The whole object of travel is not to set foot on foreign land; it is at last to set foot on one’s own country as a foreign land.” – G.K. Chesterton

Tuesday, 29 November 2011

Appreciating coffee (art) @ Holly Brown, Hong Kong

Tastebuds can be cultivated to appreciate the finer things in life, and I am living proof of that. Take chocolate as an example: a mere 10 years ago, I'd abhorred the bitter flavour of dark chocolates, wondering why anyone would even want to eat a chocolate that is not sweet. It only took a few tastes of good quality dark chocolates to convert me, and I haven't looked back since (I can no longer stand the sickly sweet stuff they call chocolate with less than 70% cacao, and I can't remember the last time I ate milk chocolate). Coffee is another example: up until 2 years ago I was a coffee-teetotaler, believe it or not. Whilst I'd appreciated the aroma of coffee to be one of the best food smells on earth, its bitterness put me off drinking it. Even after my son was born and I was surviving on only 4 hours of sleep a day for 5 months (I am not exaggerating), I held off coffee because I was breastfeeding. I'm not going to keep it a secret that as soon as my boy had weaned himself, I started relying on the caffeinated energy boost that a cup of coffee every morning gave me to get through part of the day. I have been drawn into the coffee drinking culture, and while I am still no coffee connoisseur, I can certainly appreciate a good cup of freshly roasted and brewed coffee.

Yummy Chocolate Hazelnut Muffin, although the crumbly texture made for some messy eating. I like the simple logo design of the Holly Brown brand:

Last weekend hubby and I enjoyed a rare movie date. As soon as our son was placed in the babysitter's care, we headed for the newly-opened Holly Brown in the mall downstairs. I'd previously listed this coffee store as one of the things to do in Hong Kong, as Holly Brown stores can only be found in HK, and there are only three of them. We discovered that they also serve kopi luwak, but its expensive price tag (HK$280 for a cup, HK$1700 for 100g beans) prevented us from giving it a try - though I'm not sure whether I'd want to try it given the fact that they are some animals' droppings. Holly Brown is where you can get good coffee, and we love the fact that properly trained baristas make the coffee because it means that we can also admire beautiful latte art as we sip the delicious coffee.

The cappuccino:

The mocha:

I also found a video by the Holly Brown team that showcases their baristas' artistic skills:

Holly Brown (Elements)
Shop 1026
1st Floor, Elements
1 Austin Road West
Tsim Sha Tsui, Kowloon
Tel: +85 2 28561201 / 28561202


  1. Mmmmm good coffee is one of my greatest pleasures. I must try Holly Brown next time I am in HK. Next time you are in Melbourne or Sydney, let me know - I'll take you out for some of the finest we have :)

  2. It's a date! Likewise, let me know when you do visit HK and we can have a catch up session over a local meal or coffee at Holly Brown :)

  3. Dear Expat Gourmand,

    I have a liking for the aroma of fresh coffee but I'm actually not a coffee drinker. :)