Much has been written about Hong Kong’s booming coffee culture. But what of our sister SAR? Surely Macau is just entertainment complexes and drinking holes, without a cracking coffee house in sight, right? Wrong – there’s a café scene over there that most certainly rivals our own. From artisanal gems to resort-based coffee giants that tout some of the most expensive blends in the world, Macau is fast becoming an Asian leader on the caffeine front. We’ve brewed up our eight favourites for you to check out on your next trip over.
If you really want to get to know a city, you should never be afraid to explore its backstreets. And when a town’s smaller thoroughfares are hiding cafés like Single Origin, there’s every reason to venture off the beaten path. What this café lacks in size it more than makes up for in charm, with a sunlight-filled space that serves up some of the best brews in town, including one of the finest iced Americanos in Macau. And Hong Kong, too, for that matter.
19 Rua de Abreu Nunes, Macau, +853 6698 7475, fb.com/singleorigincoffee
Quarter Square is truly one-of-a-kind. The three-level coffee bar in Taipa also triples up as a showroom/retail space/artist workshop and is the hottest new creative hub in the city – complete with owner Alberto Chan's adorable French bulldog, Copper, who greets each customer upon arrival. Browse the uber-cool Scandi homewares while sipping your Thai tea latte (with beans from Macau roasters Beans Aloud) or stick around for a calligraphy workshop or wine seminar on the breezy, beautiful rooftop. A gem.
89 Largo Maia de Magalhães, Taipa Village, +853 2857 6914, fb.com/quartersquare
Rethink Coffee Roasters
The clue with this spot in the Macau New Urban Zone is in the name: Rethink wants to change the way we think about black coffee. The small yet chic space brews an excellent blend with its house roast. It's a drip brew definitely worth trying. You can even get the full experience on the go in the form of colourful takeaway cups featuring a quotable quote to ‘rethink’. Look out for the new store set to open at the Galaxy Macau's Broadway, the first local purveyor to open in one of Macau's many entertainment hubs.
76 Rua de Berlim, Macau, +853 6356 3838, fb.com/rethinkcoffeeroasters
Blooom Coffee House
Down the road from Single Origin is big sister Blooom. Orthographic overkill aside, this no-nonsense spot is a training site for SCAE (Specialty Coffee Association of Europe – essentially a global who’s who of java) baristas, as well as one of the biggest roasters in town with its in-house Giesen machine. Naturally, this exceedingly cool, industrial-themed spot is home to one of the most extensive bean selections in either SAR, with coffee tasting flights available for true addicts.
5 Rua de Horta e Costa, Macau, +853 6666 4479, blooomcoffeehouse.com
No, it’s not named after the pastry – rather, Café Philo explores the philosophy of coffee through its commitment to ‘slow’ joes. As well as specialising in these drip-style brews and having one of the most exciting selections of guest blends in town, we love Philo’s rotating range of micro-roasts which showcase some of the more boutique beans from around the world in its sparse, minimalist space.
17B Rua dos Artilheiros, Macau, fb.com/cafephilo
The Venetian’s flagship Italian is one of Macau’s most popular eateries, and with good reason. Along with fine Mediterranean fare, the expansive outdoor patio is the perfect escape from the throngs of tourists. But we often pop in just for the coffee. While away a sunny afternoon overlooking the pool with an affogato finished with incredible ice cream to transport you to the Med.
Store 1039, 1/F, The Venetian Macao, Estrada da Baia de Nossa Senhora da Esperanca, Cotai, +853 8118 9950, venetianmacao.com
The Ritz-Carlton Café
If Macau is mini-Portugal, The Ritz-Carlton Café is a French enclave within its borders. Swing by this stunning all-day brasserie after lunch for sumptuous pastries and a cup of java, complemented by a live band. Keep it French by ordering a noisette, a shot of espresso with a splash of milk to keep you going for the rest of the day.
The Ritz-Carlton Macau, Galaxy Macau, Estrada da Baia de Nossa Senhora da Esperanca, Cotai, +853 8886 6868, ritzcarlton.com/macau
MDC Coffee Shop
Sorry PMQ – Macau does it better. The five-storey, concrete-cool Macau Design Centre includes artists’ residences, workshops and a performance space. Take it all in and then refuel in the ground floor café, which doubles as a reading room and retail space. If the weather is hospitable, head up to the rooftop with your coffee soda, which is literally a soda with a shot of espresso in it. It tastes much better than it sounds. We promise.
5 Travessa da Fabrica, Macau, +853 2852 0335, dcmacau.com