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.