As its name suggests, Hands-on Coffee offers passionately hand-crafted coffee in Mong Kok district, a favorite hanging out destination for the local trendy youth. In Hong Kong, the popularity of elegant bookshop style café has been on a rise in recent times. Nonetheless this approach seems to be at odd with the haphazard nature of Mong Kok which has always been about the juxtaposition between traditional and contemporary built environment that provides convenient access to all basic needs: food, drinks and even adult entertainment to all age, gender and class. The local has always lived in this unspoken order amongst its apparent chaos.
Hands-on Coffee occupies a split-level unit where the mezzanine floor is a teaching space call Genius Lab and the ground floor a coffee shop. The ceiling and walls of the ground floor are decorated with swirl-pattern plates, each has an espresso tamper attached to the centre. The tamper represents the most visual part of the brewing process, and therefore the desire to have it attached to the centre of each plate and seen from everywhere from any angle. the central coffee bar is composed of a variety of finishes. The bar partition is lined with traditional glazed roof tiles, there is a suspending U shape stainless steel lighting grid with signs, the back walls are lined with pink colour brick. These textures appear to be randomly chosen but collectively create an unlikely yet coherent arrangement which was inspired by the composition of Mong Kok itself.
A test bench occupies almost the entire mezzanine floor. Students can practice coffee-making while facing the instructor’s work bench at its centre. Pink bricks line all the internal walls, one of which is also fully covered with beakers showcasing a wide collection of beans and information. The mezzanine floor also has a planted terrace; customers and students can enjoy their brew in the open and to experience its delicate taste under the sun.
Completed in 2018.