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HLing
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HLing
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Posted Sun Feb 20, 2011, 10:55am
Subject: Coffee beans in Hong Kong
 

I'm about to spend a month in Hong Kong living in a hotel room. During my prior visits 5, 6 years ago I hadn't paid much attention but since then I've started my coffee journey from stone grinding the beans to home roasting. I will be bringing an aeropress with me.  I believe that Hong Kong hotels have water kettles in each room (please tell me if I'm wrong here). I'm not sure what I should do about grinding, whether to bring the Zassenhaus -imitation or not.  Even if I brought my own beans though, I'll probably be out in 2, 3 weeks.   So, could someone local (or well-travelled) tell me if there are reasonably (priced) good beans to be had in Hong Kong, and if so, where?  Any additional advise and suggestions much welcomed!  Thanks!
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Chang94598
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Joined: 24 Oct 2007
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Location: SF Bay Area
Posted Sun Feb 20, 2011, 8:58pm
Subject: Re: Coffee beans in Hong Kong
 

See previous HK coffee discussion here:

"Update on HK Coffee Scene"

Do try Landy's/hkcoffee.com. The coffee is roasted with a Mini500 and you can purchase as little as 100g of freshly roasted coffee. Most Asian hotels have electric kettle in the room. The Zass Turkish grinder is compact, but rather heavy. The Hario Slim or Kyocera are even more compact.

I recently have been using just filter paper over a mug, without even a filter cone, like this:

Click Here (www.home-barista.com)

Most people would wonder why without even a cone. Not only it is compact, the coffee bed can be about 3cm to promote tasty extraction, and the filter paper is not abutting the cone to increase resistance to flow.
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HLing
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HLing
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Posted Mon Feb 21, 2011, 7:20am
Subject: Re: Coffee beans in Hong Kong
 

Thank you Chang94598 for your reply, and especially nice to have answer from someone with the same last name as my own!

Landy's sound perfect, since I will be in Wan Chai. Though I don't know Hong Kong well enough, thanks to that last post in the link you provided, I was able to see a map of the various places to go for coffee.  

My Zass imitation is a open hopper one.  Not too heavy with the light wooden drawer.  I see that you are in San Fransisco. So you probably can see it in the Hong Kong Supermarket (or equivalent) in the Chinatown there.  It does seem that a grinder is a must, and so I will bring it.

I'm curious about your filter cone -less method.  Could you explain "...the coffee bed can be about 3cm to promote tasty extraction..." ?
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Chang94598
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Posted Mon Feb 21, 2011, 9:02pm
Subject: Re: Coffee beans in Hong Kong
 

Generally, for drip coffee, the coffee cake should be about 3cm. Imagine a hypothetical situation. If the coffee cake column is 100cm, the coffee at the top will be over extracted, and the coffee at the bottom will be under extracted. At about 3-4cm, the extraction will be just about palatable in 3-4 minutes.

The filter cone provides resistance to filtration, in addition to the coffee cake. There are several interpretations to filtrations. For example, the Hario V60 has a single hole, and the Abid, Melita or Kalita has several different openings. The various ridges on the filter cones allow the liquid to flow down. Why not just eliminate the cone? By using a simple paper filer without a cone, the major variables to flow are the filter, coffee cake, and weight of water and gravity. The bitterness is significantly reduced, not to mention its simplicity.

hkcoffee.com appears to sell several coffee items that are difficult to find in the States. For example, paper Hario siphon filter and adapter, drip kettle, and hand grinder. A 51mm espresso filter is also much cheaper. Hong Kong is quite convenient with the MTR, similar to NYC, but much safer, even at night, not to mention the excellent food and numerous Michelin rated restaurants.
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HLing
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HLing
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Posted Mon Mar 7, 2011, 8:30am
Subject: Re: Coffee beans in Hong Kong
 

well, I've been in HK for a week+ 2 days now.  Have not made it to Landy's yet. I've been boiling water in my hotel room and hand grinding the beans I roasted just before coming here. For water I got the 5 Litre bottle of Mineral Water. I didn't bring the Zass imitator, but instead am using a manual  "herb grinder" , and aeropress with my own double layers of skimmer material.  At this point I'm less happy with the plastic kettle that the hotel provides: It leaves a bunch of white dusts in my cup, with the water!  I sometimes start coughing when the cold seat breaks out. The tea kettle has the exposed heating unit, which isn't ideal.  I'm not sure where I've NOT looked, but can't find a nice simple economic one around where I am.

I did make it to Zambra a couple of nights ago. The barista was able to make me a lungo that's (to me) rich tasting.  Fine place, with food that is nourishing like individual chicken pot pies, Sandwiches in ciabatta rolls, even some bagel sandwiches. I had a light and flakey beef and mushroom triangle. The ground beef was fluffy and not greasy tasting, the crust is pretty amazing, too.
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tahoejoe
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Posted Sat Mar 12, 2011, 9:24am
Subject: Re: Coffee beans in Hong Kong
 

I'm in HK a a fair amount so hope this helps.

