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Photograph: Ann Chiu

11 cafés that serve locally roasted coffee in Hong Kong

These hip coffee shops are full of beans – and they’re all about the roast

Written by
Time Out Hong Kong
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It’s no wonder this city never sleeps given the abundance of excellent coffee shops and cafés on seemingly every corner of Hong Kong. With all this choice, the real connoisseurs know that no matter how good the latte art is, it’s the freshness of the roast that counts. We thought you might like to know which brew houses care about the flavour and freshness enough to source locally roasted beans, or for full flavour profile control, roast their own. That’s why we’ve put a list together of where to find the best locally roasted beans for a proper cup of joe. By Sam Sinha and Sam Evans

RECOMMENDED: If you want food at good prices with your beverage, you might want to consider our list of the best afternoon tea menus in Hong Kong

Local coffee roasters in Hong Kong

  • Restaurants
  • Kennedy Town

Get your daily jolt of caffeine with one of the blends from the experts at % Arabica. This coffee roaster takes pride in sourcing high-grade speciality beans from around the world. The shop is also a global distributor of, and uses, a high-tech Japanese roasting machine that prepares the beans to precision at the touch of a button. With beautiful, waterfront branch in Kennedy Town and various other shops across the city from Central to TST, you can pick up your fresh beans with relative ease.

  • Restaurants
  • Coffeeshops
  • Sheung Wan

Tucked away inside Hong Kong’s trendy PMQ compound, Café Life is continuously bustling with customers looking for a great cup on the go or some of its decadent homemade baked goods. Perfecting the coffee one cup at a time, each batch of beans is made to order and roasted with a compact in-house roasting machine in the corner of the shop. Its coffee beans are picked from the best terroirs around the world, such as Tanzania, Costa Rica, and Columbia, giving customers a wide array of premium choices. 

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  • Restaurants
  • Cafés
  • Sheung Wan

It’s hard for coffee lovers to miss this neighbourhood café on Caine Road. Filters Lane also serves up freshly baked pastries and the comfy atmosphere makes for a great spot to get some work done or hang with some friends. With the beans roasted fresh in small batches you’re guaranteed a satisfying cup, whether you choose Aeropress, hang up, French press or drip.

  • Restaurants
  • Cafés
  • Sham Shui Po

Just one of the many under-the-radar creative ventures currently operating in Sham Shui Po is concept venue Openground, a café, bookstore and workshop space all rolled into one. The coffee beans here roasted by a trusted local roaster, and then made into drinkable creations that are as inspiring as the cafe's minimalist, open-plan interior. The space aims to be a platform where you can enjoy good art with your afternoon cup of joe. This is the perfect place to check out the artists making big waves in the local art scene such as Little Thunder and Wong Ping, as well as hear intimate talks with the masters themselves.

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  • Restaurants
  • Cafés
  • Wan Chai
  • price 2 of 4

This hipster coffee joint has definitely become one of the most popular coffee chains in Hong Kong. Founded as a kiosk nestled inside the WOAW store in Sheung Wan, Elephant Grounds has expanded across the city, with venues now from Wan Chai, to K11 Musea. The roaster’s house espresso blend is made with a mix of beans from different parts of the globe for a sharp flavour with a smooth and fruity finish. Elephant Grounds also offers select single-origin beans that you can take home to brew on your own. Don’t forget to check if there are any ice cream sandwiches when you swing by; these desserts are as delicious as they are limited in supply.

  • Restaurants
  • Cafés
  • Tsim Sha Tsui

Head on over to this quirky joint in TST for a great coffee experience that will definitely have you coming back for more. Offering beans from an expansive global selection that are freshly roasted in their factory in Tai Kok Tsui, Urban Coffee Roasters also arranges coffee gatherings where you can learn about the best brewing methods along with other various coffee-related activities.

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Hazel & Hershey Coffee Roasters
  • Restaurants
  • Central

Named after the founders’ daughters, Hazel and Hershey roast and blend their coffee in SoHo. Offering full freshness and transparency, you’ll be pleased to note they have a different coffee of the week to keep things fresh. Proud brewers of green coffee, the brand has become one of the major coffee bean distributors in Hong Kong, also pedalling coffee-geek paraphernalia on its online store. When you’re done rooting around for the latest coffee tools and accessories, sit back and enjoy a cuppa in the hidden alleyway seating area.

  • Restaurants
  • Coffeeshops
  • Sai Ying Pun

NOC has several locations across the territory but delivers heat to its beans at the stylish Sai Ying Pun roastery. Co-founded by the 2011 Hong Kong Barista champion Chan Chak Sum, it's one of the city’s best hangouts for coffee lovers, especially those who demand freshly roasted beans! Filled with natural light, the spacious brewhouse serves up your favourite Javas alongside a menu of healthy salads, all-day breakfasts and fruit bowls. The venue is an ideal chill-out spot for a quick working lunch or healthy weekend brunch.

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  • Restaurants
  • Tai Kok Tsui

This small coffee house is not easy to find, but it’s definitely worth mapping out. With a focus on sustainability, the coffeemakers travel across the world every year to visit farmers and producers to ensure the quality of their coffee. Make sure to try one of their single-origin beans from Ethiopia, Bolivia, Panama, or Brazil.

  • Restaurants
  • Cafés
  • Causeway Bay

Now with multiple branches in Hong Kong, it’s hard to believe that 18 Grams first started out at as this small espresso bar in Causeway Bay. Managed by a world-class barista judge, 18 Grams sources not only from the big growers in Brazil and Colombia but also from some new growing regions and micro-growers closer to home. The beans are roasted locally and then mixed into signature blends and distributed across the shops. These guys are all about the precision of technique and temperature, so you can be sure of a perfectly proportioned cup of joe.

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  • Restaurants
  • Coffeeshops
  • Causeway Bay

When it comes to local coffee roasters, few can rival the success of The Coffee Academics. It all started at the flagship store in Yiu Wa Street, Causeway Bay, but the brand has since expanded into Singapore, Thailand and the Mainland. It’s a spacious venue with a slew of cold brews, handcrafted espresso-based drinks and ice drip coffee, as well as teas, boozy bevvies and a modern menu of breakfast and brunch dishes. Not only do you get perfectly roasted beans, rest assured your coffee will also be highly instagrammable.

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