Williams Eatery

Charles Williams had been working for six years in an Auckland roaster doing wholesale until he simply got jealous of café owners and the connection they had with customers in the retail space.

He started a small coffee shop in Auckland called Ceremony three years ago, and then saw the opportunity to lease a 100-seater restaurant in the city and start an all-day eatery with his brother, Patrick Williams.

“We wanted to make specialty coffee approachable in the downtown corporate market we’re located in, and introduce customers to the way it’s sourced and roasted,” Charles says.  Read more

The Candy Shop

 

When customers walk in the doors of The Candy Shop, they definitely won’t be hearing 50 Cents’ rendition of the song. Rather, Woo Hyung Lee, two-time New Zealand AeroPress Champion and venue Co-owner, says customers can expect to feel the euphoria he felt as a child when he first set upon a candy shop.

“It’s all about happiness and excitement,” Lee says. “I love meeting people, making friends, drinking good coffee and food, and this is exactly what The Candy Shop is all about.” Read more

Pickle & Pie

Pickle & Pie is Wellington’s version of New York’s Katz’s Delicatessen. But rather than serving American-style filter, this new addition to Lombard Lane has upped the ante on its coffee, offering only espresso coffee. Read more

Supreme Supreme

Supreme Supreme has become a favourite coffee haven for Christchurch residents over the past 18 months. Its South Island General Manager Steve McGregor says having a staple place for Christchurch coffee and foodie lovers to “come together and enjoy some good hospitality” is exactly what the city needs.

“Christchurch is still rebuilding following the 2011 earthquake. Although we can’t quite see the finish line yet, we can start to see the new city and its potential, and that’s really exciting,” Steve says.

Supreme Supreme was established in 2015 as the company’s South Island flagship store. “It’s become a place for everyone to call home. We wanted it to be a hospitality venue rather than just a standard coffee place, with a core focus on delivering what you should expect from a good café,” Steve says.

Those expectations include table service – no lining up at the counter required – and delicious comfort food that’s styled “very loosely” on America-diner cuisine. 

On the front bar is an espresso menu featuring all the regular Supreme favourites. On the back bar is a Fetco thermal pot with two single origins rotating at the one time. Coffee for V60 pour over and Chemex are also available. Steve describes the Supreme House blend as “an old favourite” that the company has offered to customers from day one.

“It’s changed over the years, but it has beautiful milk chocolate notes, a fruitiness through the middle, and crisp, clean acidity to finish. It’s an elegant all-rounder – smooth with milk, and quite complex and interesting as a black that suits any brew method,” he says.

The venue building is a large 400-square-metre space that was once home to the original 1950s Land Rover dealership in Christchurch. As such, Supreme Supreme retained the roughly treated floor, exposed beams, timber furnishings, and large amounts of natural light, which Steve says appears “more utilitarian than industrial”.

“I love the environment I work in,” he says. “We have a wicked crew, and I’m proud to go to work alongside them each day.”

Major Sprout

Major Sprout Owner David Lee has created an exciting dining destination in the heart of Auckland, and word is spreading.

Major Sprout may be tucked away behind tall buildings in the “business end” of Auckland’s CBD, but Operations Manager Jessie Choi says it only adds to its appeal.

“Surprisingly, we’re more busy on the weekends than on weekdays. Lots of people have heard about us and are travelling from out of town with their families just to visit,” Jessie says.

Major Sprout opened in November 2015. With its light and modern interior, top-notch coffee and Korean-inspired menu, it seems Owner David has achieved his goal of sharing a little “Korean passion” with Auckland residents.

Light fittings by Melbourne-based designer Christopher Boots are a focal point of the venue, but Jessie insists the endless seating options are one of her favourite features. Customers can enjoy their coffee from bar stools to tall tables and a marble communal table that sits 20.

Head Barista Sam McTavish works the La Marzocco PB Linea 3 group, pumping out high volumes of coffee from Wellington’s Flight Coffee Roasters.

