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Archive for the ‘cafe’ tag

[Hong Kong] Elephant Grounds

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Elephant Grounds (Wanchai)

Add: 8 Wing Fung St. Wan Chai / 香港灣仔永豐街8號
Tel: +852 2778 2700
Hours: 8am-10pm
Website: www.elephantgrounds.com
Price: [coffee] 30-68 HKD
Visited: Aug 2016

Occupying this much coveted corner location on Wing Fung Street is Elephant Grounds, a coffee roaster local to Hong Kong. The open store front and warm wooden tones are immediately welcoming, and the interior is equally pleasant with handcrafted furniture by Start from Zero and a custom-made moss wall installation by local plant artist Quest Terrarium. Coffee, anyone?

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There is even a bowl of water for pets at the front, how thoughtful.

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Written by sugarednspiced

September 16th, 2016 at 9:09 am

[Hong Kong] Omotesando Koffee

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Omotesando Koffee

Add: 24-25,G/F.,Lee Tung St ,Wanchai, Hong Kong / 香港灣仔利東街G24-25號舖
Tel: +852 2601 3323
Hours: [weekday] 8am-8pm [weekend] 9am-9pm
Website: www.ooo-koffee.com/hongkong.html
Price: [coffee] 40~60 HKD [sweets] 18+ HKD
Visited: Aug 2016

Omotesando Koffee started out as a pop-up shop in Tokyo’s Omotesando district, situated in a tiny, traditional Japanese home. It became famed for its espressos and cube-shaped designs – logo, work station, and even pastries are cube-shaped – that it eventually stayed for 5 years, until the building became too old to sustain the shop. Cafe owner Eiichi Kunimoto then moved it to Toranomon Koffee in Tokyo’s Toranomon Hills, before he expanded to a second Omotesando Koffee in Hong Kong.

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The charming surroundings of an old Japanese residential building cannot be replicated in Hong Kong’s Lee Tung Avanue, but just about everything else has been carried over, including Omotesando Koffee’s signature cube design as you can see below.

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Beans are sourced from the same roaster in Tokyo, and Japanese staff members have been stationed in Hong Kong to ensure the same quality of coffee is served. Omotesando features two house blends, one is a mix of Ethiopian, Brazilian and Indonesian beans with a balanced flavor, and the second is a fruitier blend of Guatemalan and Panama beans.

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Written by sugarednspiced

September 16th, 2016 at 4:07 am

[Kyoto] さらさ西陣 Sarasa Nishijin

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さらさ西陣 Sarasa Nishijin

Add: 11-1 Higashi Fujinomori-cho, Murasakino, Kita-ku京都市北区紫野東藤ノ森町11-1
Tel: 075-432-5075
Hours: 12-11pm (closed on the last Wed of the month)
Price: 1,000-2,000 yen/person
Visited: Aug 2016

It was way too hot to walk around outside after our lunch at Kanei, so we decided to delay our visit to Daitokuji Temple and went into the cafe next door to cool down a bit more.  I later found out that this cafe named Sarasa has 6 locations across Kyoto, and this particular one we went to in Nishijin is famous for its location inside an 80+ years old public bathhouse.

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The logo, designed to resemble steam coming up from a hot spring.

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Walls of the public bathhouse have been preserved, the patterned tiles rendering the space a little bit dizzying. Even the hair and make-up of the cafe staff is matching with the whole eclectic vibe.

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Written by sugarednspiced

August 29th, 2016 at 1:30 pm

[Kyoto] % Arabica

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% Arabica Kyoto

Add: (Higashiyama) 87-5 Hoshinocho, Higashiyama Ward, Kyoto / 京都府东山区星野町87-5
(Arashiyama)3-47 Sagatenryuji Susukinobanacho, Ukyo-ku, Kyoto / 京都府右京区嵯峨天龍寺芒ノ馬場町3-47
Hours: 8am-6pm
Price: 350 yen+/coffee
Website: www.arabica.coffee
Visited on: Aug 2016

In September 2014, a coffee shop named “% Arabica” opened right near the beautiful Yasaka Pagoda in Kyoto, inside an old Japanese house of over 50 years old. The facade is low-key, but the stylish vibe oozing out from large window panes immediately attracts the passerby.

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The entrance of the shop is a concrete replicate of the cobblestone pattern of Yasaka Street, which makes it seem like the outside pavement continues right into the shop, creating an illusion of a side street off the alleyway.

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The space is elongated, with a bar on the left, coffee bean storage on the right, and a roasting area deep inside. The transparent cellar displays coffee beans meticulously selected from all over the world, and conveniently, by installing the storage required to maintain temperature and humidity for the best quality coffee beans, it was also provided the necessary support for this old house. A perfect combination of the old and new.

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This Slayer espresso machine, customized especially for % Arabica, is just too beautiful. I want to learn how to make coffee just so I can use this machine. Tell me you don’t feel the same.

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Written by sugarednspiced

August 26th, 2016 at 9:02 am

Posted in kyoto

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[Shanghai] Cafe 385

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Cafe 385

Add: Huashan Road (please contact below wechat for details)
Wechat: andrew_wu_china
Hours: reservation only
Price: hand drip coffee 50-65 RMB
Visited: May 2016

The other day at Moon Coffee I casually asked their barista A-Tang where he goes for coffee in Shanghai. After some thoughts, he told me about this “coffee bar inside an apartment building”, and without quite explaining what it is, he gave me the barista contact. Always curious about these hidden places, I made a reservation right away for a visit.

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The space is located on the 2nd floor of an apartment building on Huashan Road, and only upon entering did I find out its name –  “Cafe 385”.  It’s a charming place with soft natural light, antique-looking furniture, and chairs that fit just right.

