Flight Coffee Hangar

In the heart of Wellington is a café in full flight. Run by 2013 New Zealand Barista Champion Nick Clark, World Barista Champion Judge Richard Corney, and Matt Graylee, Flight Coffee Hangar is giving local residents of Wellington plenty of reasons to navigate its coffee and food menu.

Flight Coffee Roasters was launched in 2009 in New Zealand’s Hawke’s Bay. When the time came to reinvent the brand in 2012, Nick says Wellington seemed the perfect space to establish an in-house roastery and coffee bar.

“At the time specialty coffee was still quite fresh in New Zealand, but we wanted to lead from the front and build our dream café,” says Nick. “We learnt early on that people are the key to everything. We’ve created a real family environment and people who walk into our hangar can feel that.”

The Hangar was constructed out of an old car park, with the yellow lines of the parking bays still visible on the floor. The design features raw, wooden materials with lots of natural light. A long coffee bar stretches along the café’s sidewall to help the baristas present different brew methods, and engage with customers as they prepare their brew.

“We aim to make the decision-making process simple for customers. We provide tasting trays, simple menus and try to reduce any intimidation in selecting coffee,” says Nick.

Flight Coffee’s signature coffee is its Bomber blend. “It’s made of Brazil and Colombia beans with tasting notes of cocoa, malt, and chocolate. People really relate to this coffee whether it’s served white or black,” says Nick.

The Belle blend contains fully-washed Ethiopia and Colombian beans. Nick describes this espresso blend as having flavours of jasmine, peach, and cane sugar.

For those keen to try something new, Flight Coffee’s coffee-loving staff serve a range of alternate brew options including batch brew through a Fetco, Aeropress, and a Gino Dripper. “There’s lots more people enjoying filter coffee and the black coffee drinkers in particular are keen to experiment. We’re just trying to make these brew methods more accessible,” says Nick.

To accompany the vast coffee selection, a creative menu provides breakfast and lunch options, all made on-site. “We developed our menu with Head Chef Lisa Craig. We looked at what we do and don’t enjoy when we dine at other cafés,” says Nick.
He developed a menu with an extensive list of sweet and savoury options. Must-have items include the Hangar’s homemade crumpets, eggs Benedict with black pudding, ham hock and smashed peas, but the most popular item is their “build-it yourself breakfast”, where everyone can create something to their preference.

Visitors to the Hangar will see the Flight Coffee team in full swing: a happy and educated bunch who take pride in their coffee production.

“Whether you visit to drink or eat we want our customers to experience our quality products and to have a damn good time while they do it,” says Nick.

Havana Coffee Works

Walking into Havana Coffee Works, visitors will easily forget they are in the heart of Wellington. Instead, guests are transported to a Cuban oasis in the Caribbean, with rustic wooden furnishings and eclectic paraphernalia.

“I love Cuba and its grand opulent architecture, beautiful cars, music, cigars, and rum. Havana Coffee Works has got all that and more,” says Co-Founder Geoff Marsland, who travels to Cuba regularly.

Geoff and Co-Owner Tim Rose have been friends for years. In the late 1980s they met up in Vancouver, Canada and fell in love with the city’s late-night café culture. It inspired them to bring back a coffee machine to New Zealand. Together they opened Midnight Espresso in 1989, followed by Deluxe café three months later.

In order to manage a consistent supply of well-roasted coffee, Tim and Geoff started roasting their own coffee. To do so, they introduced New Zealand’s first fluid-bed hot air roaster, producing 150 kilograms a week.

In 1997 Geoff travelled to Cuba and met with the local coffee farmers. “In the early years of importing coffee we became part of the Fairtrade movement, but we got disillusioned and started Real Trade in the late 1990s,” says Geoff. “The concept is about establishing long-standing, close relationships with all the people involved in the production and distribution of green coffee from farm to café.”