The go-to house blend is Flight’s Bomber espresso blend, a combination of Brazil, Colombia, and Rwanda beans. Rotating single origins are also available, with past favourites including the Kenyan Kirinyaga, Ethiopian Adado, and Colombia La Reforma. A Fetco brewer and cold brew are also available.

Major Sprout is also experimenting with the latest craze to hit Melbourne cafés – rainbow lattes. “We do matcha lattes, golden [turmeric] lattes, beetroot and chai, adding a matching flavoured marshmallow to each drink,” Jessie says. “Our customers just love it. We have lots of customers come in just to try these coloured coffees.”

Major Sprout’s food menu delivers a generous selection of vegetarian, vegan, gluten and lactose-free options. It caters for both the health-conscious and those after something a little naughty.

There’s also a little twist of Korean, such as the BiBimBap, made with quinoa rice, tofu crumble, a 62-degree hens egg, sautéed vegetables, chilli jam, and kimchi.

“We want people to feel welcomed and have the best experience at Major Sprout,” Jessie says.

7010 Your Local

The best way Claris Jones-White defines 7010 is a “testament to her home town” – made by locals, for locals, with all her favourite things in the one spot.

“There is not one single item in 7010 that is not from Nelson. Every product including cold drink, chocolate, chai, antiques, pottery, cutlery, and tables are made from local artists and local suppliers. Everything is a combination of old and new, but most of all this place combines my love of coffee, tea and my home town. It’s a tribute to Nelson,” Claris says.

Claris has gathered as much worldly experience as she can in order to start her first solo venture. She lived in Melbourne for a few months in 2012 before travelling to Mexico where she started working for a specialty company called Buna. Other work opportunities then arose in New York and Cape Town. Eventually, Claris realised it was time to come home and share her experiences with the New Zealand market.

“The dream job would be a bean consultant in NZ – that link between great coffees at origin and bringing them into NZ. I want to be that go-to person for cafés wanting to showcase the world’s best coffees to NZ,” Claris says. “That’s the dream, but in order to get there I need a base. Back in Nelson, I got to the stage where I would question where I should go for a good coffee. I thought: ‘I shouldn’t be umming and ahhing about it.’ There were no dedicated coffee bars despite Nelson’s reputation for being the roasting capital of the world.”

As such, to solve her own dissatisfaction, Claris set up her own specialty coffee bar, which she opened on 21 October 2015.

“We specialise in coffee, and tea with a focus on education and training and getting people to appreciate the cup to crop philosophy,” Claris says. “Before my trip around the world I took for granted that coffee arrived on a container. I now want to impart my knowledge to others and show them what I love without overwhelming them with choice.” 

The biggest value Claris has taken away from her world adventures is management and training.

“I had to train people in Spanish to ensure a high standard of coffee and service were being met. Over in Cape Town you’re dealing with different skills and it taught me what type of manager I’d like to be, and the working environment I wanted to have for my own staff,” Claris says.

That environment is one of fun and passion. Claris may have even introduced the idea of hoverboarding coffee orders to customers. 7010 is a corner shop housed in an old historic building, so old that Claris says there’s a 60-millimetre different in floor height from one side of the venue to another.

Claris works with local suppliers Pomeroys Coffee & Tea Company to create seasonal blends for espresso and filter coffee. The menu consists of a spring/summer 2016 blend which contains 60 per cent Ethiopian Sidamo, 30 per cent Mexican beans, and 10 per cent Colombian La Jacoba. Filter coffee is 100 per cent Colombian La Jacoba.

For the upcoming winter blend Claris says this will reflect a more “grungier, spicy flavours” with Indonesian beans. All coffees are served as a double shot unless specified otherwise.

For the warmer months cold brew is a popular favourite, as is Claris’s Moccamaster, ice coffee and espresso over sparkling water. While in South Africa years ago Claris decided to make a cascara cider. Claris pitched the drink and two years ago, and now Moa Beer Company in Nelson has made her idea a reality.

“It’s beautiful, not too sweet, and we sell out quickly,” she says.

