Cafe Reviews

Cafe review: Hazel & Hershey, Sheung Wan (Hong Kong)

Hazel & Hershey is a relatively old cafe on the HK scene, opening almost exactly two years ago in December 2012. It provides a great selection of in-house roasts, a broad range of drinks and accessories, and is one of the few places in Hong Kong where coffee certification courses are available.

Hazel & Hershey's store

First, the drinks: H&H makes all its drinks in expert fashion. The majority of customers in HK that go through seem to order traditional drinks like cappucinos and lattes, which they make perfectly, consistently and with latte art flourishes. I have tried their milk drinks only once and found the texture, warmth and acidity of their espresso blend (seasonal, varying over time) to cut through the milk smoothly rather than be drowned out by it or obscured by a second-grade milk (high grade milks being rare in Hong Kong). H&H also make a range of pour-over drinks and immersion brews, as well as their own cold brews, and they are all made well.

 Hazel & Hershey pourover in progress

Hazel & Hershey pourover in progress

Pourovers are presented nicely and with attention to detail. I would always suggest engaging in a conversation about the pourover, just to let the barista know what you're looking for and to encourage attention to detail (which is hard on a long day).

H&H pourover coffee

Second, the beans: They're great. H&H buys from some of the best traders and also sometimes directly, and it shows. They regularly stock from 90+. I appreciate how H&H does not bow to fashion and only lightly roast their aromatic beans - many of their beans have well-developed flavours through a roast solidly through the first crack, and they still shine in a pourover. Knowledge is rich too. Any time I ask anyone behind the counter anything about the beans (e.g. 'I'm looking for something bright but not fruity') they are quick to suggest something. My only qualm is their tendency to be a bit loose with what is acceptable as a roast date. They sometimes sell beans roasted a month ago at half price - something I think they shouldn't be selling at all (they claim beans are OK 3 months past roast date, which may be true for them, but is far from conventional standards of 2-4 weeks). Just check the label and get something no longer than a week old and you'll be ok.

Finally, the ambience: H&H provides a great ambience for working from a laptop. For me this is a negative (I prefer to share coffee either with a friend, a barista or at most with a book), but many will appreciate their flexibility here. There are even power points indoors and out.

 Interior of Hazel & Hershey

Interior of Hazel & Hershey

In summary, great spot - just watch the roast dates on those beans.