Venture away from your usual latte with one of these unique coffees!
Hands up if you’re a little bit obsessed with coffee? That would be all of us at Team Sassy. Whether it’s a strong shot of espresso to get you going in the mornings or a flavourful afternoon latte, coffee is definitely one of our favourite beverages. If you’re a coffee aficionado looking to spice up your regular shot of caffeine, then why not experiment with one of these unusual brews? Here are four out-of-the-ordinary coffees to try in Hong Kong. Happy drinking!
There’s nothing else like the Nitro – this light roast, single origin, twice-filtered coffee is ‘cold brewed, nitrogenised and kegged’… phew! The Nitro is served like a beer, looks like a beer, but tastes like the smoothest coffee you’ve ever had. With creamy foam on top and a rich, fruity flavour and aroma, I enjoyed every sip. If you find coffee too acidic or are a self-acclaimed coffee snob, you’ll love the Nitro.
Cupping Room Central, G/F, 18 Cochrane Street, Central, 2511 3518
Cupping Room Sheung Wan, Shop LG, 287-299 Queen’s Road Central, Sheung Wan, 2799 3398; www.facebook.com/CuppingRoomHK
This one’s for the health foodies – an iced soy latte blended with coconut oil, cacao (raw cocoa) and banana. This vegan coffee joint uses premium Bonsoy from Australia; creamy, nutty and not at all grainy, this is the only soy in my opinion that works with coffee. Not a fan of soymilk? Ask for almond milk instead. The Monkey tastes like a banana-choc coffee milkshake (bonus that it’s good for you), and the coconut oil has a lovely, well-rounded feel that lingers in the mouth and leaves you feeling satisfied. Prefer your coffee hot? Try one of Mana Café’s signature hot coffees, like the ‘Coco’ latte with cacao butter or the ‘Mono’ latte with coconut oil (both $50).
Mana! Café, Sheung Wan, 8 Tai On Terrace, Pound Lane, Poho, Sheung Wan, 2347 8555; www.mana.hk/cafe
Milk Foam Coffee at Gong Cha ($24 – Medium; $30 – Large)
This is coffee is died-and-gone-to-heaven-good. My first visit to this Taiwanese tea and coffee chain was for the purpose of finding a cheaper coffee in the 852… I’m not 100% sure what’s in the melt-in-your-mouth milk foam on top – it’s Gong Cha’s secret recipe – but whatever it is, it’s magical. Thick, creamy and frothy, sweet and slightly salty. Before putting your straw in, you’re meant to poke a hole in the lid and suck some of the foam out; then stir with your straw so the foam mixes through the milk. Once you reach the bottom you get to slurp up the remains of the foamy goodness for one more hit. Another thing I love about Gong Cha is that you can choose your level of ice and sweetness; I go for the ‘no sugar’ option for some bitterness and to counteract whatever’s in that heavenly foam…
Gong Cha Central, G/F, 23 Li Yuen Street East, Central 2537 0138
Gong Cha Tai Koo, Shop L006, G/F, Aeon, Kornhill Plaza, 1 Kornhill Road, Tai Koo 2569 8669; www.gong-cha.com
The ‘Matcha’ at Hazel & Hershey ($45.00)
Okay so not exactly a coffee I know, but matcha lattes are very in vogue. They’re also a great antioxidant-rich coffee substitute if you’re trying to cut back on your caffeine intake, and matcha still has a little caffeine, just in a gentler dose than coffee – so you’ll still get a pick-me-up.
Traditionally served as a ceremonial tea, matcha is a unique, artisanal green tea that’s much smoother and less astringent than your usual green tea. Unlike the matcha lattes at the more commercial coffee joints in HK (full of syrup and artificial colours), Hazel & Hershey’s olive-green matcha is legit; with a balanced savoury and subtly sweet flavour, it pairs perfectly with the full cream milk. A clean, green drink, you’ll feel healthier just looking at it.
Hazel & Hershey Central, Shop 3, 69 Peel Street, Central, Hong Kong , 3106 0760; www.hazelnhershey.com