[Hong Kong] With the local population being more tea drinkers than coffee ones, it may be easier to grab a morning cup of milk tea than a good cup of latte.
That said, it is not impossible to find good coffee in Hong Kong. The café culture in Hong Kong is growing vibrant as brick n mortar coffee shop brands are expanding and opening more outlets.
18 Grams is one such example.
Started as a small espresso bar in Causeway Bay, it has now flourished to 6 cafes and 2 coffee stands.
One of the branches of 18 Grams Speciality Coffee is located in the cool neighbourhood of Sheung Wan, which is an area dotted with cafes aplenty.
Previously located at Wing Lok Street, 18 Grams closed that outlet about a year ago and moved round the bend to Hillier Street. Apparently it has got something to do with rising rental costs – not uncommon here.
It is not by coincidence that good coffee is served at 18 Grams.
Coffee beans are sourced from all over the world and roasted in-house according to the individual characteristics of the beans. It is through studying the beans, the optimum temperature, and the milk to coffee ratio that 18 Grams prides itself on.
The cosy café is able to seat about 16 people indoors and it was actually full when my companion and I got there.
Batches of well-heeled working class crowd were dropping in for their morning coffee perk me ups and leaving, to be replaced by a fresh new batch of more working peeps.
Service was pleasant and the wait staff patiently explained the difference between the various coffee blends. I enquired about the “Red Velvet Latte” (HKD51, SGD8.50), on the menu since it sounded interesting.
Waitress said she couldn’t guarantee that I will necessarily love the taste but assures me it is definitely instagram-worthy. I ordered a “Large” cup of instagram-worthiness and it was actually not bad.
The cup wasn’t sweet or tasting like a slice of cake like I had imagined but more of a smooth latte with an interesting aroma to it. My European companion, who adores her coffee, had a sip and approved of it too.
I noticed a few other interesting concoctions like Cappuccino Vienna, Bailey’s Mocha, Coffee Whisky Sour and Nutella latte – definitely will try one of those on my return visit.
They serve All Day Breakfast here (as well as in all their cafes, except the coffee stands) and it includes hearty breakfast items like Caramelised Banana Bagel with Peanut Butter, Truffle and Eggs Toast and classics like Smoked Salmon Croissant.
I ordered a Smashed Avocado Egg Benedict (HK108, SGD18.50) – a pair of poached egg benedict on multigrain toasts smeared with avocado. When the plate arrived, one egg was less runny than the other – I wondered why.
Also felt the toast could have more avocado, other than that, the food was overall enjoyable but it was their delicious coffee that wowed me.
With the absence of a full-fledged kitchen, the food menu is limited to a single page menu but enough variety to cater to most taste buds.
I didn’t know it beforehand but apparently there is an early bird menu if you order before 10.30am.
The early birds get to pick from a list of breakfast items at a discounted price as well as enjoy 50% off coffee beverages.
18 Grams is definitely on my go-to list for good coffee and pretty decent all day breakfast. For that same price point I dare say it is the better one out of the other more popular café joints in the same area.
18 Grams Speciality Coffee
1-3 Mercer St, Sheung Wan
Tel: +852 23275557
Opening Hours: 8:00am – 6:00pm (Mon-Sat), Closed (Sun), Last orders 2:30pm – 9:30pm
Other 18 Grams Branches:
18 Grams Causeway Bay – Unit C, G/F, 15 Cannon St, Causeway Bay
18 Grams Roastery Lab – 10 Johnston Road, Wan Chai
18 Grams Mongkok – 12 Kwong Wa Street, Mong Kok
18 Grams Langham Place – Langham Place Shopping Mall, Shop 01A, Level 12,
8 Argyle St, Mong Kok EXIT C3
18 Grams Times Square (Coffee booth in CitySuper) – B2, Times Square, Causeway Bay
18 Grams TST (Coffee booth in CitySuper) – Shop 3001-G (Minor Portion), Level 3, Gateway Arcade, Harbour City, 3-27 Canton Road Tsim Sha Tsui, Kowloon
* Written by DFD’s Hong Kong Correspondent @kara_the_explorer , who is the Singaporean “tai tai” living the foodie dream in Hong Kong. Additional photos by @DanielFoodDiary. Daniel’s Food Diary paid for food reviewed unless otherwise stated.