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.”
Around the corner from The Candy Shop – literally a 30 second walk – is Camper Coffee, a small hole-in-the-wall dedicated espresso bar serving filter coffee and house-roasted coffee. Lee runs the venue alongside Tom Hong and David Lee of Major Sprout and Simon&Lee. The tiny shop was a taste of the specialty world, but Lee wanted more.
“Camper is a one-person operation because it’s so small. It’s pretty lonely in there,” Lee says. “I’ve known Tom and David for the past five years and we’d always talked about doing something together, and this was the time to make a bigger impact with a stronger food and coffee service.”
Each member of The Candy Shop team has a different role. Tom is in charge of management, Lee is the coffee man, and David is responsible for the fitout and food, which includes an extensive breakfast, lunch, and dinner menu.
The Candy Shop serves Rocket Coffee in Hamilton for its espresso orders and roasts filter coffees on a small batch roaster. Lee roasts up to eight, 50-kilogram batches of coffee at a time. At the time of print, Lee was enjoying a single origin from Finca La Falda in Colombia.
“It’s a washed and sun-dried coffee. It really brings out hints of passionfruit and watermelon. Delicious,” Lee says.
It’s no surprise Lee is a fan of filter coffee. He won the 2016 and 2017 New Zealand AeroPress Championship, and hopes to make it for a third year again.
“People are now starting to drink and appreciate filter coffee. They first think of it as American filter coffee with milk, but our job is to show them the best single origins we can and keep the coffee education simple,” he says.
“I’ve used an AeroPress for six years now and every year I compete I learn something more about this brew method. I love the AeroPress competition. It’s such a fun, transparent competition. I’ll try again this year.”
The Candy Shop
2 – 8 Osborne Lane,
Newmarket, Auckland, New Zealand
Monday to Friday, 7am – 9pm, Saturday 8am – 10pm,
Sunday 8am – 9pm