Over the past 3 years through part time involvement in numerous local cafes, I have been lucky enough to have experienced endless hours behind machines where I not only discovered the art, but unraveled my passion for the love of coffee. It wasn’t until last month I made the exciting decision to buy my own brew equipment, and through the helpful hand of Mitchell Donaldson, I purchased my very own hario v60 and accompanying gear. It was here where I began my journey learning the ins and outs of this new intriguing intricate art.
During my lunch break last week I was able to dash over to Birkenhead’s small yet alluring brew bar, 'Coffee General'. This coffee shop is located on 100 Hinemoa street and not only took out the best in suburb 2014, but is a fierce contender currently rated in the Metro Top 50. I wasn't here long before the helpful young man behind the counter recombined to try a roast from Merito - The Elegance Blend as in his humble opinion this created an unique and satisfying coffee.
When I got home that night, I got straight into brewing and realised that he was right in the sense that you don't need to go too far to purchase such a clean and crisp bean. This blend in particular originates from Brazil, Guatemala and Sumatra, using both natural and washed processing methods. Overall it leaves a sapid blueberry taste, complimented with a smooth mouthfeel and slight hint of lemony acidity, before finishing with a satisfying dark chocolate flavour.
As I am very much new to the specialty coffee scene, I jumped on to my laptop where I discovered that this New Zealand originated outfit is proudly owned and operated by Hans Pronk who took to roasting in 2007 after finding himself immersed in the coffee scene, as he was first introduced in 1999 where he began behind a machine for part time work. Not much has changed for Mr Pronk, you will still be able to find him behind a machine today, where he still enjoys brewing the perfect cup.
Furthermore, it is pleasing to see that so many outlets supply Merito Roasts around Auckland and the North Shore, and it won’t be long until I explore their other ranges of beans each with their own distinct flavours and characters. Interestingly enough Merito also offers a green bean selection which very much tickles my fancy as it may yours, and it will be a real treat to experience the tasting notes that these brews will have to offer.