Lil Something Managing Director Casey Brunsdon describes the coffee shop as Taupo Airport’s “best kept secret”, a licenced café with homemade food, local giftware, and award-winning coffee.
“The brand is something I came up with based on the catchphrase ‘we all need a little something’. For me, that ‘little something’ is providing customers with a good cup of coffee before a flight,” Casey says.
Besides the flagship café, Lil Something has two other locations in Taupo’s iconic Spa Thermal Park, home of the Otumuheke Stream hot pools, and a dome fiberglass coffee cart that can be transported to school events, functions, and more.
“We took the [flagship] café on in October 2019 and after the first COVID-19 lockdown [in 2020] we opened the kiosk in Spa Park and the coffee cart. When the whole terminal at Taupo Airport was rebuilt in February 2023, we were able to move into a bigger space here,” says Casey.
All food is prepared on site at the flagship café or homemade by Casey’s mother. This includes sandwiches, scones, cakes, and slices. To keep travelling customers caffeinated, these tasty treats are paired with espresso from Altura Coffee.
“My uncle was one of the founders of Altura Coffee in Auckland, so throughout high school my holiday job was in the factory. I did a two-year roasting apprenticeship and also managed the packaging and distributing of beans. It was a natural fit to choose Altura Coffee across all three sites,” Casey says.
“When people walk into an airport café they typically expect average food and drink offerings, so it’s nice to exceed those expectations and see people’s faces light up when they see what coffee we serve.”
The flagship brews coffee on a Rancilio RS1 professional multi-boiler espresso machine, alongside a Slingshot Dosis grinder and Puqpress automatic tamper.
“We try to keep our workflow as consistent as possible, so no matter who’s using the equipment, our customers will get a great coffee,” Casey says.
1001 Anzac Memorial Drive, Taupo, New Zealand, 3378
Open Monday to Friday 6am — 6pm, Saturday 7am — 3pm, and Sunday 8am — 6pm
This article appears in the August 2023 edition of BeanScene. Subscribe HERE.