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Chang94598
Senior Member


Joined: 24 Oct 2007
Posts: 213
Location: SF Bay Area
Posted Tue Mar 15, 2011, 9:54pm
Subject: Re: Coffee beans in Hong Kong
 

The kettle really just makes it easier to pour, and definitely not required. You can just pour with a $10 frothing pitcher.  The expert can pour by feel, but I cheat by placing the whole apparatus on a scale and pour by weight. Generally, 12g coffee and 200g water. If this is completed in about 3-4 minutes, if will give about 20% extraction rate.

The copper Kalita should not be used directly on the stove.

Another brand that is commonly found in Asia is Tiamo. I have seen Tiamo stainless steel coffee kettle in LA for only $29.  Although the stainless kettles can be placed directly on the stove, because the handles are plastic and the kettles quite small, if you use gas stove, the handles can sometimes melt if the flames touch the handle.  

For me at least, the Miniphon, or siphon in general, is not so convenient for travel due to fear of breakage, and most airlines will not allow flammable fuel on board. The gas burner is too big for the Miniphon. The Miniphon is just slightly larger than a Coke can, by the way.

The small butane burner can be found in the US at camping and sometimes hardware stores for about $50. If you can find a good deal in HK, it can be easily brought back to US, just don't fill it with butane. The butane fuel is easily found at most Asian supermarkets. The butane cannister is ubiquitously used for Asian hot pot and can be found for about $5 for three.

This item from hkcoffee.com (Landy's) is quite useful and inexpensive. I always wonder why it is not more commonly found in the US:

Click Here (freshcoffeentea.no-ip.info)

Hopefully you are enjoying your stay in HK! I miss the food there!
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boblam
Senior Member


Joined: 13 Mar 2011
Posts: 59
Posted Wed Mar 16, 2011, 7:17am
Subject: Re: Coffee beans in Hong Kong
 

Chang94598 and HLing, you're welcome

HLing Said:

It seems to me that the latest craze is just like the old ubiquitous melita plastic filter that fits over the cup...

Posted March 15, 2011 link

The latest craze should be Hario V60.  It's not the same as Melita but more akin to Chemex as there's a big hole in the middle vs. tiny whole at the bottom of Melita.  The resistance to water is much less so you need a "control pouring" device like the $$$ kettle that Chang94598 is talking about.

Also, for traveling, I would go for Aeropress+Coava DISK+Hario MiniMill.  You can try Aeropress+Coava DISK in Hong Kong at Barista Jam.
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HLing
Senior Member
HLing
Joined: 10 Dec 2010
Posts: 21
Location: NYC
Expertise: I like coffee

Grinder: Manual Stone Quern
Roaster: stove top cast iron pan or...
Posted Fri Mar 18, 2011, 8:59am
Subject: Re: Coffee beans in Hong Kong
 

(

Chang94598 Said:

...This item from hkcoffee.com (Landy's) is quite useful and inexpensive. I always wonder why it is not more commonly found in the US:

Click Here (freshcoffeentea.no-ip.info)

Hopefully you are enjoying your stay in HK! I miss the food there!

Posted March 15, 2011 link

I'm not sure what the 封口棒 is for? To seal coffee bags?
The Miniphon being such a miniature size is right away on my wish list! Didn't know it existed.  Also at the hkcoffee.com I saw the Belgium coffee siphon made by Modian (Click Here (freshcoffeentea.no-ip.info)) What is THAT about?!  Does it really work well, or is it not as adjustable as the simpler siphon?  Sure is beautiful to look at! (sorry, I'm not sure if the link I copied works, but from the description it sounds like an automatic siphon of sort)

I am enjoying HK street food! The zhong, the stinky tofu, the egg custard tarts, Choi Kee Spicy Crab (bi feng tang) where you choice the crab and have it cooked for you, the beef jerky, fried fish skins, Australian "easy open" Macadamias in the shells hard as rock but indeed easy open with the pre-cut shell and the handy little metal plate they provide....

Boblam, yes, I am using Aeropress + my own mesh filter + metal disc hand grinder.  The Coava Disk looked to me not porous enough.  During the Gift show in NYC in February I saw a possible mesh filter that might work for/with aeropress, from Kinto company. They weren't selling their sample, and was still looking for a US distributor, so I couldn't get one to try.  Theirs isn't just the filter, but is a 3-part ceramic coffee making set up. Have you seen it?
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Chang94598
Senior Member


Joined: 24 Oct 2007
Posts: 213
Location: SF Bay Area
Posted Fri Mar 18, 2011, 11:25pm
Subject: Re: Coffee beans in Hong Kong
 

Yes, it is used to seal a coffee bag. Works much better than the metal wire. But the coffee bag has to be made of plastic in order to work, and not paper bags. This item is also very useful to seal a bag of potato chips! Sometimes at the department stores in Asia one can find a bag of different assorted sizes.

