Specialty Coffee in Honolulu: Bean About Town Kaimuki
In recent years, the sleepy neighborhood of Kaimuki has transformed itself into a hip and artsy area. It’s worth walking the streets because you’ll find tons of yummy local restaurants and cafes.
Today’s focus is the specialty coffee shop, Bean About Town. While Bean About Town is an established chain in London, the Honolulu location is its first location abroad.
The owner is a former Michelin star restauranteur who decided to dedicate his time to coffee instead. With credentials from the Specialty Coffee Association and World Coffee Expo, you know this is going to be quality coffee.
According to the barista working, Sundays are the busiest days. Because Bean About Town has a pretty tiny location and seating area, it may be better to go when it’s off peak. There are three seats at a bar area and two tables that seat 2-3 people each.
Luckily, the parking situation is a lot better. The lot is right next to the store and there’s a lot of visitor parking. Even on that busy Sunday, there was plenty of parking in the lot.
The inside of the cafe was laid out nicely and the space was utilized well. They sell coffees from roasters across America and lots of coffee-related memorabilia. It’s great to browse while waiting for your coffee to crafted.
They also seem to practice what they preach when it comes to sustainability. They offer up used coffee grounds for free for anyone who wants them. They also discourage the use of plastic straws and offer free metal straws (funded by donations) instead.
The sign of a good coffee roaster is a limited menu. Bean About Town doesn’t offer crazy coffee concoctions but instead focuses on classic drinks. There are one or two "trendy” items on the menu (babyccino, I’m looking at you) but they can be overlooked.
The prices are good for the quality of beans and the overall craft that goes into the coffee. The baristas are very talented and educated about their coffee.
There are also a few different milk alternatives to choose from: macadamia, coconut, almond, and soy. The prices got cut off in my picture, but they range from $0.60 - $0.90.
The food selection is a great curated menu. There are sandwiches, sweets, and smoothies. I’m glad that there are a few veggie options. I wish there were a bit more, but I understand that it can be difficult for a tiny space like this to offer a lot of options.
The Food & Drink
Unfortunately, I couldn’t get everything on the menu even if I wanted to. So here are three things from across the board: a soy milk iced matcha latte, a macadamia nut latte, and a malasada pudding.
While I’m not a huge fan of matcha, it was pretty good. The matcha flavor wasn’t too strong, which is usually the downfall of most matcha based drinks. Overall, the ratio of everything was nice and it came together nicely.
Deceptively simple, not all lattes are created equally. This one was very acidic, though it could’ve been the beans. I wasn’t given a choice on the beans but I wasn’t a fan of the ones they were using that day. I’m going to try it again though before writing it off.
As soon as I saw this, I was more eager to try this than the coffee. It was bread pudding, but local style… with malasadas instead! Unfortunately, while it was an interesting concept it fell short. It seemed like a waste of malasada because it didn’t taste much different from a standard bread pudding.
[Name] Bean About Town
[Address] 3538 Waialae Ave, Honolulu, HI 96816