Rating: ★★★★★
Address: Shop D, G/F, 126-128 Jervois Street, Sheung Wan 上環蘇杭街126-128號地下D舖
Telephone: 2854 2211
http://www.baristajam.com.hk/

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Barista Jam是一家由澳洲人開的咖啡店,很多愛咖啡的人都會特意來品嘗這裡的優質咖啡。Barista Jam的食物不是重點,只供應幾款三明治,意大利麵和一些甜品和蛋糕,但我覺得這裡的食物也不錯。最重要的是咖啡十分好喝,難怪小小的店內都長期坐滿了客人。

One of the first stops for coffee connoisseurs in HK is Barista Jam, a small coffee shop on Jervois Street, just off a bustling thoroughfare in Sheung Wan. As soon as you enter Barista Jam, you will notice that this place is meant for some serious business, with an impressive La Marzocco espresso machine working at full speed and many hip coffee geeks gliding in and out of the cafe.

I am no coffee expert, but the coffee shop’s sense of artistry was rubbing off on me as soon as I entered. This small place has a down-to-earth, industrial decor, and is split over two floors, with the coffee counter and a few small tables on the first floor, and a long communal table upstairs. The second floor, even though more spacious, is less comfortable than the first floor as the toilet is located upstairs, and also because the dimly-lit area feels a bit like a store room.

My friends and I came on Saturday for an early lunch, and the place filled up very quickly. Some breakfast dishes, sandwiches and pastas were available.

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(1) We knew that coffee would be the star of the meal and that the food would only a backseat. However, we were still a bit dismayed that at 12.30pm, linguine was already sold out, so that we were only left with penne and spaghetti. When we got around to eating the food, though, our spirits were immediately lifted. The creamy smoked salmon spaghetti ($95) was cooked to a perfect al dente texture, and the cream sauce, thick without being too heavy, dressed the pasta marvellously. The amount of salmon was just right, and the smoked salmon tasted wonderful.

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(2) The prawn with tomato basil penne ($95), which was lighter than the salmon spaghetti, was delicious too. The tomato sauce had a citrus, pleasant taste, and the prawns were fresh and bouncy.

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(3) The best pasta we tried, however, had to be the smoked duck breast with pumpkin penne ($90). The duck breast was firm and flavourful, but it was the alluringly sweet and creamy pumpkin sauce that was truly memorable. The combination was bright and refreshing, and it was one of the best weekend dishes that we could have asked for.

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(4) I ordered a cup of Latte ($33) and at first sip I already knew that this was different from most coffees elsewhere. The coffee in the latte was a house blend, with nutty and caramel flavours and a little spicy finish. The milk was hot and frothy, and the amount of milk was perfectly balanced with the amount of coffee. I now understand why people from all over Hong Kong (if not overseas) can’t wait to lay their hands on a cup of coffee here.

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(5) In addition to the top notch coffee, my friend also ordered a mango smoothie ($38), and it was smooth and fruity and was great to drink even in winter/spring.

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(6) A small selection of desserts (not made in-house) are available. We shared an apple tart ($35) and the pastry was buttery and nicely layered, but it would have tasted even better if it was warm instead of cold.

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(7) We also tried an earl grey creme brulee ($35), a creamy dessert which was nicely set off by an intense taste of earl grey tea. Each morsel was a delight and we devoured this little piece of cake with great pleasure.

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Conclusion: With their consummate expertise in coffee, it is no surprise that Barista Jam is such a popular haunt for coffee lovers. Even though the space is small and the location is a bit out of the way, the exquisite coffee blends will surely make up for their shortcomings in other aspects.