[Hong Kong] The Telegraph listed Hong Kong’s The Coffee Academics as one of the world’s best coffee shop. A mean feat considering this speciality coffee shp is considered new, launched 3 years ago in 2012. (Updated: A review of the new Coffee Academics Singapore is available here.)
There are 5 cafe outlets now – the flagship at Causeway Bay, Wan Chai, Tsim Sha Tsui (Harbourcity), Repulse Bay and Morrison.
My female hipster friend added Repulse Bay branch is the best, “Leng zai barista, scenery piu leong, iced drip serves in wine glass. So class….”
The first time I stepped in The Coffee Academics at Wanchai, complete with its woody industrial chic décor, I thought, “This coffee place means serious business. The name itself means serious business.”
On the flipside, the other word screams out… Hipster.
From selection of coffee origin, roasting method, blending proportion to cupping, the café attempts to provide an outstanding coffee experience, complete with well-trained baristas and state-of-the-art equipment.
I have been to this branch a few times, because Wanchai has an easier-going vibes, with a neighbourhood surrounded by indie cafes.
The choice of seats does affect the coffee-drinking mood. At the counter you can interact with the in-house baristas, though during peak hours they get too occupied and straight-forward in their communication.
My other favourite spot is the window counter seat, when you can have a viewpoint of the hurried streets, people-watch (some extremely fashionable) urbanites in Hong Kong.
There is also an adjacent cupping room where Master Baristas hold private tastings to bring coffee-lovers on a flavour education and journey.
The menu consists of small plates such as Crab and Avocado Salad (HK$78), Curry Fries with a Trio Dip of Honey Mustard, House Smoked Ketchup and Curry Mayo (HK$58) and Savory Pie (HK$48).
I remember eating a similar Uji Matcha Cake (HK$42) with smooth layers of chocolate and matcha mousse at caffe HABITU, and realised there are sister companies. Though somehow that very cake looks and tastes fresher over at HABITU.
There is an extensive selection of coffee, and the cuppa does live up to its name – balanced, velvety smooth, and specific with 30ml espresso and 65-degree steamed milk for a Mocha.
Many will like its coffee, while some may still think the cafe is too overrated or ‘hipster’ – whatever that word means now.
The Coffee Academics
35-45 Johnston Road, Wan Chai, Hong Kong (Wanchai Exit A3, next to Southorn Mansion)
Tel: +852 2154 1180
Opening Hours: 8am – 10pm (Mon – Thurs), 8am – 11pm (Fri), 9am – 11pm (Sat), 9am – 9pm (Sun)
Causeway Bay – 38 Yiu Wa Street, Causeway Bay, Hong Kong (Flagship)
Tsim Sha Tsui – Kiosk 1, Level 2, Gateway Arcade, Harbour City, Tsim Sha Tsui, Kowloon
Repulse Bay – Shop No. 108, Level 1, The Pulse, No.26-30 Beach Road, Repulse Bay, Southern
Morrison – The Morrison, 225 Wanchai Road, Wanchai