Havana Coffee Works was born in 1989 as a dedicated coffee roasting business. The company now supplies coffee to more than 250 cafés in New Zealand. The Tory Street site roasts five tonnes a week on a 60-kilogram Petroncini hot air drum roaster, with electric blowers that supercharge the roast. The venue is inundated with visitors who flock to the adjoining Havana Lounge to savour their daily cup of coffee on a La Marzocco machine, or partake in one of the daily coffee training classes.

“We have an open door policy. People are welcome to come into the factory, workshop, training centre, or coffee bar talk to staff and try our coffee,” says Geoff. “Our coffee is great but our customer service and machine service are second to none too.”

Havana Coffee Works serves an extensive range of eight blends. Geoff says the standouts include the Afro Cuba, Krazy espresso blend, Organic, and Five Star blend, which is an all-round “crowd pleaser”.

Alternative brew methods are available, in addition to 14 single origin coffees, which Havana Coffee Works has imported for the past 20 years. Favourites include beans from Bolivia, and Cuba – of course.

In the past three years Geoff has also committed to planting 25,000 coffee trees on Tanna Island – his own direct supply in the Pacific.

“Our motto is ‘the coffee you feel’. After 25 years it still surprises me how much fun this industry is. We’re still riding the wave and we’re loving it,” Geoff says. “People can follow us on social media and go to our website, but there’s nothing better than a good old fashioned visit to Havana.”

Welcome Eatery

To show local residents that the Grafton Road café was under new management, Welcome Eatery General Manager Ralph Jenner found the most obvious way to tell people.

“We thought, why not put a big welcome sign on the door in a big light box? You can’t be more obvious than that,” says Ralph. “The former business that was once here wasn’t too accessible to the public, but we wanted to show that we are.” 
Located in an Orion Health building, Ralph spent a few months refitting and designing the space with Perth-based architect Adam Alexander until it was ready for opening in March. “We went for a modern, clean and crisp fitout to tie in with the corporate building. It’s a spacious venue with plenty of room to hold a quiet meeting in a corner and lots of seating for couples and singles too,” he says.

The ‘welcome’ message quickly took effect, as the venue is filled daily with corporate visitors, local residents, and coffee lovers who are thrilled a specialty coffee shop has found its way to the outskirts of Auckland’s CBD.

The café uses Coffee Supreme for its house blend. “It has a nice caramel flavour with citrus notes and works well with milk-based and black coffees,” says Ralph.

Welcome Eatery also serves Coffee Supreme’s batch-brewed single origins using a Moccamaster. Ralph says standout single origins have included beans from Ethiopia and Yemen.

Ralph says the a la cart menu is driven by his love of fresh seasonal produce, in addition to his cabinet selection of sandwiches and salads for those eating on‑the‑go.

“Our motto is fast, fresh, and friendly. Our focus is on serving quality fresh food items made on site daily, in addition to our coffee,” says Ralph.

Ralph has worked in the hospitality industry since he was 16 years old. He’s worked in various New Zealand and Melbourne cafés, but jumped at the chance to start his own café venture with business partner Johnny Hartnett.

Besides dabbling in barista jobs, Ralph also enjoys critiquing barista’s techniques when he worked for three years as a sensory judge for the New Zealand Barista Championship.

“I’m passionate about judging and I enjoy the work I do each day,” he says. “I have a ‘feed the people attitude’, when I see empty plates and smiling faces, I can’t help but smile along too.”

Loretta

On a trip to Paris, Marc Weir and his business partners Julie Clark and James Pedersen went to source items for their new venture. But they came back with nothing.

Instead, while Marc was recovering from jet lag and watching his favorite film A Single Man by Tom Ford, he had an epiphany. “I thought my gosh! We should definitely channel 1960s California like the film,” says Marc.

That film became the inspiration for Loretta’s design, which includes open spaces, clean lines, and timber furnishings. “I’ve operated my other restaurant business, Floriditas, for nine years. But I wanted to create a different, casual dining experience with no high-class expectations – just great service, great food, and exceptional coffee,” says Marc.

