Annie Wong and Callum Wiggins scout out Sai Kung’s best coffee that won’t break the bank. Additional reporting by Kristy Wong.
Little Cove Espresso
Coffee ordered | Signature house black coffee
Price | $23
Bean origin | A blend of Kenya Kijiji, Brazil Santos and Indonesia Medaling
This quaint Australian-style coffee shop in Sai Kung opened in October last year and has proven to be a top spot with the locals. With floor to ceiling glass doors, an open feel and the use of wooden furniture, Little Cove Espresso oozes a sense of warmth and familiarity.
The house blend aims to give coffee drinkers a balanced cup of coffee with a mix of bitter, sour and sweet notes. The sour and bitter tones in the signature house black coffee are particularly strong in the first sip so if you are a new coffee drinker, opt for a white coffeethat uses the same blend of beans but with more prevalent nutty and sweet flavours. Nevertheless, Little Cove Espresso is a great spot for a relaxing afternoon in Sai Kung Old Town.
Open daily from 7.30am-6pm. G/F, 34 See Cheung Street, Sai Kung, 9423 1655, www.instagram.com/littlecove.espresso
Head Barista Cassic Chan shares her secret to a great coffee… “It’s actually a public secret in the barista club. I am still exploring how to make a good coffee, and I believe coffee is a form of art. You need to feel passionate and communicate with the coffee and the coffee making process. It’s an ongoing experiment.”
Five Coffee Company
Coffee ordered | Flat white
Price | $38
Bean origin | A mixed blend of beans from El Salvador, Guatemala and Ethiopia
Located on Hoi Pong Street is Five Coffee Company, a small café dotted with retro neon signs, blackboards and brass book shelves creating a modern (read hipster) vibe. It is a tight squeeze with limited seating, however, a plus is their outdoor bench which adjoins the interior allowing natural light to come through. The flat white is milky with sweet notes, but the taste of the coffee remains, making it a good option for new coffee drinkers or those who prefer a sweeter coffee.
G/F, 3 Hoi Pong Street, Sai Kung, 2613 1010, www.facebook.com/fivecoffeecompany
Co-owner and barista Ah Lam shares his secret to a great coffee… “There are many factors affecting a cup of coffee and ultimately, making it a good coffee or not, like water temperature and pressure, the beans and so on. It takes time to perfect.”
Classified Sai Kung
Coffee ordered | Cappuccino
Price | $35
Bean origin | Graffeo’s dark 1935 house blend
Classified is your run-of-the-mill café and with ten locations across Hong Kong, it has become a reliable spot for your morning caffeine fix. All staff are trained to use the coffee machine and the Graffeo’s house blend is used in all Classified coffees and across all Classified branches. The cappuccino has an overly sweet, dark chocolate taste which overshadows the taste of the aromatic coffee beans. You can expect Classified to make a consistent cup of coffee.
Open daily from 8am-midnight. 5 Sha Tsui Path, Sai Kung, 2529 3454, www.classifiedfood.com
Supervisor Babu shares his secret to a great coffee… ‘It comes down to good training and good use of a trusted product, like Classified’s Graffeo’s dark 1935 house blend.’
Coffee ordered | Shaken iced drip coffee
Price | $70
Bean origin | A mix of Brazil Santos, Columbia, Ethiopia
Away from the hustle and bustle of Sai Kung is BEI Coffee and it’s not your usual coffee house – there is no white coffee on the menu. The café has several artistic elements, which take inspiration from owner Michael Mak’s experience and travel to Japan and these transcend into every cup of coffee he makes. Mak’s passion is obvious with the display of his equipment and his way of approaching coffee.
Coffees are recommended based on the customer’s mood, how regularly they drink coffee, and what tastes they prefer. Coffee is not served with milk or sugar at BEI Coffee. Open from 10am-11pm. G/F, 3 Sai Kung Tai Street, 2791 5278, www.facebook.com/bei.coffeekan
Owner Michael Mak shares his secret to a great coffee… “A great coffee comes from the heart. Everyone says they know coffee but you have to understand the elements of making a coffee – how it’s done and why it’s done in a particular way.”
Coffee to your door
Newly launched startup, Coffee and Tales, offers a coffee subscription service, where coffee drinkers and lovers alike can discover Hong Kong’s finest artisan roasters and their story. Customers can choose from three plans, based on their consumption level, starter ($160/ month; 12 cups of coffee), regular ($230/month; 18 cups of coffee) and addict ($285/month; 24 cups of coffee). Each month, two types of freshly roasted coffee will be delivered to your doorstep. Deliveries happen on the last Monday of the month. www.coffeeandtales.com