Text by Ken Coseto
Photos by Kelsey Cheng
Coffee is a staple in every city nowadays. The lifestyle associated with coffee, however, isn’t. In 17th and 18th century Europe, cafes were social hubs where artists and writers would conceive their creations and socialites would spend the day to engage in conversation concerning politics or the latest imports from the New World while sipping carafes of smooth individually prepared coffee.
With the commercialization of coffee, a cup of Joe has become an integral part of the lives of the younger generation, even in the primarily tea-drinking island of Hong Kong. Because of the proliferation of international coffee chains like Starbucks, Pacific Coffee and McCafe, young Hong Kong citizens have gotten used to the ready-brewed lattes in the morning or on a midday break while discussing the latest office gossip, the weather or who’s seeing who.
Hong Kong Café Culture
Hong Kong Café Culture is growing, and islanders are not just appreciating coffee, but studying it and creating their own cafes where young denizens come to discuss their new start-up, personal writing projects or thoughts on the latest in art and film. These new breed of coffee shops have turned the act of drinking coffee from one that started out in Hong Kong as quick and convenient to mornings, afternoons and evenings of leisure and discovery.
Here are 10 coffee shops in Hong Kong where can not only sip great coffee and have a nice meal, but converse with the baristas or read a good book (and take great photos).
Imploring to bring in the relaxed West Coast lifestyle to the rushed city of Hong Kong. Lof 10’s minimalist and Zen interiors embrace a feeling of relaxation. You can spend the whole day soaking in the calm quiet while nibbling on some All Day Breakfast.
Address: 1 U Lam Terrace, Sheung Wan
Hours: Everyday 10AM until 7PM
Located in a hidden dead end in flourishing hipster-like Sheung Wan, Café Deadend is a welcome respite isolated from the hustle and bustle of the city. A seat outdoors surrounded by the clean urban garden with a nice cup of coffee and renowned pastries (served on earth-friendly pizza cartons) is the ideal environment for creative productivity.
Address: 72 Po Hing Fong
Hours: All days except Mondays from 9:30 AM until 6:00 PM
Stepping into Café Corridor feels like walking into someone cool’s apartment; bags of coffee artfully decorating the room and a rain of photos tacked to the walls. Café Corridor, with its understated yet loud interiors, simply asks for conversations about art, the weather or how good the coffee is.
Address: G/F 26A Russell Street, Causeway Bay
Hours: M-T 8AM to 10PM. F 8AM to 11PM, Sat 10AM to 11PM and Sun 10AM to 10PM
The Coffee Academics
The team at The Coffee Academics aims not only to serve good coffee but also educate their customers on the ins and outs of the bean. The chic earthy interiors cultivate a medium of efficiency to start a business or work on that long-held project.
Address: 223-227 Wan Chai Road
Hours: Everyday 9AM to 9PM
Elephant Grounds stands out; the façade of green and wood is an anomaly among the concrete buildings on Causeway Bay. The team behind Elephant Grounds is a force in the growing coffee culture on the island with friendly baristas willing to explain the meaning of single origin and demonstrate the proper preparation of espresso.
Address: 11 Gough St.
Hours: M-S 11:30AM until 9PM, Sun 12AM to 7PM
The Cupping Room
An import from Australia, The Cupping Room is a fitting location to work on your passion projects with a cup of flat white and an eggs benny. It’s no surprise that The Cupping Room is where tons of entrepreneurs kick back on weekends and swap ideas.
Address: Shop LG, 287-299 Queen’s Road Central
Hours: M-F 8AM until 5PM, Sat-Sun from 9AM to 6PM
Caffe Habitu aims to bring coffee culture that’s truly Italian to the Hong Kong market, friendly, lively and one that sparks conversation. The team behind Caffe Habitu utilizes social media to invite spark to their cafes and even hold live events like art workshops and flower making sessions.
Address: many locations, you’ll just run into one
Hours: Various Opening Hours
Agnes B. Café
An extension of the Agnes B. brand, the French coffee bar Agnes B. Café invites social gatherings where one can chill with an iced coffee and flavorful pastry. If you’re lucky enough to get a seat, you’ll notice the air of lively relaxation, a good laugh or a spark of an idea over a soft French playlist.
Address: Shop 3002-05, Podium Level 3, IFC Mall, 1 Harbor View Street, Central, and a lot more
Hours: Everyday 9:30AM until 9:00PM
Common Ground nurtures its concept of “Global View, Local Root” with a Western design but local sensibilities. The team of Common Ground aims to bring together whether it be to educate coffee lovers about coffee or art-centered events and film screening. Common Ground is about sustaining a culture.
Address: G/F, 19 Shing Wong St. N/A Central District, Hong Kong
Hours: Everyday 11AM to 7PM
Winstons Coffee is open all times of the day, serving coffee as a morning pick-me-up and cocktails as a perfect nightcap. The Winstons Coffee sign appears like a blockbuster in an old movie theater as it invites a crowd. It’s not uncommon to find tons of people with a drink in hand engaging in lively debate even until the late of night.
Address: Fu Kwok Building, 213 Queen’s Road W, Sai Ying Pun
Hours: Mon-Sun 7AM to 11PM