Mrs Cosy and I, plus an increasingly large bump (the expectant Cosy junior), had the excellent luck to be able to head to Hong Kong and Taipei for a long-overdue holiday. It was our second trip to Hong Kong – our coffee taste buds have matured since the first, and so has the region’s coffee scene.
The ‘umbrella’ protests had started to wane, though they remain, with hopes of safeguarding the democratic prospects of this Special Administrative Region of China. As for us, our first coffee stop was the very good Barista Jam in Sheung Wan, a region of Hong Kong Island.
Also in Sheung Wan, with branches elsewhere, the small chain of 18 Grams is a well-established player in Hong Kong’s coffee scene. My flat white was very good.
Our favourite coffee spot, however, was Knockbox Coffee in Kowloon, the varied and bustling region over on the peninsula. Though a little on the snobby side (no decaf, no soy, no different size, no syrup “because that’s how coffee should be”), there’s no doubting the quality of the coffee. The very friendly staff also offered the pregnant Mrs Cosy a free banana (we left a good tip to compensate!). Read our full review of Knockbox and see photos.
Manson’s Lot in Wan Chai is worth a visit, though we didn’t think much of the atmosphere or service. Back on Kowloon-side, N1 Coffee in Tsim Tsa Tsui is excellent. In Central, Studio Cafe on the first floor of the Bo Concept store, is ok for coffee, but the main draw is the pleasant outdoor terrace.
The final place with visited is called Cuppers, in Stanley Plaza. Stanley is a town towards the south of Hong Kong island, a slightly disappointing place (in my opinion) with ex-pat bars lining the promenade. Cuppers, however, is excellent – surely by far the best coffee in town.
There were a number of coffee shops we wanted to visit but didn’t have the chance, including The Cupping Room (Sheung Wan), Common Ground (Central), LoFlo (Central), Rabbithole Coffee (Wan Chai), Coffee Academics (Wan Chai), Craft Coffee (Olympic), Soulmate Coffee (Kwai Hing), Caffe Essenza (Kwun Tong) and Accro Coffee (Yuen Long).
Of those, Accro Coffee, up in Yuen Long in the New Territories, is the most intriguing – it specialises in syphon coffee, for which it is renowned internationally.
In terms of chains, avoid Pacific Coffee. Holly Brown is a better bet.
We could only scratch the surface of Hong Kong’s coffee scene, and have the distinct impression we missed out on a few gems. It’s not hard to find decent coffee, though, as ever, it’s harder to find something outstanding. Knockbox was the closest we got on this occasion.
The best coffee in Macau
We popped over to Macau for a day – a intriguing and terrific place well worth a visit. Our one coffee stop was Terra Coffee House, which was fantastic. The owner says there is only a very limited speciality coffee scene in Macau – he reckons just four coffee shops are serving decent pour-overs. One day hopefully we’ll go back to Macau to seek out the other three.