It struck me after visiting Dellows that perhaps I missed a great amount of what there was to see. The website – a rare thing for a coffee shop in NZ to have – puts a lot of emphasis on the food, the recipe, the chef etc. I can’t comment on any of this, but I can still find worth in talking about it because of what it added to my study of Auckland coffee.
The majority of coffee shops either sell Caffe L’affare (a general brand) or Allpress (the artisan brand most commonly found).Dellows Kitchen serves ‘Kokako‘ coffee. This coffee roaster, named after a bird native to NZ, is a bit more difficult to come across than the others, but the sparsity of it adds something to its magic. When I saw the subtle blue bird sticker in the window of Dellows, I knew I had to try.
The cafe itself is very bright and clean-looking. I was greeted with a friendly smile. And then told there was a ten minute wait for coffee. This mildly surprised me at the time. Not because of the length of time – I’m sure I have waited much longer for coffee in the past – but, instead, that waiting time was given for coffees. It’s since something I’ve come across again here in Auckland, so it must be part of the culture. Still, I had a wander in Herne Bay before coming back to pick up my flat white.
The wait took nothing away from the crisp sweetness of the flat white. After the more brutal finish of the Allpress blends, the Kokako is a bold, but hazlenutty flavour. It’s definitely worth a hunt if you tire of the more conventional coffees in Auckland (also worth noting that Kokako roast a couple of single-origin filters that I haven’t tried yet). The coffee was very well made, and seems to reflect the mantra of the shop, which is attention to detail and attention to flavour.
Their machine (pictured-correct me if I’m wrong) was a San Remo, and so I had a good confidence in the quality before I went in. In the quality coffee shops in Auckland, anything but a La Marzocco is a bit of an oddity. I have a feeling that the San Remo fits more with the decor than anything else.