Last week my friend Maria asked me about the current coffee situation in Auckland. Maria (hello there and I miss you :)) has been living in London for a little while now, and most times when we talk on the phone, the conversation swings towards a discussion about local (for both of us) prices. We covered most areas already (movies, food, transport…) so sure enough talking about cafes and coffee presented a great opportunity to explore and pay more attention to the quality of coffee at my local eateries and cafes I go to on my way to work.
My mini assignment started with a unconventional Coffix café, which made headlines earlier this year for selling low price coffee and apparently still turning over a profit. For a mere 2.50 nzd you can get any type of coffee or a muffin/scone from a wee food selection. Saying that you get what you pay for, applies in full here. Yes it’s cheap, but my long black wasn’t particularly nice. What you get in a take away cup resembles café style coffee, but really tastes quite sad. Their muffins and scones are pretty good though!
Most mornings I hike up Queen St (it is rather steep) on the way to the office. I can’t remember what was there before a little café called Real Groovy Espresso appeared in the corner of a well-established music store, but these days, it is a place for a wee coffee community, where locals come for a chat and a cup of coffee (and/or a snack). Of course the staff makes a difference, and if you are lucky enough you’ll get a chance to say haii to fluffy gals (the dogs of course). A cup of long black and a smile to go is 3.50 nzd. Cool chairs on the photo below are apparently made by one of the customer, an avid music lover.
Depending on which bus I get on in the morning, I take different routes to Newton. So one day I found a rather nice café on the corner of K Rd and Ponsonby Rd, called Eighthirty. I tend to get there just after 8.30am, but the name kinda works in my favour and makes me want to walk faster to try and get there on time. I love the vibe there and the coffee is amazing. Rich and creamy, takeaway long black for 3.50 as well. The three guys working behind the counter are friendly too, although I did get a curious look when I showed up with a camera hehe. It is a keeper for sure.
My list can really go on and on and on, since there has been a real explosion of cafes all around Auckland. I thought that the main drive for customers will be the price, but it is service that makes people come back. One place to prove this point for myself is Welcome eatery on Grafton Rd. 3.50 nzd for a coffee, once again, but the service was so brilliant, it took all my worries away. Lovely interior and food selection, great vibe. Nice type of people that hang out there too, a mix of students and professionals. The only thing I missed out on there is a little plant on my table (it looked beary sad). Apart from that, nothing to complain about, the guys even opened the front door for me, which somehow felt like a lovely touch for a very tired me.
So all in all, just for you Maria… coffee in Auckland is beary good. For 3.50 – 4 dollars if it easy to find a great cup of coffee, and a decent muffin or a scone to go with it. I really like scones, so next time I should go hunting for the most delicious scone around!