Just down the road from Wan Chai in the Causeway Bay area, on Cannon Rd is a little shop called 18 Grams ( http://www.18grams.com/). The shop is owned by a wonderful young couple who also have their own roastery called Glory Coffee which supplies other shops in Hong Kong. Glory coffee is located in Kwon Tung.

They are passionate about their coffee and espresso.

I've been travelling to HK for business now going on 10 years and finding a decent cup was difficult if not impossible. I now can enjoy a great machiatto, epsresso or coffee by merely hopping on the MTR or Star Ferry depending upon where I'm staying. The other day I was in Tung Chung (by the airport) and the trip took 45 minutes. It was worth every second to have more than a few great machiattos.

I should also note Glory Coffee gives full training seminars on pulling espresso, home roasting and more..

ps.. Gloria also makes a brilliant homemade banana bread that goes very well w/ the machiattos

 
REMINDER: Never leave the roaster unattended when in use !!   And remember to use our Rosetta Stone tip PART V PARAGRAPH 3.. it works !!!

www.behmor.com

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Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Behmor-Inc/214061212036763#!
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HLing
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HLing
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Posted Sat Mar 12, 2011, 8:02pm
Subject: Re: Coffee beans in Hong Kong
 

Thanks Tahoejoe for the info! "18 grams" seems quite close to me at Gloucester rd, so maybe I can even walk over there today! Have you any thoughts on Cafe Kennon?

Just so happen that I've been curiosity about a Hario Syphon MCA 3 that I saw at Wing An Market this week. It's not within my budget, but I wanted to learn more about it.  So yesterday I went to Landy's in North  Point.  The first thing I see when I walked into the little shop was some coffee being had from a syphon about the same size as the Hario. Went on to learn a lot about how this method lets you taste the original flavor of the coffee. I tasted apricot before I knew what was what. They say yes, peach -like.  Found out the bean was Ethiopean Yirgacheff, lightly roasted.  Also found out how detailed the method can be for the syphon regarding temperature and timing. It's one thing to read about all this, but being there added another dimension. Continuing on  solutions for hotel room coffee making I was also shown a now discontinued drip machine, the Princess, and lamented how it seems that the "good" always gets discontinued for one reason or another.

The education continues....
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boblam
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Joined: 13 Mar 2011
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Posted Sun Mar 13, 2011, 6:11am
Subject: Re: Coffee beans in Hong Kong
 

Updated June 2, 2012

This is as far as I know:
  1. www.hkcoffee.com: Probably the most friendly for retail customers with the most variety to choose from.  It is a custom roaster that caters to order as low as 200g (not 100g anymore) each; custom in a sense you can specify your roast level.  It roasts the bean to order only so freshness of the roasted bean was really regarded as the gist of its business.  Its location and English language proficiency are probably major weaknesses.  Try Saturday afternoon where coffee lovers flocks to the place and some will be able to help you on that.  BTW, this is a roaster so don’t expect decoration and things to be fancy on this off the beaten track for tourists.  Apart from the bean itself, you can try various stuff they carried on a hand-on experience.  If you decide to buy any gear from them, they make sure you really know how to use it well.  hkcoffee.com also helped setup the roasting facilities and handpicked the roaster for Rabbithole Coffee & Roaster, a top Hong Kong coffee place that is a must drop by, with a slightly different profile though both coffee are good on its own.  ***The first roaster in Hong Kong to be rated and published by Ken Davids' coffeereview.com at outstanding scores of 93 point for its Sumatra Permata Gayo and 92 points for its Ethiopian Yirgacheffe Koke Espresso*** - a must try if you are in Hong Kong!
  2. Fahrenheit Five-Hundred www.f500.co:  Peter Law brought with him experience from roasting coffee in Melbourne to add another dimension to Hong Kong coffee scene.  A Q-Grader himself, the coffee is available from the website and at Espresso Alchemy, its cafe in Quarry Bay.  The single origin espresso blend is not to be missed.  To my understanding, the first to use Giesen roaster in Hong Kong (same as Social Coffee Company in Richmond Hill, Ontario, Canada)
  3. Perfect Cup http://perfectcup.com.hk/index.htm: Chester Tam, a well known coffee instructor on the local scene, embarked on the roasting side.  The coffee is used at Barista Caffe in Tsim Sha Tsui, Pregio in Quarry Bay and lots of cafes that learn coffee from him around town.  Pregio also boasts the blend that was used by the winner of the 2011 Grand Barista Championship, a must try.
  4. www.glorycoffee.com: Previously from Sydney, Australia, Glory is run by coffee lovers and is relatively new to Indie coffee scene in Hong Kong but over time, the quality of its coffee develops in a lightning speed.  Apart from roasting the coffee on a Diedrich for mostly wholesale market, it has two cafés in Hong Kong in a prime location of Causeway Bay (think Time Squares) on Hong Kong and Mong Kok on Kowloon side.  To me, retail coffee buyers may fine it not as convenient to get coffee as hkcoffee.com and less of a hand holding that hkcoffee was renowned for but the English should not be a problem here.  Aussie oriented classes on coffee are offered here too.
  5. www.coffeeassembly.com Run by Felix Wong since early 2000.  Its shop in Central offers roasted bean of your choice via hottop.  In addition, you can get some blend from all of its establishment/café run by Felix including coffeeassembly in Central, Café Corridor opposite Time Square in Causeway Bay and Caffe Essenza in Kwun Tong on Kowloon side
  6. The Blend Of Danes: Click Here (www.openrice.com) Run by Craig Jackson, this training center of Danes from Sydney imported coffee from its headquarter in Sydney, Australia.  So this is exactly one of the coffee Aussie in Sydney drinks.  I heard the stock was kept relatively fresh within one month while some local foodie hailed it as the best espresso in Hong Kong.
  7. Crema Coffee Click Here (www.openrice.com) To me, this is the best espresso bar in Hong Kong.  They roasted Monsooned Malabar coffee and one can get the roasted bean at a reasonable price.  Don’t forget to try its espresso.  Sublime!
  8. Caffair:  The establishment was related to Paul Pratt and Eddie Lai currently roasted his coffee on Probat.  Not quite easy to get the bean for retail but they do offer the roasted coffee via email.  If time is crucial, you can get its roasted coffee at barista Jam in Hong Kong which was run by William, moved to Hong Kong about 1 year ago with seven years of running an espresso bar n Sydney.  A coffee fanatic with ton of technical knowledge.
  9. www.xencoffee.com : Run by A Q Grader, Dixon Ip.  This is an indie syphon bar in Quarry, the east side of Hong Kong.  Apart from roasting for their own usage with hottop, they offer some for sale too.
  10. www.kitamuracoffee.com:  One of the pioneer in Indie coffee scene in Hong Kong since early 2000.  Most green coffees are from Japan which implies quality and prices.  Also, lots of accessories for drip coffee lover much more than just V60.  To me, a darker roast profile overall and Kitamura san keeps her roasted bean in the fridge.
  11. Holly Brown http://www.hollybrowncoffee.com/.  This is a cafe with the roaster on site, opened the door almost 9 months ago with lots of fanfare.  Holly Brown is staffed by award winning and experienced barista which were lured away from other Indies in town.  I let you read the website for all the qualifications.  The coffee was more on the traditional style.  Think Italian but fresh as it roasts all of its coffee on site right in the middle of central business district in Hong Kong and sells some SO and blends too.

