There are parts of Sheung Wan that still feel a lot like old Hong Kong and walking through the streets to find Barista Jam was like straddling the old and new. If you didn’t know where to go, it would be easy to get lost looking for Barista Jam, but luckily I was visiting with one of their regular coffee addicts.
Located on Jervois Street and next door to a recently vacated space that was being (loudly) renovated (with jackhammers) on the day of our visit, Barista Jam occupies a small space that has only a few seats available. A fairly eclectic space, there are plenty of signs that these guys take their coffee seriously, from the paraphernalia on the walls, to the coffee machine sales display room up the rickety old stairs.
Unlike many coffee outlets around Hong Kong, Barista Jam is a unique spot that has not (yet) franchised or opened extra outlets. It means that they have a focused approach to coffee.
A la Marzocco Strada three group head and a smaller la Marzocca GB5 espresso machine as well as a huge Mazzer Super Jolly grinder.
Arabica beans sourced from Nicaragua, Brazil, Ethiopia and Indonesia provide an interesting mixed blend that teases contrasting fruity and nutty flavours.
I was surprised that our lattes were presented in mugs as opposed to cups and aesthetically they looked a little strange. There was a medium acidity that had light fruity notes but there was a lack of body which left a slightly thin taste on the palate, signifying a lack of balance. I did love the aroma, which had that distinctly noticeably roasted coffee smell. The milk was the perfect temperature and helped bring accentuate the sweetness of the medium roast.
We also had a drip coffee with single origin beans from Indonesia that was extremely well made and had very strong fruity notes. The black coffee was very smooth and had no real bitterness and was therefore very drinkable.
My takeaway coffee was nicer than our mug sized lattes (large) with a better balance of flavors and much richer body. It was a small latte, so my main thought was that it had a much better extraction. It’s possible the larger mugs either needed an extra shot, or were slightly under extracted.
Where: 126-128 Jervois St, Sheung Wan
Cost: Nice and competitive
Visit: If you’re in the area only