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Barista that impressed me during 2013-mid 2014

 
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發表發表於: 星期一 六月 09, 2014 2:33 pm    文章主題: Barista that impressed me during 2013-mid 2014 引言回覆

Unlike 2012, I don really feel an urge to write this thing out in most of 2013. I felt 2013 was a rather sad year for, at least, over the first three quarters of the year. What I witnessed were changes, but not in a good way. Some great caf廥 were fallen stars, either via change of focus, the attitude, etc. However, since 4Q13 till now, I began to feel more exciting about the coffee industry in HK again. Here who impressed me during the period. This is not all inclusive, of course.

Barista: in no particular order

1. Dawn Chan, the Cupping Room
Dawn was not the same person I remember a long while back. Dawn was good back then but is great now. You can sense his excitement on what he did which is coffee. You can sense his love for the coffee and his interest in serving great cups of coffee one cup at a time to win each customer. All the killer espresso cups I have had from him, all the technique that he is more than willing to share, all the talk about coffee and, last but not least, the venue which is the cupping room that allows Dawn to further flourish and let his enthusiasm on coffee shine even better. You know the guy delivers and his love for sharing good coffee with you was right there in front of you, one cup to win one customer one step at a time.!

2. Derek Kapo Chiu, the Cupping Room
You can read about Derek on The Cupping Room writing above. He the vision and he delivers. What more can you ask?

This dynamic duo is what make The Cupping Room a great caf?for you to drop by!

3. Pak Wong, Cuppers Specialty Coffee Shop, Stanley: I didn have much chance to have coffee from Pak due to the distance as the shop was further away in Stanley but when I drop by the area, it a must try. The espresso was amazing and tasty all the way. This is the previous shop of The Cupping Room and the great and previous espresso style of the cupping room is still here with Pak, a shorter shot with a great mouthfeel and clean and clear finish as the coffee can be. Also, Cuppers serves Verve, one of the established roaster on the west coast, so you are sure to have an enjoyable cup of coffee from a capable roaster.

4. Sara, 18 Grams Time Square: She the Aeropress princess for Hong Kong in my humble opinion. Don look down on the shop as just a kiosk inside a supermarket (City Super) for tired feet of shoppers one will just forget it once left the place. Sara delivers a killer cup of Aeropress. How good? It came in at the same level at hand drip coffee that was served at a legendary Knockbox Coffee when it was still in Sheung Wan area. One sip and it will transport you back to what coffee lover used to enjoy at KB in Sheung Wan when it just starts and this does not come from only me as people I drank coffee with and share experience at the era said the same thing. It is clean and clear with nuance in the coffee showing up. It is not only analytical but the cup is also delicious to drink to ie more analog than digital. It sounds easy but it is not in the real life. This is a long lost cup I drank happily in the past and only worry about the bean and the roast, not the brew. I thought I will lose it forever but I finally found it with Sara's Aeropress. Anytime you see Sara at the helm at 18 Grams, ask for her Aeropress and see how good filter coffee tastes like.

5. Anna, 18 Grams Time Square: While Sara is great on Aeropress and her siphon is decent, Sara match for great Aeropress cup is Anna's siphon. Soft, clean and clear cup to the same tone as what KB delivered for hand drip when it was in Sheung Wan but via siphon. Another long lost cups I finally found. Unfortunately, Anna left 18 Grams about 2 months ago for a greener pasture outside Hong Kong. I still looking forward for great cups from Anna when she is back no matter when she ends up landing here.

6. Michael KT Wong of Freshness Coffee: A nice guy and one of the great hand in Hong Kong for pour over. Clean and clear and this is what I stop by in upper Sheung Wan area for great hand drip.

7. Birdie Chiu of Hazel & Hershey: While I don have enough chance to drink his coffee, his hand drip coffee amazed me all the time on the cup clarity. Not only possessing a great hand, he is quite well round on coffee so if you like the style of coffee he serves, which somehow reminds me of some coffee from Taiwan, you are in luck! What I need to do is trying to drop by H&H more often but that's quite hard as it's not really in my hood most time.

***Watch out***

The most improved: The new barista team at Rabbithole Coffee Roasters, particularly Sylvia, Stanley and Louie

Rabbithole went thru a wave of exodus when its barista team, which I consider one of the best in Hong Kong, left one after another. RH decides to start from scratch, hiring a green hand and train them from the ground up. It was akin to turning ordered coffee topsy turvy the first couple of months. It gets some shape back in about three to four months and now after the first six months, things seem to set in nicely. Yes, gone are soft, nice and detail cup the previous team delivers consistently across the board trained by expert hands from Fresh/hkcoffee.com and coffee lovers who challenged and bombarded that team with high expectation and I can still suggest you try any coffee from ex-RH barista with confidence. While the tone of the coffee at RH is different these days, more aggressive than what RH was known for, it is now decent for what it is and I can drink it. Such an improvement is not bad at all under the hand of Connie, previously Coffee Assembly, who now trained up barista from ground up and all my Kudo is to her and her team. Still, I looking forward for further improvement to regain what RH was known for in the past as great coffee with no if, but, when. I hope it comes sooner than later. Wink
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