Coffee in Hong Kong / by Jessica Lee

Today was a pretty lucky day for me- I'll get around to why later.

I went to check out the coffee shops around Hong Kong.

At first, the coffee shop I originally wanted to go to was closed on Mondays. (These things usually happen to me- shops I always want to go to will be closed- I can recount so many times this has happened.)

But it turned out it was good that the shop wasn't open that day, because I discovered another coffee shop. And they recently opened, it turns out.

I discovered Rabbithole (that's what they're called) while walking up the mid-level escalators in Central. The location is really neat and lets you people watch.

But of course, something more interesting was going on inside the shop that day.

They were having a photo shoot!

I think a magazine or blog was featuring the coffee shop because there was a guy to take photos and another guy to ask questions.

And because of the press, they took out all these fancy coffee-making machines besides just espresso machines. That in the picture up there is a siphon. The photo below looks like a French press, though I don't know for sure. The silver metal plate thing is a thermometer I think. Baristas, can you help me out?


I have no clue what the below machine is, but everyone looks like they're having fun.

I also got to talk to a Danish gentleman there who happened to be a coffee aficionado. I told him I was going to Australia in my travels next, and he confirmed that the coffee scene there is thriving, which makes me excited.

But here comes my favourite part (and also explains all the cups of coffee at the top picture): because they had press over and maybe because they are a pretty new shop, they made lots of samples and I got to taste test a couple of them (for free)!

I discovered that the Kenyan brew was a little too acidic for me. The Ethiopean roast was way too strong for me. (It has to do with how they brew it as well)

This is their menu and everything you can order from them:

And this is the mocha I originally ordered:

I also have to point out the lay-out of the place. It's quite ingenious.

It is open concept, and they serve you in the middle.

And this is looking out:


Taking a closer look at the view:


And this is what it looks like if you happen to like drinking your coffee while poking your head out.

Doped up on caffeine, I headed out into the world again to Causeway Bay and did some errand shopping (this is what I call shopping for essential items like my hairdryer, as well as gifts for loved ones).

Afterwards, I wandered around looking for a coffee shop I had read about in Wallpaper guidebook.

I did not expect to be wandering around 2+ hours however, as I kept getting lost- however, I got some good photography out of being lost (will show in a later post).

What I wanted to do was "stumble" into this coffee shop, called After School Cafe. I wanted to be like "oh, I was in the area and I discovered your hip little coffee joint" when I walked in.

No such thing happened as the place was terribly hard to find. (I wandered to the same mall three times before even finding the street this place was on)

However, when I finally got there, it was worth it.

1. The entrance is shared with a furniture store, and you have to walk to the second level to get to the shop.
2. You have to ring a doorbell for them to let you in.
3. There is no sign on the outside that even says this coffee shop exists! You have to know the exact address.
4. They were "closed" on Mondays as well, however...

...the guy who owned the place saw that I was a tourist and he probably appreciated the fact that I searched long and hard for his cafe. And he was also there working on his things as well.

So he welcomed me in.

All you design fans, prepare your eyes! (The guy is an interior designer, which is why the place was so cool.)

One side of the cafe is the barista's studio (since he is also an interior designer), but take note of the little school desks and chairs at the back!

Theatre seats! (And my Hong Kong guide book and map haha)

This is what the bar looks like (with my cappuccino):

And a close-up of my hazelnut cappuccino complete with tiger-striping:

This looks like an ordinary exercise book...


But it actually is a menu!

I stuck around to doodle in my new sketchbook.

And this is what I came up with:

It is my interpretation of Hong Kong. It is buildings and buildings and buildings.

The barista and I had a little chat at the end, he thought I was half Japanese!

He also told me about all the things you can do in Hong Kong. At the end, he wished me luck with my travels.