Something new: custom-blend coffee

It is a city where tailor-made clothes are not unusual, where macaroons are jetted in daily from France and where helicopters take off for Macau – 68 kilometres away – every half an hour. So isn’t Hong Kong well overdue a custom blend of coffee all of its own?

Yes, say The Coffee Academics. Hong Kong’s self-proclaimed coffee pioneer (probably not too bold a claim in a city where Starbucks rules supreme) now offers a custom blend, mixed after a detailed personal consultation and couriered to your door.

How does it work? Drop into one of the two Coffee Academics outlets on the Island – in Causeway Bay and Wan Chai – and fill out a comprehensive questionnaire: which alcoholic beverage do you prefer? Do you smoke? That sort of thing.

A barista will analyse your responses and suggest an ideal blend, made from up to 20 kinds of bean from across the globe, from Panama to Puerto Rico, and Costa Rica to Colombia.

Your personal mix is roasted, packaged and ready to drink 10 days later.

If you want someone else to do the work for you, The Coffee Academics have that covered, too. After careful, empirical research, the company has created the “Hong Kong blend” to suit the local palate. According to Ben Lam Yue-chak, the award-winning barista behind the blend, it’s low in acidity because Hongkongers are sensitive to sour notes.

Custom blends start at HK$498, including the consultation fee and 165 grams of coffee in gift-box packaging. Re-orders cost HK$168 for 165 grams. The Hong Kong blend costs HK$98 for 165 grams.

For more information and store locations, visit

This article originally appeared in the South China Morning Post on 20 April, 2014