The food and beverage sector has always been a challenging business in Hong Kong; skyrocketing rent for confined premises are the norms and only franchises continue to thrive. At the same time, traditional and local businesses are marginalized and disappear slowly.
“N.O.T. speciality coffee”, located in one of the famous shopping malls at a busy commercial district, stands for “No Other Than Specialty Coffee”: unlike the machine-prepared variety, handmade coffee is alive and distinctive, so as to suit each individual customer’s preference.
Whilst it’s tiny in size, the premise retains a very high clear ceiling which makes its feel spacious and liberating.
The brews are hand-crafted with care and seasoned skill and the occasional nicks defines their perfection in the eyes of its customers. In response to this and to attract passer-by, a story was created of an “under-the-table deal” between the barista and the customer, and as a result he is paid under the table for a unique taste of coffee..
With this approach the ceiling was transformed into a cluster of table legs as if you are enjoying a coffee under a huge table.
The bar counter sits on one side with a hanging feature above surrounding with the words “no other than” made in illuminated spheres.
To emphasise the ‘N.O.T.’ brand in a subtle way, it was decided to spread it in details such as the wooden skirting board on the wall and the brass decoration under the bar counter.
Coffee has always been a part of our daily lives: on the walls are black and white photos of everyday life in Hong Kong taken by a photographer friend of the owner. It becomes part of the eye-catching walls of the coffee shop.
Photo credits: Dick Liu
Photo editing: Marco Beolchi
Architects and description: Atelier E Limited
N.O.T. Specialty Coffee
Hong Kong, Causeway Bay, Hysen Ave33號Lee Garden OneShop 212
Phone: +852 2151 9712