Enjoy
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Chang94598
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Joined: 24 Oct 2007
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Location: SF Bay Area
Posted Sun Mar 13, 2011, 5:42pm
Subject: Re: Coffee beans in Hong Kong
 

boblam: Thank you for the detailed post on HK coffee. I will definitely refer to your post next time I am in HK.

HLing: If you read Chinese, this blog has been the most informative on siphon coffee. It is not regarding time, temperature, but when to stir:

Click Here (tw.myblog.yahoo.com)

Notice the pictures regarding bubbles. I have not used the MCA3 siphon, but only the Hario Miniphon. Generally, a straight top vessel is easier to stir and observe the different layers. For this reason, the TCA "may" be easier. I have heard of using the TCA3 top vessel in combination with the TCA2 bottom, but I don't have the TCA3 to confirm.

Anyway, the Hario TCA3 and others are available in the US and thru Avenue18 in Canada. In HK, the price may be lower. Yama is also available at lower cost in Asia. Because it is glass, it may not be convenient to carry it back to the US.

A siphon that gets good review and not available in the US is Kono. The price is quite more than Hario or Yama:

http://www.coffee-syphon.co.jp/

Another neat item that is not available in the US is the Kalita kettle:

Click Here (www.kalita.co.jp)

As boblam mentioned, if you have spare time, spend it at hkcoffee at North Point. There is not equivalent experience in the US.
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HLing
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HLing
Joined: 10 Dec 2010
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Location: NYC
Expertise: I like coffee

Grinder: Manual Stone Quern
Roaster: stove top cast iron pan or...
Posted Tue Mar 15, 2011, 6:36am
Subject: Re: Coffee beans in Hong Kong
 

Thanks Boblam for the detailed list and information!  I will have to comb through it slowly..and before I know it, it will be time to go back to NYC!

Chang94598, I do read Chinese, though not used to some of the usage of words. It seems quite interesting, but I think the key might be where he says that it will take a thousand(s) times to start to get a handle on how it all works.   At Landy's the man was explaining to me the importance of the temperature for the siphon, which is why he doesn't use candle because it gets too hot, rather, he uses a little gas lamp filled with lighter fluid, and turned on to the barest simmer, and doesn't put the top part in until the temperature is about reached..(which seems like a very risky thing to do). He didn't go into the part about stirring, yet.

I did see the Kalita Kettle at Landy's. Do you put that directly on the stove?

Am I to assume the Hario Miniphon is even smaller than the MCA3? That would be even more convenient for travel. I wonder if it's ever possible to be made out of something less breakable than glass and still work well?

It seems to me that the latest craze is just like the old ubiquitous melita plastic filter that fits over the cup... and that those Kalita kettles and the likes remind me of the common plant watering pots with the special shape spout....
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