I once complained to a friend of mine about the lack of independent coffee shops in Hawaii. My buddy, Carlos, had just taken me on a coffee crawl throughout New York City. He introduced me to the wonders of a properly constructed latte and I even had my first taste of legit cold brew. We stopped at Everyman Espresso, Stumptown Coffee, and Third Rail Coffee. All of these coffee shops were located in walking distance from one another in New York’s East Village. My eyes were open and I was abuzz from all of the caffeine. And I found myself feeling extremely jealous of New York’s coffee scene.
As we sat at one of the small tables in the middle of Cafe Orlin, Carlos asked, “so how’s the coffee in Hawaii?” It was a difficult question to answer. I knew that we had great beans coming out of Kona on the Big Island, but in terms of independent coffee shops not named Starbucks or Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf…we were lacking. This was 2013.
Fast forward to 2015. Hawaii is still a purveyor of some of the best coffee beans in the world, but we’re still far behind in terms of options when it comes to indie coffee shops. There are a few bright spots, though. Brue Bar, Manifest, and Morning Glass Coffee come to mind. I spent a recent Sunday morning at the latter, and was surprised by just how special the small wooden shack, located next to a Thai restaurant, was.
Morning Glass Coffee opens at 7:30am on Sundays. We arrived at 7:45am. The wait was about 45 minutes. It’s a very popular cafe for locals and the few tourists who are smart enough to leave Waikiki for good coffee.
Each cup of coffee is freshly ground and prepared to order. They use the New Clever Coffee Dripper at Morning Glass.
I went with the Stumptown Costa Rica Marvin Robles…Yes, you too can have your cup of Stumptown Coffee here in Hawaii.
This is the Breakfast Bahn Mi. Michelle devoured it. This inspired breakfast dish featured La Quercia prosciutto, an over easy Kalei egg, pickled daikon and carrot, chimmichuri, and Maggi mayo with cilantro. You get a nice serving of potatoes on the side, too.
I went with the Omelette en Casuela. Simple, yet so damn good. Applewood smoked bacon and aged Vermont cheddar were the filling to this melt-in-your-mouth omelette.
I also ordered the Oatmeal Brûlée. Yes, I was hungry. Fresh blueberries…does it get any better?
For dessert, a Matcha Latte with heart…because…why not?
The morning came full circle when Carlos, the dude who peaked my interest in handcrafted coffee a few years ago, randomly left a comment for me on Instagram. He noticed that I was at Morning Glass and said, “I have an awesome tshirt from them!” How fitting.