Miss visiting your local cafe? As measures put in place to limit the spread of COVID-19 have drastically reduced our ability to support local business, Hong Kong’s cafe industry has taken a massive hit.
But just because it’s not convenient to go out right now, doesn’t mean we can’t still support our cafes in other ways. We’ve put together a guide on how to enjoy your own coffee at home via six equally delicious homebrew methods.
Simply choose your favorite option, find out which manual brew accessories and supplies your local sells, and then purchase a bag of their beans to get started.
Without further ado:
Stovetop coffee is perhaps one of the simplest ways to make a great cuppa at home. It works by pushing steam from the boiling water in the bottom of a Moka pot through some coffee grinds sitting on top, which sits in the center. The Moka pot, named after the Yemini city Mocha, has been around since 1933 when Italian engineer Alfonso Bialetti created his first pot. Today, Bialetti continues to lead the market as one of the best Moka pots on offer. Pick up a pot from your cafe should they sell them, chat to your barista about the blend of beans you would get in your usual cup (and about having them ground), then head home and enjoy your new toy.
Perhaps one of the more internationally known old-school brew methods is the Cafetiere, known as the French press. The method was designed by Frenchmen Mayer and Delforge in 1852. To brew, simply add hot water to coffee grinds (with beans from your local cafe) and after two to four minutes push the plunger down to separate the coffee from the ground beans and voila: café. Many local brands have designed their own French press mugs starting at at HK$200.
Aero press is one of the more modern techniques for brewing coffee, thought up by Alan Adder in 2005. It works by by using hand pressure to push hot water through ground coffee. This method is better for those wanting a faster and more aromatic brew. Aero Press kits start from around HK$300.
Nespresso machines have long been responsible for improving the way we make decent coffee at home and in the office, but for what they make up for in efficiency, they often lack in flavor. Fortunately for us, the innovative folk behind Cupping Room Coffee Roasters recognized that. Not only have they taken two of their own unique blends: ATTABOY and Ethiopia BALE MOUNTAIN blend, and transformed them into capsules which work with Nespresso machines, but they’ve also done it in a completely eco-friendly way. The signature blends are encapsulated in long-life compostable pods made from a plant-based shell, which means they’re 100% biodegradable and even prevent unwanted oxidization. Roasted and readied in their Po Hing Fong roastery, a 10-pack starts at just HK$60, available for purchase in store or online at cuppingroom.hk.
The history of coffee in Vietnam dates back to 1857, when a French priest brought his own arabica tree to the country. The industry has evolved massively since then and today one of the most popular ways to drink it is by using phin cà phê or a phin filter, typically served either hot or over ice, with three heaped spoonfuls of condensed milk. This method is rather simple: add two tablespoons of ground coffee into the filter, which sits over a glass cup; add just shy of an ounce water; then let it sit for 30 seconds before filling the phin filter to the brim and covering it with the lid. It’s simple, delicious, and easy to experiment with by switching up the beans from your local cafe.
Perhaps the best method of them all, a fool-proof way to know you’re going to enjoy a great coffee, is to go with a cafe’s already made brew. From the likes of cold brew to something more unique such as Cupping Room’s flash-brewed sparkling coffee, premade coffee offers a safe and quality-assured way of enjoying coffee from our local cafes. At prices similar to coffee from an espresso machine, it’s an extra few dollars that will go along way in supporting your local.