I have not used the Belgium siphon; the apparatus certainly looks impressive and elegant.  The Miniphon sells for about USD$100 in the US. It is easy to carry and if you do get it in HK, be certain to purchase extra bags of filters.

The mantis prawns are delectable! Not to mention the roasted goose, stinky tofu, mango and durian dessert, etc, etc.
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boblam
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Joined: 13 Mar 2011
Posts: 59
Posted Fri Mar 18, 2011, 11:29pm
Subject: Re: Coffee beans in Hong Kong
 

That link is for sealing the bag.  You roll the bag down and slide this roll in to lock the bag.

HLing Said:

Boblam, yes, I am using Aeropress + my own mesh filter + metal disc hand grinder.  The Coava Disk looked to me not porous enough.  During the Gift show in NYC in February I saw a possible mesh filter that might work for/with aeropress, from Kinto company. They weren't selling their sample, and was still looking for a US distributor, so I couldn't get one to try.  Theirs isn't just the filter, but is a 3-part ceramic coffee making set up. Have you seen it?

Posted March 18, 2011 link

Thks for the comment.  I like this Coava DISK a lot and you should try it as it's difficult to try the real thing elsewhere.  Barista Jam in Sheung Wan is the place for Coava DISK in Hong Kong.  Not sure whether the link to outside will survive here but I wrote some of my experience a while back on the DISK... Here's the link.

Click Here (freshcoffeentea.no-ip.info)

In the meantime, you can do cafe crawl in this hot bed of Indie including Barista Jam, Coco Espresso and Soft Aroma.  Hit the openrice.com for more detail or you can try timeout.com.hk and cnngo.com Hong Kong website too for more info.
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Chang94598
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Joined: 24 Oct 2007
Posts: 213
Location: SF Bay Area
Posted Sat Mar 19, 2011, 12:13am
Subject: Re: Coffee beans in Hong Kong
 

boblam, why didn't you post earlier?  ^_^ Wish I knew about these places when I was there. *sigh*.  Please post more often to update people about coffee in HK!
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boblam
Senior Member


Joined: 13 Mar 2011
Posts: 59
Posted Sat Mar 19, 2011, 1:34am
Subject: Re: Coffee beans in Hong Kong
 

Haha... Chang94598. Take it as a good reason or something to look forward to next time you drop by in the area... :D

Besides, I thought these cafes/places should not remain secret any more with the proliferation of all media and interests in coffee worldwide...

Turn out I was wrong people still ask about how to get Indie coffee in Hong Kong so I finally decide to put up things that seemed to be known well among local enthusiasts.

If you could read Chinese, there's more local webboard to join like www.alvinhui.com and it should point to lots more places if one wants to find out more about local coffee scene which seemed to catapult after the TV series on coffee, sponsored by McDonald/McCafe (yes, you read it right), and starred by one of the local celebrities Moses Chan.

FYI, some of McCafe in Hong Kong used semi auto machine and the coffee is roasted fresh locally by Tsit Wing, a Singapore listed company.  It's a bargain to HK$12 for Cappuccino.  You just need to be specific with them a bit, ie warm, not hot milk (as local preferred hotter than hot) and no chocolate powder if you, like me, don't like those sugary powder thing on coffee.
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HLing
Senior Member
HLing
Joined: 10 Dec 2010
Posts: 21
Location: NYC
Expertise: I like coffee

Grinder: Manual Stone Quern
Roaster: stove top cast iron pan or...
Posted Sat Mar 19, 2011, 3:04am
Subject: Re: Coffee beans in Hong Kong
 

Chang94598 Said:

The mantis prawns are delectable! Not to mention the roasted goose, stinky tofu, mango and durian dessert, etc, etc.

Posted March 18, 2011 link

Oh yes, how did i fail to mention the roast goose?! That's been one of my main mission here since there just aren't any good ones in NYC. Even here, there are good ones and very good ones.  I always get it when in Shatin. Roast Goose Leg rice, (the leg costs $15 more). Praise House (which apparently has a branch in town) had the best one so far, but I'm not knocking the ones in humble roast restaurants either...Will have to get the mantis prawns, maybe from the Choi Kee spicy crab people?

Boblam, just last night, someone at Zambra gave me three places to go: Cafe Corridor, 18 grams, and Holly Brown.  At the time I was just thinking, that's strange, I hadn't seen anything about Holly Brown on coffeegeek forum, yet...and here you are!

