Honolulu Coffee brings Hawaiian caffeine culture to Vancouver

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      It's finally here. Just in time for summer, a new coffee shop has brought some much-needed Hawaiian sunshine to Raincouver—not to mention island-style caffeination.

      As we reported back in March, Honolulu Coffee is opening its first North American location in Vancouver at 888 Nelson Street. (Geographically speaking, Hawaii is considered part of Oceania, rather than North America.)

      While the shop had its soft opening on June 28, its official grand opening will take place on Thursday (June 30).

      The company already has stores in Hawaii, Japan, Guam, and China, and Oahu's Row Aczon, the company's director of coffee quality, is in town to oversee the opening of the Vancouver location. 

      "I feel like our company has the Hawaiian culture to offer, [and] the fact that we are a vertically integrated company, we are doing a farm-to-cup concept," Aczon told the Georgia Straight at the shop. The company runs its own 80-acre farm in Hawaii, which it takes its beans from.

      In addition to serving Kona and Maui coffee, Aczon says one of their biggest sellers—and what sets it apart from other coffee chains—is their Hawaiian latte, made with coconut, macadamia, espresso, and milk. (It's also available in a blended frozen version.)

      Honolulu Coffee's Hawaiian latte
      Craig Takeuchi

      He explained that drinks from their espresso bar, such as their cappuccinos, espressos, macchiatos, and Gibraltars, are served on a tray alongside a glass of seltzer water, to serve as a palate cleanser, and a spoonful of chocolate-covered espresso beans, to complement the drink.

      Honolulu Coffee's cappucino
      Craig Takeuchi

      For those with a sweet tooth, there are also a range of island-influenced desserts, such as the Hawaiian mango coconut dome, the Lilikoi matcha mousse, and the Kona coffee eclair.

      For those seeking something more substantial, there also an array of sandwiches, including the Kona white BBQ turkey sandwich, and quiche.

      Lilikoi matcha mousse
      Craig Takeuchi

      Also something different on the menu that most other coffee shop menus don't offer are açai bowls with açai, strawberries, blueberries, bananas, and granola that can serve as a snack or a meal.

      And no, Hawaii fans, spam isn't on the menu, but who knows what the future will hold?

      You can follow Craig Takeuchi on Twitter at twitter.com/cinecraig or on Facebook