... Although some people would love to believe that as a 80% Serious Coffee Snob, therefore I Babedolphin
will refuse to patron Starbucks
, in reality I often visit their numerous branches much like I go to chainstores like Cafe de Coral or McDonald's occasionally - but all for different reasons.
My discussion and reviews of Coffee in HK is purely because I KNOW we're missing out on really top quality coffees, AND I REALLY MISS DRINKING THEM, and I don't see any problems with my approach on this topic, but that's not to say Starbucks doesn't hold attractions to me in other ways !
For some people, they drink coffees because they want to smell a nicely Aromatic coffee and receive a Caffeine hit in the morning to keep them going strong throughout the day, whereas for me I need those but also want to enjoy a good professional cup every now and then! I don't drink coffee everyday nowadays in HK too, my habits have changed!!
- Note that not all Starbucks in HK are create equal either!....
Although when I first returned to HK I thought all Starbucks were running on those stupidily lazy Super-Automatic coffee machines, which will never make a good cup of coffee as they're permanently Under-extracted and carries that oily ashy background in the palate, some Starbucks such as this 冰室 fusion branch (and some more within Central) are still operating on the semi-automactic style machines which requires manual tampering & dosing by the trained barista, none of those Push-a-Button and out comes a petrol-station quality ashy or watery drink pretending to be a real coffee!
So if you want to drink coffee in Starbucks, at least try to find one which carries these proper machines with a good Mazzer grinder.
- And just to contradict myself
, I've decided to give up drinking Starbucks coffees in Hong Kong again, because they're simply not as good as the ones in Australia, Japan and America, even if you visited one with the right Machine set up. I've had a total of 5 coffees at HK Starbucks oulets for the last year. 2 Macchiato's, 2 Black Coffees, 1 Caffe Latte, not including the Yunnan ones I made for myself (!), and they were very disappointing.
The ones in Japan and also Australia especially are actually very professionally run with good baristas, although they have recently closed 63 out of 85 outlets in the latter as no locals would touch them anymore except the asian overseas students thinking its cool to fraternise in Starbucks (despite these closed branched already being much better than the Hong Kong Starbucks outlets).... so there's 22 Starbucks left throughout the whole country of Australia, only 4 remain operating in Melbourne City, yet in comparison there's roughly 120 Starbucks outlets in Hong Kong alone and still expanding & thriving. It really shows up the contrast between the two cities' different coffee culture. But its all about Supply vs Demand, so there's no right or wrong.
- I love coming to Starbucks for their cosy sofa's and 20 minute Free Wi-Fi, also chasing up reading on the HK Mags, BC Mags, Timeout HK, newspapers! However I just drink things other than coffees. Their TAZO teas and the Frappucino's are pretty good !
I love the Green Tea frap!!
- I also love their selection of Desserts, which are updated every now and then, some are quite good, some are blandish! Their Sausage Roll is one of my most eaten lunches, its really good!!
Their other savoury food such as quiches, sandwiches or pies aren't too great though..... seems too dried out in the fridge!
- Their Watermelon juice is actually very bland and watery, its also been Pasteurised! Can't say I've ever had a pasteurised watermelon juice before!
- Unfortunately, the rental is too expensive in HK, so not many higher-end coffee shops such as Cafe Corridor or Coco Espresso or Crema can be as conveniently located for customers, and they are never as big except Zambra cafe, therefore doesn't have space to carry good comfy sofa's like Starbucks! There're so many great cafes in Australia which serve great food, have wi-fi and great sofa's or seats, with top notch quality coffees and baristas simultaneously. The dark hearted people will go, why don't you go back there then if you like there so much? But I do LOVE HK.
And what happens when you're a coffee enthuasist or cafe owner wannabe and wish to open a comfortable cafe in HK, but simultaneously serving much Better Quality Coffee than S.B.? It seems impossible in this city ! Not unless you're part of a large international consortium or a franchisor that's listed on the stock exchange and have a lot of shareholder money to burn and pay through the roof for rental!
Jan 2010. Pasteurised Water Melon Juice !!
March 2010. Tiramisu not good. Latte burnt.
April 2010. Vitamin Water. (No More SB Coffee!)
Aug 2009. TAZO Hibiscus Tea.
Feb 2010. Black Drip Coffee, Estima Blend.
May 2009. Berries and Green Tea Frap.
ANY WEEK. Sausage Roll for lunch!! Yum.
Dec 2009. XMas Special cake...
July 2010. New Tiramisu with Coffee Jelly.
Better than above Tiramisu cake by a lot!! Good!
Value for Money 2