For early birds that are particular about their morning coffee, few scenarios are as disheartening as having to make-do with chain cafe, fast food, or convenience store offerings – just because other options have yet to open for the day.
The good news is that early-riser coffee shops do exist, albeit few and far between. Here we gather the handful of Hong Kong Island cafes that open just before we hit the gym or our work desks on week days – and ensure that when it comes to our cups of joe, we can, of course, have them early and conveniently, without having to trade in quality.
The earliest riser of them all, Fineprint ensures you get your brew as early as six o'clock in the morning – and this goes for both locations on Peel Street and in Tai Hang. For those who like some milk in their coffee, Fineprint's flat white with oat milk is a winning pick. By night, this coffee shop also turns into a watering hole with a neat selection of wines – look out for their blackboard menu of the evening's specials.
38 Peel Street, Central; 1 Lily Street, Tai Hang
La Station's Wan Chai location opens at 7:30am, perfect for those who like to arrive at work a little earlier. Apart from coffee, La Station also serves some mean bagel sandwiches, croissants, and what might be the best chai latte in the city for those opting for an alternative.
248 Queen's Road East, Wan Chai
Athletic Juice & Espresso Bar
It's perched on the higher end of Star Street, which makes getting to Athletic Juice & Espresso Bar a workout in itself. For those living and working around the area, however, its 7am opening hour makes the caffeine-motivated trip worthwhile. As its name indicates, Athletic also serves fresh juice and smoothies, as well as a greater range of milk alternatives for those opting for their coffee fix: coconut milk, cashew milk, brown rice milk, as well as almond and oat.
2E Star Street, Wan Chai
Lucky for Wan Chai folk, COCO Espresso also starts serving brews at 7am and, located on Anton Street, comes sans the hike. Also lucky for Central and Sheung Wan denizens, the specialty coffee shop's Stanley Street and Jervois Street locations start brewing by 7:30. The Wan Chai branch is a takeaway spot, while those on Stanley and Jervois streets offer seating for those who might want to linger and get some pre-work quiet time.
2 Anton Street, Wan Chai; 50 Stanley Street, Central; 13-15 Jervois Street, Sheung Wan
Farther out in the west side of the island, Winstons Coffee – in Sai Ying Pun and Kennedy Town – starts serving brews at 7am. Their avocado toast is on point, as are their cold brews – coffee and tea. The cafe is also home to fun goings-on come nighttime, such as Tune Out Trivia, Gin & Tonic Tuesdays and First Saturday Martinis – indeed their drinks menu has more to offer than tea and coffee, and they're all pretty good.
Shop 4, G/F Rich Court, 213 Queen's Rd W, Sai Ying Pun; Shop 8, The Hudson, 11 Davis Street, Kennedy Town
Over in the east, Espresso Alchemy ensures early-morning brews for folks in Quarry Bay, with opening hours kicking off at 7:30 on weekdays. For those opting to dine in, the cafe also serves breakfast meal options.
Shop 8, 4-6 Hoi Wan Street, Quarry Bay
Nutsy Coffee Bar
Also in Quarry Bay and serving the Taikoo Place community and beyond – it's open to the public, too – Nutsy Coffee Bar at Blueprint, Taikoo Place opens at 7:30am. They also serve fresh pastries and bagels for anyone on a full breakfast run.
3/F Dorset House, Taikoo Place, Quarry Bay