China: Hong Kong Slow-Brew Coffee Obsession

A very different kind of coffee joint has been brewing in Hong Kong, and it goes by the name of Rabbithole Coffee and Roaster, founded by highly caffeinated pioneer Mike Fung. DCCC  as Dutch-Chinese business organization is more interested in business motivation: What drives behind this slow-brew coffee obsession?

After catching the coffee bug and leaving his job in media advertising, Fung ventured to Australia, working in cafés, only to return to Hong Kong to open his very own single-sourced, freshly roasted and slow-brewed coffee company. Rabbithole is one of a new breed of serious coffee spots that have cropped up in Hong Kong over the last a few years. Serving an exacting and often well-traveled European and Asian business clientele, these roasters and barristers are a driving force in the city’s move away from instant coffee and towards specialty brews — using high-quality, fresh beans of approved provenance, prepared and served to precise standards.

What role Rabbithole playing in terms of changing consumer tastes and coffee appreciation? Mike Fung believes that Rabbithole is a place for people to share coffee. He said that we roast it fresh in Hong Kong, and we want to promote the idea that coffee shouldn’t be old; it should be really fresh when you consume it. A lot of times when people go to a café, they just order it and sit at the table, and we don’t do that. When people come in, we try to explain what they are drinking, what the components are, what beans they’re choosing, and how it tastes.

We explain a lot so they have an idea of all these things. In Hong Kong, maybe not so much in the Netherlands or Europe, but Hong Kong is still stuck in the past — in most people’s minds, coffee is just coffee. But no one ever explained to them what coffee should taste like. So we try to educate them using this platform to show them what it should taste like, and really open their minds about coffee. This is the true motivation and drive behind this business adventure and putting a business dream into real action, to achieve something in niche marketing in today’s economy.