Walking into Brew Bros Coffee in a gentrifying community of Sheung Wan, we immediately recognize we are in a “hipster” cafe.
You are greeted by few seats, minimalist decor, and a sound of steam venting from a vast coffee machine, churning out macchiatos and prosaic whites.
The shop, tucked divided during finish of a cul-de-sac, is a entrepreneurial dream of co-owners Louie Chan Lo-yi and her husband. But now they are doubt either their business will still be there in a few years.
“[We picked adult a option] to replenish a agreement for another dual years and a lease went adult 15 per cent. But in another dual years we consider it will go adult 30 to 50 per cent, that is unequivocally tough to afford,” Chan, 33, said.
“We might have to pierce or enhance a business.”
In a final decade, speciality coffee shops have turn a common steer in certain districts in Hong Kong. Coffee enlightenment exploded after immature university students returned from study abroad and wanted to obey a western cafeteria experience.
According to a Hong Kong Professional Coffee Association, there are around 250 speciality coffee shops, that are not partial of vital chains, in Hong Kong.
But some are struggling to stay afloat opposite rising foe and rents.
Coffee and logistics costs are also a regard for Chan. She imports coffee beans from Melbourne each week and has seen costs arise by 10 per cent annually.
The onslaught to stay in business has pushed cafeteria owners to consider creatively.
With fast gentrification in areas such as Sheung Wan, Kennedy Town, and Tai Kok Tsui, a inundate of hipster coffee shops followed, portion drinks done from beans sourced directly from coffee farms.
Some emporium owners fly to these farms to privately check a peculiarity of a coffee beans.
For Brew Job Coffee owners Alvin Leung Kam-kwun, 27, this is what he is doing to stay forward of a foe and offer business who increasingly approach improved peculiarity coffee.
“You have to be innovative only to survive; we have to take caring of a lot of aspects only to make certain a patron comes back,” Leung, who graduated with an economics degree, said.
Two years after opening his coffee emporium in Tai Kok Tsui, Leung began to fry his possess coffee beans – formulating singular blends for his possess business and offered to other shops opposite Hong Kong.
Speciality coffee mini-chain, The Coffee Academics, with 10 locations in Hong Kong, also sources a possess beans, roasts a possess coffee and, creates disdainful blends for corporate customers.
“We do approach trade with a farms, that indeed helps us control a lot of a behind finish costs. That is critical since infrequently lease is uncontrollable, though we can control a behind end,” The Coffee Academics owners Jennifer Liu said.
“Rent and work costs are some-more than 50 per cent of a sales. Most people stay [at most] one year,” Chan said, highlighting some of her vital concerns.
After training how to make speciality coffees, some have left on to “fulfil their dream” of opening their possess cafes.
Minimal taste is partial of a hipster cafeteria character – that also translates to minimal costs. The many poignant cost is a blurb coffee appurtenance and a low separator to entrance creates opening this form of cafeteria appealing for budding entrepreneurs.
With some-more coffee shops opening in Hong Kong, there was a risk of over saturation. Some landlords are seeking coffee shops as a apparatus to tempt other higher-end stores to set adult in a same street.
But Liu was not disturbed about a fall of a attention any time soon: “The approach for good coffee is sharpening … [Millennials are] celebration coffee like we were celebration Coke behind when we were teenagers.”