Cupping Room Coffee Roasters / Causeway Bay HK / Unite Unit

Visiting the newly-opened Cupping Room at Lee Garden is not only a pleasant journey that stimulates one’s palate, but also a visual treat that appeals to the senses. The open-plan space of the cafe designed by Unite Unit, welcomes you with a pared-down, uniquely crafted setting that adds sophistication to the brand and targets the upscale market in Causeway Bay. 

In the ever-evolving world of café design, creating a space that is both functional and visually striking is key to standing out. Today, we have the pleasure of speaking with Keikko from Unite Unit about their recent café project that masterfully combines innovative design and smooth operation.

Designed by Unite Unit

Photographed by Steven Ko

Published with bowerbird

To explore cafes worldwide see A top 100 architectural blog and global directory of cafes and cafe professionals

See also here for other HK cafes on the directory

entrance Cupping Room Coffee Roasters / Causeway Bay HK / Unite Unit Hi Keikko, thanks for joining us today to discuss your recent café project. To kick things off, could you tell us about the client’s requirements and aspirations for the space?

Keikko: Hi Andrew, thank you for the opportunity to share our project. The client was very open-minded and trusted our vision. The primary requirements were to create an outstanding merchandise display and ensure a smooth operational flow. Given the brand’s reputation for their champion barista, we wanted to highlight the coffee section prominently. This led us to design a separate coffee island with the coffee equipment front and center to catch people’s eyes. The café seems to have a combination of direct and indirect lighting. Can you describe your approach to the lighting design and any specific elements you aimed to highlight?

Keikko: Absolutely. We approached the lighting design with the idea of creating a stage-like setup for the coffee island. The surrounding display shelves act as a backdrop, allowing the barista to shine as the main performer. This combination of direct and indirect lighting not only highlights the coffee equipment but also enhances the overall ambiance, making the coffee island the focal point of the space.

entrance curve Cupping Room Coffee Roasters / Causeway Bay HK / Unite Unit The coffee machine really stands out in the layout. Were there any special or custom treatments applied to the coffee equipment?

Keikko: Yes, indeed. We implemented a custom front panel with the brand’s tagline, “brew like a champ,” to draw attention to the coffee equipment. This panel not only catches the eye but also reinforces the brand’s identity. Additionally, the setup allows customers to sit around the island, enjoy their coffee, and interact with the barista, creating a more engaging and memorable experience.

display Cupping Room Coffee Roasters / Causeway Bay HK / Unite Unit What challenges or opportunities did you encounter on site during construction?

Keikko: One of the main challenges was dealing with the elements we didn’t want to be visible. The café is located inside a mall where floor drains weren’t available, and digging the floor wasn’t an option. We had to come up with an innovative solution to place an island in the middle of the space with water inlets and outlets without the typical utilities. This required creative engineering and problem-solving to overcome.

Cupping Room Coffee Roasters / Causeway Bay HK / Unite Unit It sounds like you turned those challenges into opportunities for innovation. Thank you for sharing these insights, Keikko. Is there anything else you’d like to add about the project?

Keikko: Just that it was a pleasure working on this project, and we’re always ready to provide further information if needed. Thank you, Andrew. Thank you, Keikko. This has been very insightful. We look forward to seeing more of your innovative work in the future.

Architects Description

While some coffee shops adopt a bright decorative scheme for a quaint and intimate ambience, Cupping Room’s Lee Garden outlet opts for a less traditional route to appease the connoisseurs. A dark, moody interior creates a fluid cohesion throughout the space, giving a distinctive character and depth to the streamlined destination. A meticulously-employed lighting solution completes the design that exudes a soft glow that radiates in the dark, effectively driving away the dullness in the space. Whether it’s a casual get-together with friends in the day or a cozy dinner at night, you will be immersed with the inviting experience sublimated by the delicious gourmet and beverages. 

While the design team makes bold choices to shape the space, it’s the bespoke independent coffee counter that takes centerstage. Customers are encouraged to sit around the inviting open bar to wait for orders or chat with the baristas. A bar counter composed of grey marble in a matte finish and back-painted black frosted glass with walls lined with metal panels contributes to the overall tranquil ambience. The wall is decorated with a series of illuminated stainless-steel shelves adorned with a concrete-textured backdrop that showcase a wealth of fine coffee products, oozing splashes of warmth to the space while reminding customers of the comfort of home.

Share this article:
Previous Post: Koyo Base / Toki City / Gifu / Atelier Write

June 21, 2024 - In Japan

Next Post: Black Hat Coffee Specialty Espresso Bar / Hamburg

July 1, 2024 - In Germany, Hamburg

Related Posts