WORLD TRIP 2010
Wellington is a city with cool cafés around every corner. There can’t be too many places where it’s easier to find great coffee.
Maybe the swankiest spot is Customs Brew Bar, opened January 2010. This is for coffee-heads of the highest order, and goodness knows I’m not one of those. Luckily, it’s also terrific for ordinary Joes like me.
It’s a showcase for well-regarded Kiwi roastery “Coffee Supreme”, offering an array of beans and brewing methods that left me a little bewildered. There’s espresso (ok, I get that one), gold filter (a posh filter), chemex and Clover.
I went for chemex, a type of drip coffee which produces beautifully clean, subtle cups of coffee. It’s almost like drinking tea (even my tea-drinking girlfriend loved it). Fantastic.
The most interesting option, perhaps, is the Clover, a rare and very expensive type of coffee machine. There are hardly any about; just a handful in New Zealand, for example.
This is the story of the Clover in highly abridged form: the Coffee Equipment Company (Seattle) designs and produces the Clover; it’s a highly automated, drip-coffee machine; the coffee is top notch; it’s set (perhaps) to revolutionise coffee; Starbucks wants it; Starbucks buys the Coffee Equipment Company; Starbucks withdraws Clover from the market; in 2008, Starbucks rolls out a few Clovers to a handful of its stores; by 2010, only about 300 Clovers are left outside Starbucks.
And after the choice of brewing method comes the choice of bean. If you’re not sure (like me), the friendly staff will help.
Customs is a great place for superb coffee, but it’s also a nice spot for sitting and chatting / relaxing, with a handful of seats (including some outside) and tasty pastries.
You don’t have to be a coffee-head to visit, but it helps.
More about the Clover: http://www.chow.com/stories/10853
A post about Clover from 2008 by James Hoffman: http://www.jimseven.com/2008/03/21/a-clover-quandry/
39 Ghuznee Street
We visited on 27 April 2010.