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The Best Of Hong Kong
Lifestyle News
By Joseph Lam | August 19th, 2016

Whether you’re a fitness junkie, a crazy workhorse or are just up early to beat the traffic and take your kids to school, a good cup of coffee can make the world of difference in the morning. Fortunately for us, there are a few spots around town waking up earlier than we do in order to serve us our morning pick-me-ups just the way we like them. And they’re all open before 9am!


Peel Street Espresso Bar

Peel Street Espresso Bar. Photo: Joseph Lam

Peel Street Espresso Bar is home to some great blends, with the likes of a piccolo starting at just $20. The menu isn’t too big but if you’re up for a snack, try grabbing one of the bagels available in plain, loaded with avocado or smeared with honey and pecans.
38 Peel Street, Central, 5503-6880. Open Monday-Saturday 6am to 2pm; Sunday 8am to 6pm.


Winston’s Coffee

Winston’s. Photo: Joseph Lam

A newcomer in Sai Ying Pun, Winston’s opened at the beginning of 2016. The Melbourne-style coffee shop makes a mean flat white, with a takeout counter for those on the go. The food menu veers toward health-conscious, featuring the likes of power protein balls, smashed avo and spinach sandwiches, and matcha egg tarts. In the evening, the coffee shop turns into a bar for those who are keen to try an espresso martini, craft beer or a negroni.
213 Queen’s Road West, Sai Ying Pun, 2559-5078. Open Monday to Sunday, 7am to 11pm.


R&R Bagels

R&R. Photo: Joseph Lam

Having opened just a month ago, R&R Bagels stemmed from two English boys’ love for a bagel. Following months of research, a food trip to New York and partnering with local chefs, they’re happy to launch their new premium bagel and coffee store, right in the heart of the city. Conveniently located in Li Yuen Street West, the quirky little all-white store is home to some serious bagel sandwiches, great coffee with beans courtesy of Allpress Espresso and some laid-back tunes, making for an all-round pleasant experience. Open as early as 7:30am and with free wifi, it makes for a great place to grab your morning cup of joe and do a little work while you’re at it.
28 Li Yuen Street West, Central, 2178-5168. Open Monday to Friday 7:30am to 5pm; Saturday to Sunday 9am to 6pm.


NOC Coffee & Roaster

NOC. Photo: Joseph Lam

This dim-lit, concrete-heavy design on Graham Street stemmed from Benny Leung and his partner, taking inspiration from the warm vibes of Australian coffee shops. Inside, there are two beans on offer: house blend medium roast and hand-drip light roast, which the pair make themselves at their lab in Yuen Long. There isn’t much on the menu for the simple fact that it’s a specialty coffee store. From Monday to Friday, NOC Coffee & Roaster also offers 20 percent off both the coffee and pastries between 7:30am to9:30am.
34 Graham Street, Central, 2606-6188. Open Monday to Friday 8am to 6pm; Saturday to Sunday 10am to 6pm.


Craft Coffee Roaster

Craft Coffee Roaster. Photo: Joseph Lam

Think of the up-and-coming little ‘hood of Tai Kok Tsui like Sai Ying Pun pre-MTR — so close to everything yet refreshingly far from it all. Craft Coffee Roaster has been quietly been doing business in this burgeoning district since 2013, serving up one of the best brews on either side of the harbor, with a constantly rotating list of global guest beans among the most impressive you’ll see anywhere. From 8:30am to 11:30am, there are discounts for coffee and breakfast deals, but if you’re not that peckish we recommend grabbing a slice of the lemon tart instead.
29 Tai Kok Tsui Road, Tai Kok Tsui, 2395-1888. (MTR Olympic Station.) Open Monday to Friday 8am to 6pm; Saturday to Sunday 9am to 6pm.


N1 Coffee & Co

N1 Coffee & Co
N1 Coffee & Co. Photo: Joseph Lam

Brought to us by the team behind Causeway Bay veteran Café Corridor (as well as Tin Hau’s Silly Boo), this Mody Road hangout looks like something out of Taipei, complete with a carousel horse hanging from the ceiling. While you’re at N1 Coffee & Co, grab a slice of banoffee pie with your awesome iced cappuccino or kicky long black in this little oasis of cool and calm in the thick of Tsim Sha Tsui.
34 Mody Road, Tsim Sha Tsui, 3568-4726. Open Monday to Friday 8am to 10pm; Saturday to Sunday 10am to 10pm.


Freshness Coffee

Freshness Coffee. Photo: Joseph Lam

Located up on Caine Road close to Ladder Street, you’ll find Freshness Coffee, a small cafe that has been doing business for around three years now. Inside resembles a vintage English-style teahouse with its bright colorful walls and old-school paintings and hangers. The house specialty is a lightly roasted handdrip, pour-over coffee. At Freshness Coffee, there’s an emphasis on working with beans from all over the world and over the last three years they’ve managed to work more than 200 different coffee roasters.
138 Caine Road, Mid-Levels, 9407-9392. Open Monday to Friday 8am to 6pm; Saturday to Sunday 9:30am to 6pm.


Cup of Joe

Photo: Joseph Lam

Tucked neatly into the ground floor of China Insurance Group Building, Cup of Joe is a small specialty coffee store that grinds beans from as early as 8am on weekdays. The menu ranges from double ristretto lattes to doppio macchiatos and even a peppermint tea. There are a few seats for anyone who’d like to dine in, as well as wifi and some morning coffee and bacon and egg sandwich deals from $68. In the past, there have also been a few latte art classes, so anyone looking to extend their cofffee knowledge should keep their eye on this place. Do note, cash only.

G/F, China Insurance Group Building, 141 Des Veoux Road Central, Central. Open Monday to Friday 8am to 5:30pm.


Smoko Coffee

Smoko Coffee. Photo: Joseph Lam

Smoko Coffee is a small grab-and-go coffee shop by Fortress Hill MTR which grinds beans from as early as 8:30am. “Smoko”, if you hadn’t heard, is Aussie slang for smoke break or short break, and that’s what owner Wing Yeung offers customers at her hole-in-the-wall on Wang On Road. After spending six years as a barista here in Hong Kong before taking a two-year working holiday in Melbourne (where she also worked as a barista), Wing decided to bring some Australian coffee culture back home. With the help of her mother, she also offers a few baked goods as well as ciabatta, croissant and bagel sandwiches (or should we say sangas?). With a croissant and coffee deals for just $55, it makes for a great place to stop by on your morning commute.
2-12 Wang On Road, North Point, 3956-9207. Open Monday to Friday 8:30am-7:30pm; Saturday to Sunday 10am to 7:30pm.


The Brew Job

The Brew Job. Photo: Joseph Lam

The Brew Job started life as an in-home coffee roasting experiment before later developing into a full-fledged roasting lab and specialty coffee shop. One and a half years after opening, the cozy little store in Tai Kok Tsui (just around the corner from Craft Coffee Roasters) is home to two competitive baristas, one of whom is competing in the World Brewers Cup. TBJ also supplies beans to a few different cafes around town. Inside you’ll find some funky options like an ovaltine espresso made with either the full-bodied or light-body roast as well as seriously good bagels and croissants.
46 Hoi King Street, Tai Kok Tsui. Open Monday to Friday 8:30am to 6:30pm; Saturday to Sunday 9:30am to 6:30pm.