For the tea lovers, try The Cleanse tea herbal blend with lemongrass, rosehip, and hibiscus. White teas, earl greys, and oolongs are available and seasonal.

When it comes to the food, 7010 has an indulgent menu, including sugar free brownies, Roland’s Rollies range of savoury delights, and Little Bare sweet treats. Both Nelson suppliers only provide 7010 with gluten, dairy, and sugar-free products.

“This is the first time I’m not a trainer for a company. I’m not setting up someone else’s business. I’ve done this with all my heart and soul. This is all mine,” she says. “7010 is all about educating people that coffee is fun. For now 7010 is my local, and I hope it can be someone else’s local too.”

Little Merchants

Little Merchants is a tiny espresso bar with big aspirations. It’s only been open one year, but this 70-square-metre venue is born into a good family pedigree.

Big sister Café Lumes and big brother Coffee Embassy are close by guidance and support.

“We’re all part of one big family so we collaborate closely together for our bean selection, single origins, and filter coffees,” Café Manager James Burt says.

Just as people would once visit a merchant to trade products from around the world, Little Merchants invites people to visit for the same worldly experience.

“We offer seasonal blends sourced from around the globe that represents the coffees we believe in, what’s tasting amazing, and what we know our customers will respond to,” James says. “We really want our customers to embrace change and not be afraid to try something different. Unfortunately for some people, change is not celebrated.”

To reverse this perception, James and his team are taking a friendly approach to customer service and interacting with visitors about how the coffee tastes and what they’d like to see in the cup.

“We’re all about information sharing. The better equipped we are and the more our customers can appreciate our craft, the better our daily interactions will be,” he says. “We really want customers to get excited about the industry so we can create a fun coffee culture.”

Little Merchants serves the Embassy Espresso blend on a La Marzocco PB. It is a 50/50 mix of El Salvador San Emilio beans and Colombian Genova Quindio beans.

Single origins at the time of print included a natural Yirgacheffe that James describes as “stunning” with hints of spice, cocoa, and pineapple when brewed. He’s also excited about a single origin from Honduras due to arrive in the New Year.

To “complement and not overwhelm” the coffee selection, Little Merchants has looked to San Francisco’s popular toast craze for inspiration.

The food offerings include a range of tasty toasted sandwiches including classic combinations such as avocado, tomato, and feta on multigrain toast, hot smoked salmon and creme fraiche, and a banana and maple brioche for something sweet.

After eight years working in the coffee industry, James says he continues to enjoy the changing nature of the job. 

“I love that there’s always something to challenge what you thought you knew,” James says. “We want to keep making the best product we can from selection to execution, then make it better again.”

Rocket Espresso Bar

Ten years ago Rocket Espresso was the only venue on Grey Street serving coffee and food.

Thanks to the development of Hamilton’s coffee culture, the street is now thriving with coffee shops within close radius.

Co-Owner Sanchia Brodrick says the café’s strength lies in its “fun, youthful, funky vibe” – and quality coffee of course.

“Some customers might consider us a half record, half coffee shop. You won’t find house music on first thing at 7am but we do like to keep the tempo upbeat, even a bit of Bob Marley to end the day.”

Sanchia found her calling in the hospitality industry in her early 20s, and has been enjoying the journey ever since.

“Thirteen years ago I started working at Rocket Espresso washing dishes, then I progressed to working as a barista and climbed my way up to café manager and now owner,” she says.

Sanchia took over the business from the previous owners in 2005 with her sister Martina Mariu.

“I was only 25 years old at the time. It was a steep learning curve. A year later we acquired the space next door and did some demolition to make the café a larger space for our customers. It’s been challenging but a really satisfying outcome,” she says.

Rocket Espresso Bar’s interior embraces industrial aesthetics, curved walls, and strong use of red and black colours (no, Sanchia’s not an Australian Football League Essendon supporter).