Thanks for the Alvinhui link, also. Seems like someone on a parallet path as myself with manual camera, coffee, tea, martial arts, and food....!
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boblam
Senior Member


Joined: 13 Mar 2011
Posts: 59
Posted Sat Mar 19, 2011, 5:07am
Subject: Re: Coffee beans in Hong Kong
 

Zambra was also among the very first in the Indie field in HK, starting out by New Zealander in Hong Kong a long while back.  

Somehow over the time, they warped into Starbucks like on SO as they place their SO coffee on shelf of grocery stores with an 'expiration date' of up to 1 year.  Its espresso as it seemed to be OK if you don't mind Robusta in the blend (I'm quite sensitive to Robusta's taste and caffeine content).  The lead barista at Zambra, El Au, is now with Felix at Cafe Corridor.

18 Grams is Glory Coffee's cafe operation.

You didn't mention you want to know cafes, just the bean so I didn't put it all on as I think this may be for other topics.

Let me go a bit on local baristas

There's a Sydney, Australian based competition called Grand Barista Championship (GBC) sponsored by a local Indie over there called Danes.  Somehow, it caught some wind in Hong Kong much more than WBC.  Here's the list of top three winners of the Hong Kong chapter of this GBC for the past two years.

2009
  1.  Tracy Kwok (previously at Epoch, now at Holly Brown)
  2.  Kammie (at various places before finally landed as the current head barista/trainer at 18 Grams)
  3.  King Chan (previously Caffe Habitu - an Italian theme cafe chain in Hong Kong, Felix's cafe ezzensa and now at Holly Brown - this all happened over 1 year)

2010 - all barista at Holly Brown were not allowed to enter in 2010 GBC competitions
  1.  El Au (previously Zambra and now Cafe Corridor)
  2.  Aries Kwong (previously Cafe Corridor (I believe) now at Caffe Essenza in Kwun Tong, Kowloon)
  3.  Rachel Laib of McCafe- However, you can't get her coffee as she's a trainer at McCafe center.
  4.  Chris So Fan (previously trainer at McCafe now not directly involve in coffee related scene)

BTW, some local foodie had some not-so-kind words on these barista, saying they don't match any on a worldwide basis.  So, this is up to you to decide.  For me, this shows how local really wakes up to something decent, not sugary burned stuff served at chains and local 'teahouse' scene.
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HLing
Senior Member
HLing
Joined: 10 Dec 2010
Posts: 21
Location: NYC
Expertise: I like coffee

Grinder: Manual Stone Quern
Roaster: stove top cast iron pan or...
Posted Tue Mar 22, 2011, 7:15am
Subject: Re: Coffee beans in Hong Kong
 

Boblam, how do you know so much about the HK scene?! Thanks !  I never really start out asking the specifics because things always somehow unfolds and I'm just following whatever the thread leads me.  

So, in 2 days I've had a cup of siphoned coffee from cafe Corridor and 2 from Xen Coffee in Quarry Bay. While at Cafe Corridor, I was sent to Sogo to check out the Hario Miniphon. It's very cute, but not do-able at $920 (!) They're selling their TCA3 for $695. So why so much more for a mini?  Cafe Corridor's siphoned coffee was clean and full tasting, consistent the whole cup through. At Xen Cafe I had first a Nicaraguan Segovia (tasted chocolate) then a Tanzania AA (tasted smoky Chinese candied plum). I got to watch the Tanzania being made. Impressed and envious with the fancy light heating system they used for heating. Also realized that getting the miniphon might not be what I will stay with for long. because the TCA3 made one large cup just right for one person. Most importantly I got to watch the process and had a better understanding of how it works.  Back at the hotel I made some coffee using my aeropress. (not my beans but freshly ground with own grinder). Though I'm still impressed with the siphoned coffees I've had, I was reminded that the aeropress is still quite capable of a good cup of coffee, and that even if I might not be able to get a siphon this time, I'll still be alright. And, that my roasting technique needs work! (by the way, they had a small roaster there, too. so I guess some on-site roasting is going on)

Anyhow, I was all ready to go to Coffee Lab @ JUSCO Whampoa by taking the North Point Ferry to Hung Hom as the people at Xen Coffee told me that's where they have their supply of miniphon, and the small burner with a better surface, but I ran out of time and resources (I'm finding out that in HK no one will cash an international MoneyGram check). In any case, here's the info:

www.coffeelab.hk
Basement One, shop B5-07A Site 5&6, Whampoa Garden, Hung Hom, Kowloon +852 2960 1388. Info@coffeelab.hk.  
It says Coffee grading, roasting and cupping.
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