Loretta serves Coffee Supreme’s signature blend for milk-based coffees on its four-group San Marco 85 espresso machine. Two single origins from Coffee Supreme are also on rotation for drip filter, which Marc serves via a Fetco machine.They change monthly, but at the time of print included an Ethiopian Yirgacheffe, which Marc describes as “smooth with flavours of blackcurrent and ginger”. The other is La Soledad, with caramel and orange blossom notes.

To cater to his customer’s large preference for milk-based coffees, Marc says he’s had to increase the range of milk they offer to include organic, full or trim milk, soy, rice and almond.

“Coffee has changed dramatically in Wellington over the past 20 years. Today there’s a refined and greater scientific application to the way coffee is served, and more boutique cafés are embracing this trend around Wellington,” says Marc.

To accompany the coffee, Loretta serves a detailed menu. Café favourites include the continental breakfast, carrot risotto with chervil or wood-fired sandwiches for lunch, and a broken chicken sausage pizza with shaved fennel and loads of fresh dill for dinner.

Growing up Marc wanted to be either a chef or a teacher. He was accepted into teacher college at a young age but his love for food crept back into his life. “I’ve developed my own ethos about food and I still strive for perfection in everything I do,” he says. “I love that this job is very hands on – perhaps it’s the teacher gene in me.”

Black and Gold coffee and eatery

 

Unlike its name, Black and Gold is not about shiny, expensive furnishings. Instead, Owner David Hung has taken an organic approach to his new venture.

“Ninety per cent of the furniture is recycled materials, including wooden and metal crates, pallets, and table tops,” he says. “I wanted to build a sustainable café, which also means using free range and organic products. Coffee is first and foremost our passion and will always be our main focus, but I feel this café has allowed me to combine good coffee and food within a sustainable concept.”

Keeping with its theme, David says the first step was to create a self-sustaining herb garden at the back of the café. “I’ve been running cafés and working in the food industry for a long time, and the biggest thing I’ve noticed is that we waste a lot of food,” he says.

As such, the freshly picked herbs are utilised in the café’s menu and all food scraps and waste go back into composting for the herb garden – and for feeding David’s chickens offsite.

Black and Gold use Coffee Supreme’s Brazil blend for their signature offering. David says this blend contains dark chocolate and nutty notes with hints of dried cranberry. Head Barista Kayako Nakamura can also be seen running a rotating single origin on the café’s La San Marco 100E series machine. At the time of print Coffee Supreme’s single origin Ethiopian Yirgacheffe added a nice option for espresso fans to try. Alternative brew methods are also available, including cold brew, V60 pour over, and syphon.

David has been committed to nurturing his coffee passion for years. He founded Espresso Workshop, which he ran for six years before starting Black and Gold in April 2014 in the developing community of Albany. David was also a finalist in the NZ Barista Championship from 2006 to 2010, and is a former NZ Latte Art Championship head judge and sensory judge.

Head Chef Gavin Suter has created a menu that retains a “simple and fresh” philosophy, with items including a slow roasted beef cheek with grilled cos lettuce, as well as a pulled pork sandwich.
“Black and Gold is all about creating an experience for customers to enjoy,” says David. “We want to introduce a fine café culture and good quality specialty coffee to the people of Albany.”

Good One

 

During November 2013, Coffee Supreme’s flagship café in Auckland, Good One, underwent renovations, expanding their back street site to facilitate more of what they have been doing for the past five years.

“We took a bit of a gamble in breaking a few of hospitality’s golden rules; must have high-density daytime foot-traffic, visibility, and easy parking,” says Coffee Supreme’s Managing Director Al Keating. “Naturally, when we proposed to set up shop in an old manufacturing building down a skinny back street in Ponsonby, there were a few scoffs and eyebrows raised.” 

Good One first opened in 2008 to showcase Coffee Supreme in Auckland. “We’ve always believed there’s no better way to win friends and influence people than to sit them down at your own table with a mug of great coffee,” says Al. “So when we began trying to crack the Auckland market we figured we’d better start by building a table, and brewing some coffee.”

Visitors to Good One will enjoy abundant natural light, a customised Slayer Espresso machine, hand-painted signage, and ample splashes of Good One’s signature yellow throughout.

