My first day in Takapuna I awoke to the sound of the Tui bird and the warm, cinnamon scent of jasmine. Everything felt lush and distinctly tropical after the arid, snow-ridden Sierra. My friend and host, Erika, kindly drew me a map to the center of the city with directions to her favorite cafe's. As I walked I noticed that there were more artisanal coffeeshops in the few blocks of Takapuna than there were in the entirety of the Alberta and Mississippi districts in Portland combined.
As a western-centric woman (despite my desire to be cognizant of other perspectives) I was shocked. Could they be as good as Barista, or Stumptown or all my favorites back in the states? Am I really that big of a snob? So I set about trying two lattes or "flat whites" (like a latte, but with steamed milk, not frothed) from different cafe's every day.
What I found was a) they're all incredibly delicious, as good if not better than the U.S. and b) the ambiance of each cafe was unique, small and fantastic. I then remembered what a coworker of mine used to tell me about third-wave coffee and it's origins in Australia. While a lot of internet investigating proved that the origins of third wave coffee is a contentious topic and highly disputed, there is no denying that third wave was created in Scandinavia, Australia/New Zea,a d and the U.S. at roughly the same time.
But, who cares about who came first, all I know is that New Zealand is nailing it when it comes to coffee.
Top Cafe's in Takapuna:
Mimosa: This cute cafe also has amazing food! Everything is presented beautifully and they have a small little back garden area that was prefect for writing/reading.
Kombi: This cute little surf-themed cafe had amazing flat white's and lattes. Bonus: the ladies who worked there were super friendly. They share a back courtyard with several other cafe's and is filled with bright, sunny light.
Ark: Adorable and very, very hard to find.
Number 6: This place has delicious, homemade nut milk and breakfast sandwiches.