There is a tiny little coffee joint that I walk past almost every day on Queens Road East Called ‘The Coffee Shop’. It’s almost always empty, which is generally a sign that coffee lovers should not ignore, but today I did. Curiosity got the better of me, so I decided it was time to give the little shop a go.
The Coffee Shop HK is tiny, barely enough room for standing but they’ve managed to jag a few bench seats along one wall that would cater for a couple people to drink in. I love the simplicity of the shop, which has a Keith Haring style mural along one wall that matches the fire engine red espresso machine that takes pride of place.
Photos of Audrey Hepburn drinking coffee, along with other photos of coffee adorn the other wall, all combining to create a vibe that’s perfect for the ‘corner store cafe’. I wondered why I never really saw anyone buying coffee when I’d walked by.
A lovely fire engine red La Marzocco FB80 two group head machine and a huge double La Marzocca swift grinder.
With two options, a premium single origin from Costa Rica and a blend comprising of beans from Brazil and Indonesia.
The signs were good, the Barista ground up the beans directly into the group head to ensure a fresh grind. Fresh cold milk was poured into the jug and the temperature was measured by hand.
My small latte was presented in a small white cup with no markings and looked OK, although the latte art was a little sloppy, without a clean presentation of a heart. There was a nice fruity aroma coming from my coffee, which ended up being the only real positive.
There was a very sour flavour from the latte, which was not helped by slightly overheated milk, so any natural sweetness was cooked out of the brew. There was an ‘armpit’ taste to the coffee that signified an overly fermented bean that had little acidity and almost no body to speak of. The sour taste was all pervasive and lingered on the palate for quite a while.
I did not finish the coffee and went hunting for another coffee to fulfill my morning caffeine intake.
**Next Day visit. My second cup was considerably nicer than my takeaway. It started with a light nutty aroma that was quite inviting. The milk was again over heated and as such lost a lot of that natural sweetness, impacting the coffee somewhat. There was a burnt caramel flavour that bled to a fruity aftertaste, but unlike my first coffee, didn’t have a sour taste and was much more palatable.
If the milk had been the right temperature, then this could have been a great cup of coffee.
Where: 136A Queens Road East, Wanchai
Cost: Quite Expensive ($46)
Visit: Only if desperate for a hit