Some call it love, some call it an addiction, I call it a way of life! Hi my name is Sammy and yes I am a coffee-aholic.
Recently I crossed over the ditch and ventured back to my home town in the Land of the Long White Cloud, New Zealand. My roots lay in Taranaki, a small province on the west coast of the North Island. Blessed with a majestic mountain overlooking bush clad hills, rugged coastline and cobalt ocean, Taranaki is a nature-lover’s utopia. The Naki (as locals call it) has enchanting restaurants, eccentric art and more than the average amount of cows.
For coffee connoisseurs, the excitement of a coffee date is not only that euphoric moment when the foam touches your lips, it’s where this magical moment takes place. With Taranaki’s diverse scenery, caffeine fanatics can choose from an abundance of cafés deposited around the mountain. I decided to hit the road, from sea to snow to seek out the top 3 spots to enjoy a hot, delicious cup of coffee in The Naki.
High Tide – Oakura, Taranaki
The gateway to Surf Highway 45 is Oakura, a small seaside village that dedicates its existence to surf and summer concerts. The haunting black sand beach blazes hot in the summer with charcoal rock pools randomly settled amongst the shoreline. Holidays makers venture to Oakura in the summertime to laze away in the glassy ocean and endless beach.
I stroll the dark sand in the dawn light as the sky breaks into shades of baby blue. The smell of salt air and coffee beans surround me. Nestled on a lawn next to the beach, is a vintage chocolate-coloured caravan filled with fresh baking and coffee. Opening at 7am for the early birds, High Tide has recently opened on the shores of Oakura Beach to provide the humble hamlet with excellent takeaway coffee. French barista Francois runs the waterfront business and is well known throughout Taranaki for his ridiculously divine coffee.
The dark beans that Francois uses are from Ozone Coffee Roasters who collect beans from the plantations of Brazil, Ethiopia and Guatemala. Excited to fulfill my early morning craving, I order my skim cappa with extra foam on top (and extra chocolate). My earthy, full bodied coffee is extra hot, just the way I like it. Fluffy white steamed milk dances on top of my caffeinated liquid which is finished off with a cloak of chocolate. DELICIOUS! The creaminess of the foam teamed with the cocoa infused drink satisfy my bright and early venture.
High Tide’s set up is retro and the 1974 Anglo Delta caravan has become a special meeting point for lovers of good food, hot drinks and the ocean. Red and white striped umbrellas shading wooden tables are placed around the lawn and locals trickle down in the young daylight for their caffeine hit.
Whether you sit with friends underneath the shaded tables or enjoy your beverage on the sand, nothing is better than being handed a coffee by a French man with a sultry accent next to soothing waves breaking in the distance.
Tasman Parade, Oakura, New Zealand
Phone: +64 27 314 2931
Tea House on the Lake- New Plymouth, Taranaki
Welcome to the Jungle! Pukekura Park is a flourishing forest with native greenery, botanical gardens, a silk-covered lake and a historic red stained bridge. The Park is in the belly of New Plymouth, the main city of Taranaki. Pukekura Park covers acres of native bush providing a sweet escape from the busy township. Depending on the time of year you can encounter a standalone golden tree, a hidden gorilla swinging in the tree tops and nightly summer concerts.
Walking through forest covered pathways, I pass white teardrop lights hanging from the emerald treeline. I arrive at The Teahouse on the Lake, a 1930’s creamy white building with a small opening in the wall with crimson shutters. Water stained picnic tables are seated on the lake side, ducks beg for bread as they cruise the sleek lake surface and row boats sit quietly waiting to be taken for a ride. Busy with bush wanderers, the Teahouse on the Lake offers takeaway coffee, refreshing drinks and creamy ice cream.
Tea House on the Lake uses Inca Fe Coffee beans sourced from the jade jungles of Sumatra and the mountainous terrain of Peru. The award winning organic coffee brand is rich in flavour and does not disappoint. The Java blend from Indonesia is delicious with cocoa flavour and hints of pepper and marmalade. The Marin blend from the South American highlands focuses on almond flavours infused with chocolate.
Angie from Tea House on the Lake boasts it isn’t just the amazing taste of the handpicked Inca Fe beans which attracts them to use the premium brand but also the ethics of their processes, “The care and consideration that goes in from soil preparation through to the final product appealed to us”. It is the entire experience that makes this humble coffee linger on your lips.
My name is called when my hot cappuccino arrives and I sit listening to the sound of the waterfall cascading over shaded rocks. This is an ideal place to sit and breathe in the infamous New Zealand fresh air. As Angie says “Life is too short to drink anything but the best coffee”. Too right!
Tea House on the Lake
Pukekura Park, New Plymouth, New Zealand
Phone: +64 67587205
Volcano View – Egmont Village, Taranaki
In amongst the countryside of Taranaki sits Volcano View, a family owned restaurant on an emerald farm let. Down a long empty road with green paddocks and fluffy white sheep, Volcano View stares straight up to the King of the Province, the Founder, the Creator Mount Taranaki. Designed as an old farmhouse, the oak scented building is decorated with red panels, low hanging lamps, iron farm tools and vintage artwork.
Antique furniture spills out the dining area onto the patio where chickens nibble at the gravel and fluffy drinkers play on the swing sets. Tractors are parked in the field and a flying fox awaits the adrenaline enthusiasts, this place has something for everyone. I sit outside on a rimu seat swing, looking up at the mountain sprinkled in snow. As I sip on my frothy latte, I drift away in the rural outdoors.
Volcano View are passionate about their coffee beans and the experience they give to their customers. Inspired by Italian looking coffee, Volcano View are focused on getting the milk temperature just right to produce the perfect cup of coffee! Using pure Arabica beans, they like to purchase their beans medium roasted. With lukewarm cups, 9 grams of coffee and fluffy frothed milk, their hot beverages are divine. The passion to their coffee craft is evident especially with their final touch – The Kletskop (brandy snap). The treat with hints of sweet honey is the perfect companion to my creamy latte.
This is the perfect spot to unwind in the afternoon sun. Taranaki’s motto is ‘Like no other’ and it is here, I am spell bound by Taranaki’s magic.
Photo courtesy of Volcano View
Volcano View Restaurant
1917 Egmont Road, Kaimiro, New Zealand
Phone: +64 6756 6112