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  • Tomas Lee

A Coffee Day in Fo Tan, Hong Kong (Pt. II)


For the week in Hong Kong, most of time I stayed near by the town called Shatin in the rural area, away from the epic center of all famous neon signs in the Blade Runner movie. And luckily, I was still able to discover a few stores and explore their local culture and business models. First off, the average household income in between the urban and rural has a significant huge gap: The richest 10 per cent in the city (a median monthly income of HK$112,450) earn 44 times of the poorest (an average of HK$2,560). Therefore, the quality of living is a day and night situation, depending on which part of city or town you are residing in. Per Globe Property Guide, their property price has topped out the Japan, India, Singapore and Taiwan being as the most expensive in the globe (US $26,325 per Sq.M./ every 10.7 Sq.Ft.). To the poorest, this city is hell. And you can definitely tell from a cup of coffee and how it was being served. Of course, we are not here to discuss my political point of view or their social welfare issue. However, this matter is spreading across the globe like a virus, required further study to provoke the middle class vanished and economy breakdown.

Gourmet coffee | hong kong

Products Score: 60 Service Score: 65 Store Score: 65

Final {verdict}: ⭐️⭐️⭐️ 3/5

Gourmet Coffee wasn't that gourmet.

This cafe was located on the 2/F of the same plaza where Crostini was. To me, it's a dawn and dust experience. In a second, I hardly believe two coffee places coexisted within a compact location in the industrial zone. Moreover, they were like a pair of bizarre couples living well together by each other's side. Really! The Gourmet was clearly targeting blue collars whom unwillingly paid for a cup of high quality coffee in premium price. Contrarily, the Crostini focuses in serving customers in the prime segment. The store was very tight in space with very simple decoration. The vibe was oddly strange to me, especially the crystal lights dropped from the ceiling. Maybe, it was some other kind of retail in the past life. Customers there were reading newspaper and magazines or talking on the phone in speaker, and mom and young son were carrying a conversation.

Meanwhile, their full drink menu were also written on the green chalk board. There're also sticker, photo frame and news clipping to advertise it serves the Costa Rica blend. As well, served simple sandwich lunch sets. So naturally, to serve the purpose of my visit, I ordered a cup of latte to try. The mid-aged lady, which I believed her was the owner, poured my cup of coffee from the generic expresso machine. Frank speaking, it tasted with a strong burn smell from the roasting. I have to say that's unpleasant cup of coffee I had. Wasn't because the store didn't have any gorgeous decoration or fancy looking expresso machine. Simply bad but attainable to the locals.

lov lov coffee | hong kong

Products Score: N/A Service Score: N/A Store Score: N/A

Final {verdict}: N/A

Founded in 2015, this is a specialty workshop I wanted to visit the most during my Hong Kong stay, but very unluckily that they were closed during the regular hours on that day. In usual time, they open to the public in a limited time only, and most of other time they do group event and trainings by appointment. They're highly rated in the Yelp and other local press. Learnt from their web site that they had recently moved to a more prime location in Kowloon (closer to where all those neon signs are) for the convenience of their customers. Although their web site design is relatively simple, but very informative about their services and products. The part I like the most is their mission to provide high quality coffee at an affordable price to allow general public learning more about coffee. I encourage to click on their site to check around.

And I'll definitely go checking out their new location when visiting this city again.

Starbucks | shatin, hong kong

Products Score: 75 Service Score: 65 Store Score: 70

Final {verdict}: ⭐️⭐️⭐️🌟 3.5/5

Yet, another bad Starbucks' oversea experience to me. Their product hasn't much to talk about bc they're all formulated to taste consistently anywhere brewed by any of their trained staff. Again, their pastries, similar to the Taiwan, were offered with much wider range of varieties than ours. Even without ordering one, I could dare to tell they are more tasty than those in the States. This store was completely packed with students, youngsters, foreigners, elders with families, and white collars waiting in line to place orders. Since there wasn't any seat for me to stay longer, I waited in line and forced to order a togo. And that's the time I really felt their service was extraordinarily rude. Whilst my turn to order, I politely asked the barista in whether they offered the Eggnog Latte. And she replied with her eyes rolling over to say they didn't. In a sudden, I felt like being totally discriminated. No matter how long the line was or how busy they were, a customer shouldn't ever be given an unpleasant reply for any question. Therefore, I ordered a regular latte to compromise. On the other hand, the Long-Men Starbucks Reserve I visited in Taiwan was a much, much enjoyable experience. In this Starbucks, 100% owned by the President Chain Store Corporation of Uni-president Group, their Taiwanese barista had a very positive attitude and did explain the details of the cold brew I ordered, even at its peak traffic.

In my conclusion, the success of a business isn't depending on where you are at. But, it's all about the quality product and service offered in whether you'll be able to create words of mouth to acquire new customers and retain existing customers to come back.

Thanks for reading! :) Please comment and press ⭐️ below if you liked this article. Your responses would help me to improve the quality of content and other readers.

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