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Barista Jam in Sheung Wan, Hong Kong

When I first got to Hong Kong I promised myself that I would eat only Chinese food.  I soon broke that.  I also promised myself to break the coffee habit that developed in London.  But soon after arriving I got desperate and started hunting around for proper coffee.

Then I started getting nervous.  All I could see were Starbucks and Pacific Coffees (think Starbucks).  The one place I followed a Time Out HK recommendation to – Fuel Espresso IFC – was distinctly average and something like 50hkd (£4.50) for a coffee.  And then… I was walking home in Sheung Wan and smelt a familar smell.  And there it was, Barista Jam (though they cheated on making me love them by having a guest appearance of Square Mile beans that day). Barista Jam is perfect.  Knowledgable staff.  Good coffee.  Cool space to relax and drink.  Nice design.  Good prices.  All those things you want from a coffee shop.  Just where the cast of Friends would now be hanging if they were hipsters and in Hong Kong.

And more excitingly I have realised that the coffee scene here is growing.   I’ve had good coffee in 18 Grams, Cafe Corridor, Holly Brown, Oscars (on occasion).  Hong Kong seems to be going through a flourish and growth and I’m excited to see it.

  • Price – 24hkd (I think but its cheap regardless)
  • 126-128 Jervois Street, Sheung Wan, Hong Kong

PS if you like coffee tech you can go upstairs at Barista Jam and invest in some cutting edge stuff as they have a shop

11 Comments

  1. Razlan

    To think that I paid HK$20 for some really mediocre coffee from Das Gute (that bakery shop at Western Market) when we have a gem like this just round the corner. Argh!

  2. salondeg.com

    yes, the coffee scene in hk was pretty crap before..I'm glad there are more "indie" places popping up but unfortunately they all seem to be in the HK side area. They've yet to come to Kowloon..which means I'm still stuck with starbucks and PCC for now. Boo.

  3. Tess

    I can't believe it's called Barista Jam…have you ever been to a barista jam? Rowdy & crazy & you drink KGBs all night & it's madness. You two would really love it.

    KGB
    -Dip a lemon wedge in raw sugar on one side, & freshly/finely ground espresso on the other.
    -Do a shot of vodka.
    -Suck that caffeinated sugary lemon.
    -Kick some latte art ass.

  4. Tom

    Razlan – you have to go. It is one of my favourite little Sheung Wan hideouts.

    Salon – it does seem to be blooming now. I did read about some place in TST which I want to visit sometime soon. Can't remember what but will dig it out and let you know.

    Tess – wow, sounds like you are a barista jam pro. I am not sure the scene is quite here on the drinking and coffee yet but the coffee is getting better. I still want to visit SF pretty damn bad.

  5. Gloria's Beans

    There's initial cafe in TST on Cameron road, and there's Crema on Mody road just outside Regal hotel. In Kwun Tong there's Cafe Essenza in Land Mark East.

    18grams is looking into opening in Kowloon, but it's pretty hard to find a good location. Any suggestions?

  6. Tom

    Gloria – hey thanks for the comment. I visited 18 Grams a couple of weeks ago and loved it. I didn't have my camera but will have to come back with it. I'll try to catch you if you are in the shop!

    Initial cafe is on my list as I saw a review of it the other day and it looked like a nice place to hang. Thanks for the other suggestions as well.

    I am afraid I can be no help on locations as I am too new to know anything!

    One thing which might be worth investigating is if any of the big (and boring) companies in central want a great and exclusive coffee shop in their own office/ building and not just to make a profit. Taylor St in London have got a lease at the bottom of a big commercial building which all the nearby office workers are very grateful for…

    Though it may only be possible to do like Fuel IFC and take out overly expensive rent in premium buildings?

  7. gastronomous

    you should go to coffee assembly, it own by the same mob as cafe corridor, but i prefer coffee assembly (a tad bias as i know the lady that runs it! she is really sweet :)!)

  8. Jason

    @Tom: yeah! 18 Grams is good indeed!

    @Gloria: I met Jason the other night, hope to meet you someday as well. I like to take this chance to say that Chesca (Checka?) skills improved alot and really put a lot of effort into making a great cup of coffee, thumbs up!

  9. Gloria's Beans

    coffee assembly, cafe corridor and cafe essenza are all owned by the same peeps!

    I've tried asking a few commercial buildings before I started 18grams, but none of them were interested nor do they want to take the risk? Will try again this time around, but not that optimistic.

    @Thank you Jason, I agree, can you believe Chesca's only started making coffee in July? I'm in 18grams every thursday, so if you have time come and visit me :D

  10. Totally agree with your review on Barista Jam, love the coffee and the food.
    @salondeg.com, there’s a good one in Mongkok:
    TC2 cafe workshop
    G/F, 106 Portland St, Mong Kok, 2388 9772.

    • I am going to have to do a full day of coffee drinking when I get back to Hong Kong from this holiday in Shanghai. There are a lot of places I want to try, most of them over in TST, Kowloon so it will make a nice full day!

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