When it comes to coffee, Rocket Coffee is the roaster of choice, and its House Blend is served at the espresso bar. The bean combination changes seasonally, but at the time of print it featured 70 per cent La Esperanza from Guatemala and 30 per cent from Gishamwama Pwanda. Decaf coffee is also available and filter coffee is set to be available for summer.

Rocket is a socially conscious café and was the first in Hamilton to join the Conscious Consumers Movement in effort to source free-range and organic products, and be more environmentally conscious. This led to the decision to add a surcharge for takeaway paper cups.

“We were sick of the wastage and so we added a $0.40 surcharge to encourage people to bring a reusable cup. It was a brave move but we have reduced the number of takeaway paper cups we serve by 50 per cent since 2010,” Sanchia says. 

A simple but tasty breakfast and lunch menu is available with the café’s bagels a constant crowd favourite.

Over the past 10 years Sanchia says there’s been one constant love apart of the coffee that keeps her excited about work each day – her customers.

“Each one of our customers are greeted with a genuine smile right from the start, and after a customer visits us three times we encourage staff to remember their order for a personalised feel,” she says. “And of course I enjoy working with our great team of staff. It feels like a family.”

Eighthirty High Street

White canvases are risky business. There’s an element of danger when it comes to splatters of food or red wine, but at Eighthirty Coffee Roasters’ new High Street venue in Auckland, they’re more than willing to take that risk.

The design of the café interior by Eighthirty architect Dominic Glamuzina is impressive. It features an industrial-looking concrete floor, stark white walls, a white workbench, white tables, and an origami-inspired pink feature wall.

“It’s a very different design concept compared to our other venues. We didn’t want it to be a cookie-cutter look,” Eighthirty General Manager Shaun Anderson says. “We’ve tried to adapt to the nuances of the street, which is CBD-based and attracts a lot of business clientele.

Eighthirty started roasting in 2009. When its first espresso bar opened on Karangahape Road in Auckland, just two coffees were served on the first day.

Fast forward six years and Eighthirty has an impressive four cafés around Auckland, and 30 wholesale accounts. Adding to that sum is the new High Street venue, thanks to Co-Owners Glenn Bell and Sam Jarius.

Shaun says High Street has experienced somewhat of an exodus in the last few years, with a number of tenants leaving.

Thankfully, he says the opening of this espresso bar in a 1920s building is one of many exciting things happening on High Street to help breath some life back into the area.

“There’s lots of new retail shops opening including high-end apparel shops, so for us the timing couldn’t be better. This street is turning a new leaf. Just like Eighthirty it is taking a fresh new approach to its look. We’re excited to offer this street something to be excited about too.”

A white La Marzocco Strada machine blends almost camouflage into the walls. It features wood panelling thanks to the café’s resident barista who also doubles as an engineer.

A Nuova Simonelli grinder sits on the counter bench alongside a Mahlkönig EK43.

Customers can sip on Eighthirty’s signature blend, specially created by Glenn. It comprises sustainably sourced beans from around the globe.

“We wanted to put our best foot forward and this blend definitely showcases that,” Shaun says. “It’s beautiful and sweet, with chocolate notes, molasses, and stone fruit.”

Siphon Saturday is a new addition to the menu that encourages customers to try something different on the weekend, when both they – and the café’s baristas – can dedicate time to enjoying a different brew method.

Shaun says the espresso bar is starting to source more Japanese brewing equipment, such as Japanese donut drippers, with the addition of Japanese ceramics.

A Moccamaster is always on hand with rotating single origins daily, with past favourites including Nicaraguan, Ethiopian, and Kenyan beans.

To complement the coffee, tasty food treats are available from local caterers Catroux.

“Our K-road (Karangahape) store is the flagship, but we’re happy we can now cater to our city fans,” Shaun says.

While the Eighthirty boys have excited Auckland crowds, there’s good news for Sydneysiders with Eighthirty opening their very own place in Sydney on October 12, 2015.

Café Lumes

Christchurch coffee lovers have double the reason to step inside Café Lumes’ warehouse-inspired coffee house. Read more