Part of arguably Hong Kong’s finest coffee outlet, 18 Grams, The coffee Roastery Lab is a place for experimentation, a place to try new brews and extraction methods, a place that should provide amazing coffee.
Located in Johnston Road Wanchai, the Coffee Roastery Lab has the look and feel of an old school coffee joint, rough tables at the back and a bar section that overlooks the front counter and not much else. Spread throughout the space are different reminders that 18 Grams is a speciality coffee house, lots of different bean options and coffee making paraphernalia abound.
The place does feel a little tired though, and while they offer free wifi, it’s not a spot that I’d feel comfortable for too long – kind of place where I’d get my hit of caffeine and then go.
Coffee machine is the Opera from San Remo, a complex machine designed by Sasa Setic and John Gordan, former world and UK barista champions. There are a vast array of grinders including Mythos One, K30 and IK43. The equipment is set up for play!
There is also a coffee roasting machine on premises, so you can get in and check out the roasting process.
The Coffee Roastery Lab roast their selection of beans on sight. Sourced from Guatemala, Kenya and Rwanda, the team look to secure organic beans from around the world.
The Roastery Lab is a place where you must expect something a little different. The team have a machine that is capable of testing out new techniques and a range of grinders that should give the perfect grind for each style.
The problem with so many options and such complex equipment, is that it’s easy to get things wrong and I found that this was the case with my first coffee from the Coffee Roastery Lab. Presented in a tall glass, my latte was a little over extracted and had a slightly burnt flavour. The beans used had a slightly sour taste, almost slightly fermented. It felt as if the beans were slightly acidic and the coffee lost that sweetness that I love so much.
I ordered a second, takeaway coffee as we left which was completely different. It was almost too sweet, the coffee was under-extracted and had no body or depth of flavour. Unusual given the group’s normally amazing coffee.
Where: Johnston Road, Wanchai
Visit: I’ll stick to their Sheung Wan outlet