The Californian caffeine empire’s newest international outpost in Central is now open — serving its famous hot and cold brews on a strictly takeaway basis.
By now, the trials and tribulations associated with managing a bar or restaurant amidst the CoViD-19 crisis are well-documented (don’t even get me started on the chutzpah it takes to open one). Still, if anybody has a shot at pulling off new business in these baffling times, it’s going to be Blue Bottle. The global third-wave coffee sensation has well over a dozen permanent stores in Asia — mostly centring on cities in Japan — with its 22nd regional outpost now located in none other than Hong Kong.
Despite stalling its opening — initially slated for early February — due to the rising anxiety around coronavirus, the local Blue Bottle chapter is pushing ahead with its soft open today; and will be serving up the requisite pour-over, cold brew, nel drip and ‘New Orleans-style’ iced coffee to throngs of thirsty enthusiasts — in groups of four or less, of course.
Initially, guests will only be able to order their beverages to go: these will be complemented by a small menu of food items that includes molasses cookies, avocado toast, almond butter toast and the signature liege waffle (a recipe using pearl sugar, pioneered by Blue Bottle’s top pastry chef, Caitlin Freeman).
As quarantine restrictions are gradually eased, Blue Bottle Hong Kong aims to open up its doors for a proper sit-down experience, whereupon guests will be able to enjoy their food and beverages on the cafe’s second floor. Those who’ve visited the brand’s other stores in California or abroad will know what to expect: an industrial medley of timber work surfaces, exposed support beams and an abundance of stations where you can watch baristas quietly execute the perfect coffee bloom.
Those days are still a while away, but for regular operating updates, you can visit the store’s Instagram account here. ‘Til then: make mine an Ethiopian ‘Beta Blend’ on ice drip, to go.
Blue Bottle Coffee Hong Kong, 38 Lyndhurst Terrace, Central, Hong Kong. Open daily 8am-5pm for takeaway only.