“The Good One brand takes inspiration from early 20th century American automotive packaging,” says Jonny Calder, Supreme Sales Manager and Project Designer.

Guests can sit and sip their brew among the extensive collection of over 4500 National Geographics. The earliest National Geographic on display dates back to 1917.

Since reopening, customers have been enjoying a simplified coffee menu with two contrasting coffees being brewed on a Fetco Batch brewer at any one time. This machine allows for complete control over brewing parameters and the production of consistent quality coffee.

“It’s slowly enticing people away from their regular espresso drink and into something new,” says Jonny. Good One baristas serve up Supreme’s signature blend, Supreme, as well as a single origin or seasonal blend, all through their customised glass-paneled Slayer.

The range of coffee is accompanied by savory and sweet treats made by Little & Friday.
For those looking to delve deeper into the origins of coffee, Good One hosts free coffee tastings in their new training room every Thursday morning.

Kokako

 

Style and design are obvious considerations at Kokako café and roastery in Auckland.

“In our first fitout in Parnell I was inspired by Melbourne’s use of upcycled lights and the idea of installing plywood cabinets, timber walls, exposed wires, soft colours, and bold features,” says Owner Mike Murphy. “For our new café and roastery in Grey Lynn we wanted to go with a Berlin utilitarian style with more functionality.”

The brand Kokako was established in 2001, originally operating as a small coffee cart in Auckland’s CBD. Twelve years on and the name has expanded into its own dedicated space that is fast become a favourite among locals. “Kokako was the first organic coffee business in Auckland,” says Mike. “I had been living and working in Melbourne and I was inspired by the coffee market.”

Working as a retail food consultant, Mike says he had limited knowledge of the roasting industry, but had always taken a liking to the profession. As such, he returned to Auckland with the desire to open his own café and roastery.

“It was the time in Melbourne when third wave coffee was just emerging and people were transitioning to artisan style roasting. It was an exciting time to be in Melbourne, and I wanted to see something similar happening here [in Auckland],” he says. “The fact that I didn’t know much about coffee made me hungry to know more. It’s been a competitive advantage.”

Kokako is located in an old 1930s post office building. Inside, the café is segmented into three divisions: kitchen, espresso bar, and roastery.

“We’re transparent and open. We want Kokako to be accessible to our customers, so they can see the chefs preparing the food and the baristas on the bar,” says Mike.

Kokako’s house blend Aotea uses three distinct origins of green beans from Fairtrade cooperatives in Papua New Guinea, Mexico and Sumatra. Mike describes the Aotea blend as “floral, fruity and earthy with medium acidity”. It also has hints of apricot with a sharp, malty mouthfeel.

Its Rangatira blend has been created using specialist green beans from Fairtrade cooperatives in Mexico and Colombia. It has low to medium acidity with citrus and berry notes. Kokako’s Decaf is a blend called Cascadia, which brings together selected Fairtrade origin bean that have been decaffeinated using the chemical-free Swiss Water process.

Kokako rotates three single origin coffees weekly. Each are selected for their special characteristics. Typically they have a higher than usual grading and a distinctive geographical or varietal origin. Café favourites include Guatemala Huehuetenango, Ethiopian Sidamo, and Uganda Mt Elgon.

Kokako’s cold brew is fast becoming a popular among regulars, served in a medicine style bottle. Cold drip, chemex and Hario V60 pour over are also available.

Kokako’s Fairtrade and Organic coffee is handled in the care of Head Roaster Chris Unkovich, who roasts on a 15-kilogram Toper roaster, with a newly installed electronic probe to enable further roasting control. “We’re all about innovation and ability. Auckland is abuzz with coffee innovation, driven by small artisan roasters. It’s exciting that we can deliver something exceptional and challenge the norms,” says Mike. “If we’re not being innovative I get bored. I’m not prepared to rest on our laurels.”

