Sunday, February 27, 2011

Coco Espresso - ♕♕♕♕ 3/4

There has been an explosion of cafe openings in Hong Kong during the last 1-2 years, and having tried almost all of them already (but haven’t had the opportunity to review, I mean it only took me 2 years to blog about this place!),  I found a lot of these late starters to be of very high quality and nearly right up there with the best of the world!  One of the latest surprises has been Unar Coffee, which does a very deathly milk-based coffee which is highly addictive and comes with the prettiest latte art, although espresso wise its remains a bit too old-world and fluctuates depending on beans batch and freshness. 

Coco Espresso’s
owner Maurice and full time barista Johnson were trained in Sydney, and although losing out to the late comers in terms of aged equipment, their skills make up for this deficient in many ways.   I also quite like Coco Espresso’s locally roasted and self-blended combination, which works out to be a very good Single Espresso drink as well as an unbeatable Caffe Latte.    Isn’t it ironic that with so many high quality entrants into the coffee field and especially in the Central to Sheung Wan area, yet the more that they open, the more I’d come to appreciate Coco Espresso for their coffee?  

  Eg. FUEL Espresso has a great espresso, but their milk drinks are mono-tone, Barista Jam imports some great overseas imported beans and William is easily the best barista in HK without a doubt but the house-blends have not so far won my heart yet.  And places like Unar Coffee and Cafe Y Taberna uses a blend which works better with milk and fluctuates, whereas 18 Grams has big potential but sometimes turns out too exploratory or inconsistent.  And Dane’s just can’t seem to get their froth very right with the ultra powerful steamer.  And places like Holly Brown or Cafe Corridor just aren’t aimed towards customers like me as they take the mid-end approach to suit everybody else, though understandably it’s not their fault at all.  Or am I being too picky nowadays? Smile with tongue out

Recommended:   Caffe Latte
Nearly always aromatic yet balanced, milk frothed perfectly smooth by Johnson.  This is easily the Top 1-2 caffe latte’s in HK on a daily basis  ~  9/10

Another Caffe Latte

Single Espresso -
Johnson does his espresso a bit shorter for me, right before blonding.  He actually makes his espresso slightly differently for everyone, as some other customers complain of it being too bright and sour, and when that happens he makes them pour slower to impart a slightly more bitter/smoky note. I suggest you to ask him to make you what he makes exactly for HK Epicurus to see why I absolutely adore this place for its espresso!  *It can fluctuate though according to the consistency of his roaster’s bean supplies, so ask the Barista for his comments on the current batch that he’s serving  ~   9/10

Cappuccino -
I think caffe latte is better at Coco Espresso, if not for anything other than the cup design which is perpendicular rather than round edged, which means when you drink it the espresso base doesn’t seem to mix well with the foam, and sometimes tastes a bit weak  ~ 6/10

Take Away Caffe Latte -
Seems to be a little weaker than the drink-in version ~ 7/10

Coffee Beans for Sale -
I bought these once for making at home, but unfortunately the home machine just can’t seem to extract the espresso or froth milk properly compared to the bigger machines.  But this is a good blend.


A nod of approval by some Australian visitor from Sydney, Australia,
reviewing some cafes in Hong Kong.  I fully agree with this assessment...

Barista Name:  Johnson
Coffee Brand: Coco Espresso House Blend
Recommended Coffee:  Espresso, Caffe Latte, Piccolo Latte

Price: $25 per person
Coffee Score: ★★★★★☆

Opening Hours:
Mon to Fri:  08:00-17:00
Sat:             08:00-16:00
Address: 上環皇后大道中197號地舖
G/F, 197 Queens Road Central, Sheung Wan
Ph: 2542 2228


  1. Ha, it's funny, I started going to Coco when they first opened (about the same time I started my current job in Sheung Wan) and I had NEVER gotten around to write it up, so good on you!!

    Johnson is great - by my second visit he already remembered how I like my caffe latte (double shot, no sugar - not difficult, but never has a barista remembered anything about me by a second visit). For that alone Coco deserves my loyalty (so easily convinced haha)

  2. Dear e_ting,

    Yep I've promised Johnson to write about him for a while, I actually started a draft on Openrice before but before I realised it got deleted.

    Yes Johnson remembers the details, and that's why he was the 1st person to have worked out who I was online : ) I couldn't hide from him. Anyway he does have this approach, where he thinks what the customer will want and adjust it slightly for them! I keep telling him, just make it in the best way you think it should taste!

  3. This is a fantastic website and I can not recommend you guys enough. Full of useful resource and great layout very easy on the eyes. Please do keep up this great work.



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