Identifying the right coffee selection for your café in New Zealand

Mike Tan

Just like food and liquor, coffee is a very subjective beverage that is consumed by many different preparations methods and available in many different styles that affect its taste, texture and flavour.  From sour and fruity to dark and smoky, coffee can taste very different depending on the type of coffee grown, country, roast and preparation method.

New Zealand is often perceived as a country that takes their coffee seriously with a good café culture.  We are an espresso-based culture meaning that the majority of the coffees served in our cafes are prepared using a pressurised espresso machine.  We are also a heavily milk-based culture and controversially the creators of the flat white (or was it Australia?).  Although espresso has been the dominating method for many decades in kiwi land, we are experiencing forthcoming cafes introducing new brew methods in addition to espresso.  These new brew methods are often a variety of filter coffee and/or cold brew coffee.  This is great for the industry as it opens up diversity and a choice of selection to try new styles of coffee that provide different experiences within the cup.

 Each part of the world tends to have a particular style of ‘roast’ when it comes to the method of roasting coffee.  This style is often ingrained into the culture and becomes a preferable norm for this geographic area.  In our retail store we have up to twenty different coffee selections and as soon as we mention this to someone they often look at us sideways and say “why so many”?  This comes down to the ability to cater to a very wide range of coffee preferences and simply the reason because they all sell-out within our timeframe of being ‘too old to sell’. 

 It’s no surprise that people enjoy different flavours and tastes and identifying the right taste or flavours can be a very important factor of a successful restaurant, bar or café.  Our wholesale offering, meaning our supply of coffee beans to cafes tailors a customised approach to each individual customer.  We sit down with you to discuss your demographic and geographic audience to determine your best coffee option.  This extends to other factors including the style of business, target audience and business structure.  Being a specialised boutique coffee roaster gives us the ability to offer this tailored service and our roasting equipment allows us to ‘precision roast’ small batches for each café we supply to on demand.

 What are the advantages of having your own customised blend?

We put this down to a few things that include having a point of difference, exclusivity and being able to offer a blend that customers can only find in your café.  With the saturation of cafes popping up in New Zealand it is becoming increasingly important to have strong points of difference in your establishment to distinguish yourself against the café across the road.  Unfortunately good appetising food and excellent service are no longer enough factors to sustain a successful café operation.  Exclusivity gives your customers a reason to return back to your café.  If they enjoy your coffee and understand that there is no other café with your exact coffee roast (point of difference and unique selling point) they will return to your café to receive that same delicious coffee again.  Your exclusive blend is uniquely your, which means you can also package and re-sell the beans.


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