Coco Expresso, Anton Street

Five years on Anton Street marks Coco Expresso as a reliable stalwart of Queens Road East.

This lower shophouse is a tight squeeze, so you aren’t going get to hang out and look cool. But for a quick hit and run — with a dab of delicate humanity thrown in — it gets the job done. A solid range of the basics, zippy service, and few enough nibbles to ward off browsers. Coco is focused and stays on point. Hopefully, not unlike this review. Coco Expresso

2 Anton Street, Wanchai, Hong Kong

Bambito Gesha

Not a place, not the name of a mid 1970s Bond girl, nor even a line of heroin, although perhaps it should be. Bambito Gesha is a lavender resonant extravaganza of a washed coffee, manicured to perfection, and served in Pour Over style, at Hong Kong’s Cupping Room (review to follow in a future edition).

We are informed it hails from Panama. It certainly has hints of the sweet aromas of that sticky clime. On the sip it tangles and feels a tad naughty: more Hungarian dessert wine, than the Riesling of its description. Its pristine complexity is just reaching for a romantic entanglement in the early evening, more one suspects, than the attentions of this sole late afternoon workaday correspondent. Suggest enjoying while the going is good. The Cupping Room

The Cupping Room, 32 Swatow Street, Wanchai, Hong Kong

Vive la France, à Wanchai

It’s basically a place for the ‘Ladies who Lunch’. But get there at the right time (8-9am) and you can enjoy this puppy relatively undisturbed. Kick back in one of the leather arm chairs, sit at the wooden social table, or just hide away surfing the decently okay internet. This locale is technically a bakery — and one might debate the Belgium / French angle here — but one with range. Although this author, unadventurous Englishman that he is, prefers to stick to the Pain au Chocolate, or the occasional waffle, there’s baguettes, tartines, croissants,… and the jams, if you can actually nab them, exude fabulousness. For coffee think ‘Big Bowl Belgium’. It’s just the thing for a relaxing Sunday morning. Get there early though: this place fills up, and when it does the sounds from the riffraff, bouncing off those refined glass doors make Barnes Wallis’ invention look pedestrian by comparison. Le Pain Quotidien

Le Pain Quotidien, Shop No. G40-41, The Avenue, Lee Tung Avenue, Wanchai, Hong Kong

A decent coffee shop a button away

Not strictly a review of a coffee shop but useful, one hopes. The short version. It would be neat to have a button on the front of one’s iPhone that could pop up a screen suggesting decent coffee shops in walking distance, like this:

One could then press it and get, e.g. this:

The application Workflow achieves this. It’s great. Once the app is installed once needs to install a ‘workflow’ for the coffee location. The iOS version can be found here, with the link below it being the specific utility to locate the coffee shops:

Workflow by Apple

https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/workflow/id915249334?mt=8

https://workflow.is/workflows/376fd54313ee41d080d2129297349db8

The Coffee Academics, Wanchai

Yes it’s expensive. Yes it’s a chain. Yes I know they are trying too hard. But dude, at least they are trying. A fantastic set of choices: from the standard latte fare of the Classic Menu, through to the more experimental and to be recommended, sugar rush of an Okinawa, to be found in The Signatures area. This recovering management consultant is tempted to point out that the ambiance, 1980s Spotify music run though a DAC, the funky uniforms, and hand crafted coffee range is just meant to drive up prices on the basic products. Well it’s Hong Kong: get used to it. The staff are great, and who doesn’t miss 1980s music? Coffee Academics

35-45 Johnson Road, Wanchai, Hong Kong

A walk by Nodi

Just over the high pass, by the bridge from Alexandra House to Landmark Chater, almost squirreled away, lies the espresso bar format coffee stand Nodi. A menu with a slight Australian bent, and an eclectic tea range, it’s a great pit stop amid the hub bub of Hong Kong life. Just be sure to avoid lunch time: queue times seem to rise non-linearly in proportion to queue length. Nodi Coffee

Shop 115, 1/F, Landmark, Chater, Hong Kong

Goodbye, Facebook…

You know, I will always care about you. But it’s not you, it’s me. You see I’ve changed. I used to just want social sharing, and seeing what my friends were up to, and gossiping. I used to like the sense of being connected. And random news. It’s not that I don’t love you, but yes, yes, it’s me.

You see I just find you increasingly annoying. And — god, I can’t believe I’m saying this — but you’re manipulative too. And seriously, do you have to always go on about Donald Trump and Elon Musk? I mean who cares? Don’t you realise there’s a bigger world out there? Don’t you realise one is ill and the other is using your platform to pump his own stock? I mean, he’s a genius, as he himself would say, right?

But look, I think you will always be special to me — I mean you were my first long term relationship with a social network. But honestly, it just can’t go on like this. Every time I read your news feed, it gets me down. You only ever talk about how much better life is for other people. Don’t you realize that they only talk about the good bits. Don’t you see the cognative bias there? And the entire world doesn’t revolve around Silicon Valley, you know. And frankly, I just don’t wanna hear about it all the time. And yes, maybe I’m old but I miss how it used to be. Remember, with the internet and web pages?

You’re probably right, I might regret this. But I’m breaking up with you. So goodbye, Facebook.

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