When Tushar Grover moved to New Zealand from India in 2016, he had no idea coffee would become such a big part of his life.

“I enrolled at a French cookery school in Wellington, and that’s where I had my first proper introduction to coffee,” he says. “In India, they have a very American view of coffee, which is to treat it like a dessert, so I considered this my first real coffee experience.”

This inspired Tushar to open his first daytime restaurant, Rhu, after eight years of work as a chef.

It was at the culinary school that Tushar met representatives from Havana Coffee Roasters; a meeting that convinced him the company would make a great business partner.

“You need to have a passion and obsession to become successful, and I really felt that with Havana,” Tushar says.

This passion for creativity is shared by Rhu’s kitchen and coffee staff. Tushar says he and the Havana team have been curating new concepts to bring to Parnell.

“I like to look at what the local community has to offer, and we felt Parnell was very different to Auckland’s CBD,” he says.

“We experimented with 18 different blends from Havana, and picked the coffees we thought the locals would be most interested in trying.”

“People in New Zealand, much like those in Australia, are very specific about how they drink their coffee, and we want to stay true to that. At the same time, we believe it’s great to be open-minded in trying novel and weird things.”

Among these new additions is nitro cold brew on tap, with plans for RTD coffees down the line.

“Havana has given us plenty of support,” he says. “They understood right away what we are trying to do.”


235 Parnell Road Parnell, Auckland, New Zealand, 1052

Open Wednesday to Sunday 7am to 4pm

This article appears in the April 2024 edition of BeanScene. Subscribe HERE.

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