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The best coffee in Auckland – just one of café V and A’s claims

March 23, 2010

For now I’d like to take you to one of Auckland’s best café’s V and A which I assume is short for Victoria and Albert; or maybe not. It could also mean Vittoria and Allpress (two coffee brands) or vino and antipasti …….

The cafe’s location is just off Victoria Street, a short walk down from the Sky Tower, next to a florist. What more could a girl ask for — coffee, flowers and of course cake

by Cate

But, the thing that struck me about this café is its claim to serving up some of 2009’s best coffee. After reading this I just had to check it out. How could I not?

by Cate

Everything edible and possibly drinkable is organic and eco-friendly, excluding the coffee. I asked the barista (and possible owner) about the beans used in the cafe and he came up with a logical explanation which I shall attempt to relay: because the roaster (MOAK) blends beans from across the coffee world, it is difficult to control the type of beans used and assert the 100 percent organic label. His answer was clear and made sense to me. Sometimes taste dictates.

by Cate

I mused over the café’s assertion of eco-friendly sandwiches. Can this really be possible in the end to end production of a sandwich? Thinking of the food groups that make up bread and the fillings, can you really have an eco-friendly sandwich? Butter is one product which may have organically fed cows and live in a nice little abode, but don’t they emit methane? And, if so is the methane monitored and measured? This was all new to me and something I didn’t really think about till after I left the cafe. Unfortunately I didn’t ask the barista about the eco-friendly sandwiches.

Onto the coffee — did it live up to its blackboard reputation? I was brewed a decent sized cup of hot dark liquid both creamy and smooth to look at. With each sip I started wondering if I was enjoying the coffee because I had to, or because I wanted to. There was something about the aftertaste that annoyed me. The slight gritty bitter aftertaste of a fine Italian blend is perfect for a short shot of espresso but it didn’t move me.  It was a good cup, but not the best I’ve tasted in Auckland.

by Cate

V and A is one of those café’s where you can easily hide for a few hours reading newspapers,watching your cell phone for that next important text in your life, browsing magazines or writing. Seating is limited though — a few tables inside and out, a few benches and a few stools — but there is a good range of food, drinks and newspapers available.

by Cate

If you happen to find yourself close to Victoria Street near the grand Sky Tower head to this delicious little place, have a coffee and an eco-friendly sandwich, and let me know your verdict. If  food and coffee aren’t your thing, try one of the caffeine free teas, cold drinks or cakes and soak up this café’s friendly atmosphere.

Caffeinated Traveller

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16 Comments
  1. March 23, 2010 10:00 pm

    Just found your blog – love it!!!

  2. March 24, 2010 2:46 am

    Looks like a cute place! Too bad the coffee didn’t live up to their hype though..

  3. Treeb permalink
    March 24, 2010 4:56 am

    This is great

  4. March 24, 2010 10:45 am

    Hmmmmm.. the aroma is good.

  5. March 24, 2010 12:24 pm

    Liz – it was a cute place to hide in for a few hours. Not a bad area as well away from the pedestrian and car traffic as well.

    Rainfield -if only blogs could give readers all five sensory perceptions….

    Cate

  6. travelforaircraft permalink
    March 24, 2010 3:19 pm

    It sounds like I would be happy to give it a go. A nice place with decent coffee, at the very least, is a winning scenario to me 🙂

  7. March 24, 2010 4:55 pm

    I’m just going to sit here in your blog post for a couple hours, read the paper, take a sip o’ coffee….

  8. March 25, 2010 8:42 am

    Joe and Lorraine – I can tell you both like the cafe scene, and I mean the real cafe scene not the coffee chain noise scene.

    Cate

  9. March 25, 2010 4:59 pm

    For a second I thought you meant this V & A
    http://www.heatheronhertravels.com/an-artistic-lunch-at-the-v-a-in-london/

    Sounds a bit more promising that the little place below the sky tower

  10. March 25, 2010 11:17 pm

    The atmosphere seems perfect to sit around. With beans from all over the world the coffee taste might differ from lot to lot. I wonder how do they manage to retain a consistent taste for return visitors.

  11. March 26, 2010 2:59 am

    Hi Cate,

    Guess I am not the only one who is behind time on my blog.
    Have you ever been to an island named GULANGYU off the coast of Xiamen, China.
    I was there a week ago and was amazed by the number really wonderful cafes on this tiny island. Life there is simple, no cars and even bicycles are allowed. Only the local trams and everywhere I went I went on foot. Every cafe was different from the other. I loved it. Think you might too.

    Lapin, Cheri Joan

  12. March 26, 2010 10:44 am

    Heather – The official V and A Musuem is definitely something to write about. It looks very different to when I was there. I have to agree with you on the NZ one being much nicer than the small coffee cart under the sky tower.

    Anil – I guess we all have different tastes, and maybe the returnees come because the coffee is an actual Italian blend (???) or maybe the food is just good.

    Cheri Joan – haven’t been but it doesn sound extremely good. Wish I had done more research on this area when I was visiting China. I’m sure I would have loved it. Checking out your blog after I post this comment. Thanks for the heads up.

  13. March 27, 2010 11:05 am

    Hi Cate,

    I love the sound and look of V and A. Wonder what the name really stands for. As for those eco-friendly sandwiches, perhaps they use vegan butter – or olive oil. If you ever return, do ask. 🙂

  14. March 28, 2010 8:40 pm

    You have an engaging and humorous writing style. Eco-friendly sandwiches – that is a new one on me. These days everything is all natural or hmmmm eco-friendly. Though I do like their coffee art.

  15. March 29, 2010 9:09 am

    Erica – now that is something I never thought of. I will certainly ask when I got here again.

    Arlene – Thank you so much for the warm comment and welcome! I think eco -friendly is a key trend word for now, a bit of an odd way to use it but if it works why not. Thanks for calling by and hope to see you again.

    Cate

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