I live by the unfashionable philosophy that even bad coffee is better than no coffee. Although it is also unpopular to say so, I sometimes miss the 18-times-refilled cup at a roadside North American diner for two bucks. Having said that, I also love a carefully made flat white with frou-frou foam art, a tempting cold brew or even, on occasion, a manuka honey latte or pumpkin spice macchiato when I feel like having a cup of dessert.
But generally speaking, I drink straight black coffee. If it’s good coffee, I’m very happy. But even if it’s bad, I’m still happier than without it at all. I think big, ornate coffee machines are pretty cool to look at, and exposed tubes and beakers that turn coffee making into a science experiment are fun too, as long as there is coffee at the end of it. I often dislike spending $50 on a brew, but I will still do it, regularly in fact, because I like coffee shops and I like coffee, in all its forms. I’m not even a grumpy person who requires it to wake me up or pick me up or get me through a long conference call, but try to deny me and you’ll probably see the sharp side of my teeth.
So, in celebration of this dedicated love (and now that it’s been written down, perhaps it seems a somewhat disturbing obsession has been uncovered), this issue of Foodie is based on that beautiful brew and all the best places in Hong Kong to find it, be it for atmosphere, coffee accompaniments or simply for a purist cup: to breathe in that perky scent.