Morning Glass Coffee + Cafe: Pourover on Breezy Honolulu Hilltop

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Coffee Honolulu

Eric Rose opened Morning Glass in Honolulu's more residential Mānoa Valley.

A 32-minute run up the hillside from Waikiki quickly transitioned from Honolulu’s urban core to a green wonderland with no sidewalks, mist shrouded hilltops and fallen starfruit. It was kind of amazing how close the tourist zone was to Morning Glass Coffee + Cafe, a breezy open air cafe that longtime Starbucks exec Eric Rose opened to end August in residential Mānoa Valley.

Morning Glass replaced Ducky’s, a longtime Korean restaurant. The retooled space contained only eight tables.

Coffee Honolulu

A three-group La Marzocco espresso machine, Stumptown coffee beans and locally sourced pourover coffee of the day power one of Honolulu’s most ambitious coffee programs.

Coffee Honolulu

My espresso ($2) was probably the best of the trip, with the brightest acidity and least bitterness. The barista even took the time to adjust the grind after some light drizzle bumped up the humidity.

Stumptown produces some solid coffee, but their beans are also available in the continental United States. Given that, it was an easy decision to bypass Ethiopia Mordecofe and Guatemala Final El Injerto in favor of Morning Glass’ Hawaiian Coffee of the Day ($3.75). They brewed Maragogype – Big Island “elephant beans” – via Clever dripper. The coffee was naturally sweet, not bitter. Their tasting notes predicted honey and caramel. That seemed to be in line with what I was tasting.

Morning Glass had a small breakfast menu and a few baked goods, including a ginger molasses cookies, blackberry scones, and condensed milk pound cake.

Coffee Cake Honolulu

A hefty Coffee Cake ($2.50) wedge arrived with a crisp crust, gooey cinnamon, brown sugar, nutmeg and minced pecans.

The moist cake was plenty tasty, but probably not a great idea before running back downhill. Not that coffee was a great primer either, and not that it mattered given the expended energy and spectacular setting.


Joshua Lurie

Joshua Lurie founded FoodGPS in 2005. Read about him here.

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