Mike makes reference to the word kaizen, which in Japan means continuous improvement. “It’s how we do business. We see how we can continue to improve and upgrade as a café and roaster,” he says.
As to the origin of the café name – Kokako is a native bird of New Zealand, which inhabits the North Island. Unlike the endangered bird, Kokako is strong and here to stay.

Hummingbird Central

 

In the heart of Christchurch is a café that resembles a Lego set more so than a café. But that’s the unique part of Hummingbird Central in Re:Start. It’s a life-size, pull-apart café.

Hummingbird Central was established in October 2011. It was built as part of a community initiative called Re:Start, to rebuild the culture of Christchurch’s CBD after the 2011 earthquake. “It’s been a very successful project and great for the city to get its atmosphere back,” says Nick Cowper, General Manager of New Zealand’s Hummingbird Coffee Roasters.

The temporary café is made out of 12-metre long shipping containers, overlapping each other in an eye-catching urban structure. “We only had eight weeks to convert the shipping containers into a café space. The pressure was immense,” says Nick. “I personally didn’t think it would get off the ground, but it’s been a great learning curve.”

Hummingbird Central was constructed as a temporary site, however, the café has increased its lease in Christchurch until 9 January 2014. “The best part about the concept is that its portable – all it takes is 48 hours to pick up and move somewhere else. We can pull it apart and put it back together again,” says Nick.

On a busy day the café serves about 700 to 800 coffees. They use a two-group La Scala coffee machine in the upstairs container and a three-group machine downstairs.

Hummingbird Central is the sister café to Oddfellow’s, also established by Hummingbird Coffee Roasters. Nick says it is the first company to import Fair Trade coffee into New Zealand.

“The two cafés are distinctly different, one has a lot of history and the other is developing its own history,” says Nick.

To coincide with the café opening, Hummingbird Coffee Roasters created a Fair Trade Organic blend called Re:Start, sold throughout New Zealand. The blend consists of six origins, which Nick describes as “gutsy, sweet with winey peaks”.

Thirty cents from each 200-gram pack of Re:Start blend sold is donated to the rebuilding of the Court Theatre in Christchurch, badly damaged by the earthquake.

A full commercial kitchen fits into the 57 square metres downstairs container. An outdoor seating area is also available for customers to take in the sun.

“The coffee industry is incredibly rewarding,” says Nick. “There’s always lot of challenges, but the biggest thing is getting the best product you can and seeing other people enjoy it. That gives me a great sense of pride.”

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The River Kitchen

Leaving the big city smoke behind to bring up their family in the tranquil surroundings of Hamilton, New Zealand, Brent and Lisa Quarrie opened The River Kitchen in 2007.

The café is a warm and inviting space that resembles a farmhouse kitchen with high ceilings and morning sun that steams through the windows.
The River Kitchen aims to provide fresh and contemporary food using quality seasonal ingredients. The husband and wife team set up the cosy café complete with a deli counter, full of sandwiches and salads to cater for the busy local office workers.

Brent says The River Kitchen was one of the first cafés in the area to bring in free-range and organic produce. “We want our customers to be conscious of where their food comes from and be assured it’s fresh and quality produce,” Brent says.

Customers can try the gold-medal winning number One blend by Karajoz Coffee, a five-bean blend that barista Liam Austin says is a “medium dark roast with a bit of power that holds up
well in espresso and milk-based coffees”. “Customers can get the best of both worlds with this coffee,” Liam says. after six months making coffee at The River Kitchen, Liam says he loves the customer interaction and meeting new people each day. “It’s not just a cup of coffee, there’s a culture behind it,” he says.

The River Kitchen has an open kitchen- space with the opportunity for customers to have a chat with the chefs as they prepare meals, including café favourites – pickled mushroom, eggplant and wheat berry salad, and spanish duck pies with sherry vinegar, olives and smoked paprika.

Brent says the cafe’s success is due to a highly dedicated team, including Maria Senear, the creative hands behind the catering and pastries. “The satisfaction of doing a wonderful job and people giving us great recognition is rewarding,” Brent says. “We’ve always got tourists coming through and asking if we’d consider opening in Sydney. It puts a smile on my face.”