Sheung Wan is an interesting neighbourhood - a slightly older area, with streets lined with traditional Chinese medicine shops and antique stores. It's a few streets away from Central, so there's an interesting juxtaposition of skyscrapers towering over small family owned shops, which have been around for years.
An interesting change is starting to occur - as the older shop owners retire and move on, new cafes and roasteries have started to open in their place. (Something similar is happening in Tiong Bahru in Singapore). A good example of this is Barista Jam, on Jervois Street - I found myself stepping over cuttlefish drying on the pavement in search of my morning espresso shot.
The espresso was lovely - the shot above had a more subtle flavour, and lacked the immediate bitterness that some shots have. The crema was a medium to dark brown, which is exactly what I'd expect to see in a roastery - it means that the beans are fresh, and roasted not too long ago. (A quick and easy test of coffee quality in a cafe - order a single espresso. Take a look at the crema - the darker, the better. If it's pale or white, the beans have been sitting on a shelf for far too long).
The Piccollo latte above was smooth, with a nice balance of flavour and smoothness. Interestingly, the foam lined the sides of the glass as I drank it - not something that I see in every cafe. The latte art was a nice touch, and the staff were happy to talk about the house blend used.
|Caramelised Apple Tart|
Barista Jam also has a very good selection of coffee machines and equipment upstairs - probably the best selection I've seen in any roastery or cafe so for in Hong Kong or Singapore.
Thanks to Melissa Chong for the recommendation - when a barista recommends a cafe, you know it's going to be good - this definitely was.