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Behind the coffee bar is Andrew from Taiwan, who is still very fresh to Shanghai. Before this coffee venture, he was working in Sony Taiwan doing photography tutorials and sales training for DSLRs. As for coffee, he started drinking it at the age of 17, and since then has met quite a few coffee experts and afficionados. He came to China for the first time last March to attend a coffee expo, fell in love with the Former French Concession area, and decided to stay for a while.

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May 19th, 2016 at 9:55 am

[Shanghai] Daliah Vienna

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Daliah

Add: 408 Shanxi Bei Lu, near Beijing Xi Lu / 陕西北路408号, 近北京西路
Tel: 6288 8773
Hours: 11am-9pm
Price: 100 RMB+
Visited: Mar 2016

Dropped by Daliah for lunch last week and it still felt like Chinese New Year there with these giant red lanterns hanging down for the ceiling. Since its opening last summer, this Austrian restaurant has been known for its quirky design – a few prominent features are the swings and that metallic slide twirling down from the second floor. I’ve been here once for lunch and once for breakfast, the food was ok on both visits – nothing impressive, nothing atrocious – but perhaps I shouldn’t judge until I’ve tried its dinner, when the more Austrian dishes like the spatzel are served.

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March 25th, 2016 at 7:00 am

Posted in shanghai

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[Shanghai] Fumi Coffee

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Fumi Coffee

Add: 215 Fumin Road, near Julu Road / 富民路215號,近巨鹿路
Tel: 5466 6021
Hours: 8am-9pm
Price: [coffee] 20-65 RMB [pastry] 8-42 RMB
Visited: Mar 2016

Brought to you by the owner of Flask (and designed by the same Italian designer Alberto Caiola), Fumi Coffee is a most stylish addition to Shanghai’s booming cafe scene. The eye-catcher of this space is no doubt the wall of Bialetti Moka light fixtures, but everything else – including the black waves hovering up on the ceiling, the sleek metallic tables, stools, counter, and the front window that folds up completely on warm days – has me (and the rest of Shanghai, it seems) falling head over heels.

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March 14th, 2016 at 3:01 pm

Posted in shanghai

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[Shanghai] Egg

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Egg

Add: 12 South Xiangyang Road, near Julu Road / 襄阳北路12号, 近巨鹿路
Tel: N/A
Hours: 8am-6:30pm
Price: 100-150 RMB/person
Visited: Jan 2016

Bright, instagram-friendly cafe on South Xiangyang Road by cutiepie Camden Hauge of the Shanghai Supperclub. It serves all day breakfast, and as the name suggests, this place is quite egg-centric…even if the dish doesn’t already involve eggs, you have the option to “put an egg on it!” for 8RMB in addition. They also do a 10-seat chef’s table every Thursday evening which sounds like a fun and intimate experience.

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February 14th, 2016 at 2:31 pm

Posted in shanghai

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[Shanghai] Moon Coffee

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Moon Coffee

Add: 9-B, Alley 275 Anfu Road / 安福路275弄9-B
Tel: 13310169107
Hours: 11am-7pm
Price: [coffee] 22-75 RMB [pastry] 29-33 RMB
Visited: Jan 2016

I dropped by Moon Coffee on a quiet Monday. There were only two other guests this afternoon, and as they soon departed after my arrival, I had the luxury of enjoying the cafe – tiny as it is – all to myself. It’s tugged deeply inside an alley on Anfu Road, definitely not somewhere you’d stumble upon, and that in itself is a charm. Upon entering, there was Erik Satie and the smell of freshly ground coffee floating in air, with mild sunshine seeping in through the windows…a perfect winter afternoon moment.

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Moon Cafe has two tables and a few stools. Standing at the bar on the day of my visit was A-Tang, a soft-spoken coffee barista from Hainan. We had a lovely chat, mostly about coffee and a little bit about music, after which he kindly shared with me his playlist of that afternoon, consisting of Erik Satie and piano pieces in similar style. I’m listening to the playlist as I write, all that’s missing is a good cup of coffee.

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February 6th, 2016 at 6:35 am

[Shanghai] TASTE Shop

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TASTE Shop

Add: 105, Building 3, Lane 210 Taikang Road / 泰康路210弄3号楼105室
Tel: 18221041418
Hours: 12:30-8:30pm (closed on Mon)
Website: www.taste-shop.com
Price: [coffee] 12-99RMB
Visited: Jan 2016

When I was wandering the tiny alleys of Tianzifang a few weeks ago, my attention was caught by this quietly stylish shop near the entrance of lane 210. “TASTE Shop”, it says. I went in for a quick round and was impressed by its selection of homeware, accessories, fragrance, tools, and other pretty knickknacks, mostly imported from Europe and Japan. I had no idea at the time that I would soon be introduced to the owners of this place via a mutual friend. “They are opening a cafe right upstairs and need pastries,” explained the friend, “You guys should talk.”

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So I came back on a sunny day to meet shop owner Yutaka, a fashion designer-turn-visual merchandiser, originally from Tokyo but has lived in Shanghai for over 10 years. Together him and his Chinese Canadian wife Viko (photographer by profession) started TASTE Shop back in 2013. Since then, the space has evolved to what it is now – a select shop, an exhibition space, and most recently, a cafe.

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The newly-opened cafe has so many chic details to notice. The menu, for example, is handmade – and by handmade, I mean even the paper itself is made by their staff.

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Manning the cafe counter is Yutaka and his colleague Patrick. Both trained with Mr. A of Shinzan Mono (a coffee shop in the French Concession), but Yutaka specializes in hand drip coffee while Patrick does the espresso-based variations.

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Written by sugarednspiced

January 27th, 2016 at 12:00 pm