Omotesando Koffee is hard to pronounce the first few times you say it out loud, but what’s not hard to do, is consume what could be Hong Kong’s best coffee. Located conveniently in Wanchai’s Lee Tung Avenue, the hip coffee joint moved from it’s original location in Omotesando Japan by owner Eiichi Kunimoto after the original location closed after five years of operation.
Starting as a simple pop up, its fanatical approach to perfection proved a perfect recipe and the pop up made way for something much more permanent. That was until its original location, an ageing house, needed a significant renovation and Eiichi decided to close the iconic store instead.
Japan’s loss however, is Hong Kong’s gain. Omotesando is quite possibly perfect! The approach the baristas take to coffee mimics the fastidious and almost obsessive approach that is common in Japan. This is a serious place for serious coffee, evidenced by the minimalist approach to the interior – there are no distractions here; it’s just about the coffee.
Bare concrete floors match bare concrete walls and beech table tops that remind one much more of an Apple store than a coffee house. Each of the chairs in the shop hide neatly away, building on the completely minimalist approach to the design.
Two La Marzocco Strada arranged in special pods over two levels and Anfim espresso grinder; beautiful and serious equipment.
Sourced from all over the globe, including Brazil, Ethiopia, El Salvador, and Indonesia, then roasted in Japan before making their way to their outlets. Omotesando has a focus on a meduim dark roast and currently has two offerings; a fruity blend and the house blend, which is more nutty and earthy.
Omotesando Koffee is a place for serious coffee lovers. The first thing you notice when visiting are the very long queues and the quiet determination of the local Wanchai residents to secure their cup of coffee heaven. When you finally get inside, you’re either directed to the upper or lower section, where one of the La Marzocca machines are operated by highly skilled baristas, who’ve clearly been trained well.
Each coffee is made to order and such is the precision of the baristas, each shot of coffee is weighed to ensure the correct amount of ground coffee is in the group head. A short burst of heated water cleans the way, before the group head is inserted and the amber fluid slowly drips into each cup. Hot steam blasts into a freshly cleaned milk jug and just the right amount of milk is heated to the correct temperature of around 65 degrees.
Of course, each of the baristas have mastered the skill of the pour, heart and rosetta patterns are the norm.
Each of the coffees I’ve had from Omotesando have been been just about perfect, my favorite being the house blend with its natural nutty and earthy flavour hitting the right note. If there is one element that lets Omotesando down is that the already small lattes are poured a little short; something that irritates me somewhat.
Short pouring aside, Omotesando provides my weekend coffee fix; a happy coincidence that it’s only a minute away from my apartment!
Where: Shop no24-25, Lee Tung Avenue