’s in store. I found two familiar blends – Sumatran Blue Batak (which I previously raved about in Kuppa) and Ethiopian Yirgacheffe. About time to try something new again, I thought. So what else is in the Reserve menu? Nica had the Mexican Finca Nuevo and I with a big mug of Zambian Peaberry from the Terranova Estate. Oddly enough, my African coffee tastes a lot like the Asian Batak. Hmmm, untrained tongue, more coffee. I thought.

20140514-094028.jpg I love that they are adapting to changes! They did a really nice pour over.

It’s the morning and I should be working on getting sleep, but what the heck. I sipped through my mug and felt the brown liquid down my throat and enliven my nerves. Alas, I was alive. I knew I would’t be getting my sleep any sooner.

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Starbucks Reserve at Burgos Circle, Bonifacio Global City

Coffee isn’t bitter. It tastes just like coffee, that’s it.

A little digression — sorry, my blog has been on maintenance for a couple of days, but now I’m back! And I have a lot to share, being the oversharer that I am, hihi.

Now on to coffee! I’ve been fascinated with coffee ever since I know how to pull off all-nighters and watch movies til early morn. It aided me into long exams, long phone calls (don’t ask), dating (ehem, not a V-day post, please), enduring entirely painful meetings, and that bitchy board exam. Dawdling sleepless zombie in Manila that I am, yes I appreciate the kick and high from a nice brew.

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But a nice brew when you are young is one that’s full of milk and sugar. That trendy Frappucino, which I still like. Or lattes, which are the bane of my waistline. Oh, in days that the wallet just can’t spew any more dough, Kopiko works. Highs and lows. Anything but the bitter black brew. Once I tried downing a shot of good ol’ espresso shot and my heart has never burned like before. I won’t even pretend that I liked it.

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But coffee is an odyseey, as my queen of a blogger deity said. It’s a journey, and it will definitely come a time when you will like coffee for its truest form. No it isn’t bitter. Or isn’t all bitterness. Coffee is a spectrum of flavor. Delicate flavor, that is. I’ve come to learn that different brewing styles fit for different people. There are A LOT of things to consider too, like water temperature, beans, and equipment. It’s actual food science, and art – involves a lot of experiement and creativity.

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I’ve learned how to drink appreciate my coffee black, just recently. I’m not one to pretend like an adult and try to gulp coffee without any sugar. But I’m pretty sure, that like other coffee lovers out there, that a nice brew is just ain’t a good cuppa. I started to cut down the cream. Then the sugar followed suit til a teaspoonful is still sweet for me. Thanks to Commune (and the internetz) and my last teaspoon of sugar is down.

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Now, I’ve been hearing a lot about pour over coffee. It’s almost ceremonial and puristic for me, that I never tried it myself at home. My go-to coffee brew is one that comes from a humble French press and I love it. So when the barista from Commune offered this, I overstayed my welcome at the counter and watched him prepare my drink. It was love and respect that I felt over coffee as I see it brewed in the most delicate manner, at least for me.

20140211-091443.jpg Ros, my friend, former boss and now owner of Commune, used to tell me to learn how to drink my coffee black. And I now do! Ain’t you a proud momma, Ros?

A pour over brew, as I learned, relies on the control of the infusion of beans. The speed by which hot water goes through the coffee affects the taste and acidity. Apparently these grounds from Mt. Matutum, South Cotabato has a sweet finish without sugar. It starts like how all cups start – it’s a bit bitter and acidic, and there’s the bold familiar flavor – and then the sweet finish. It’s weird because I have not tasted coffee like this and it really makes a good cup, not just nice.

I think, Joe Bean Coffee Roasters from Rochester, New York explains best why pour over coffee gives you a different coffee experience. And Joe is smokin’!

If you had done pour over coffee at home, tell me your experience in the comments below!

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