City Rail Link

News - September 2019

Coffix; damn fine coffee served with a smile

Kate (left) knows most of her regulars’ coffee orders by heart.

Kate (left) knows most of her regulars’ coffee orders by heart.

Espresso from Coffix on Auckland central’s Albert Street is just at its slogan promises; Damn fine coffee. And at $3 for a double shot, you will be hard-pressed to find a better deal across the city.

You’ll also be hard-pressed to find better, friendlier service. Kate, the owner and head barista, knows her regulars’ orders by heart.

“Morning Kath, mocha for you? Hey Jase, how are you today? Another trim flat white?” she asks while her hands froth milk seemingly with a mind of their own.

“I love my customers, I choose to think of them more as friends or family. I enjoy hearing about their lives, jobs and Christmas plans and such – that way it feels less like a job,” she said.

Although the shop is relatively compact, probably not much larger than a carpark, the high ceilings, minimalistic décor and full-length glass windows makes it feel open, light and roomy.

Coffix first gave the New Zealand takeaway coffee game a well-needed shakeup back in 2014, with a stall on Auckland’s iconic Karangahape Rd - featuring a low-price business model that didn’t compromise on quality. The model proved a hit and now there are more than 20 franchises across the North Island.

Kate, who hails from Russia, came to New Zealand 10 years ago to study English. She admits she was only supposed to be here for eight months but fell in love with the “beautiful country” and decided to stay.

“I had a couple of jobs and accidentally got into Coffix as a part-timer, learned everything from scratch and somehow I ended up buying two shops, one on Elliot Street and one on Albert Street.”

Coffix uses 100 percent Fairtrade organic Arabica coffee beans from the South Pacific and Central American highlands. The beans are then roasted in the perfect conditions to give them a nutty, creamy, smooth taste with full bodied undertones.

They also use compostable cups and lids, and provide compost bins in the shops to dispose of the cups correctly for commercial composting. This way customers can also feel better drinking their favourite cup of coffee, knowing they are doing their bit to better the planet.

Kate starts off her day with a long black with a dash of coconut milk to fuel her throughout the morning rush, which is between 7 and 11am. Then it’s a series of piccolos, which is a single shot of espresso topped up with milk froth until close at 3pm.

She said she bought the site in 2018 when City Rail Link works were already underway, so it is difficult to tell how construction has affected business. She did note there is less foot traffic at the Albert Street location than the Elliot Street shop, which she attributes to the “maze” of safety fencing outsider her front door. She said she was looking forward to when construction wraps up as she is planning on putting some chairs and tables outside, that way people can sit outside in the summer and take a few minutes to enjoy their morning coffee.

When street enhancement works are complete, Albert Street will have wider paved footpaths, bus lanes and bus bays, native trees, new street furniture and resurfaced roads.

CRL has put together a business directory for CRL workers, which you can check out here - show Albert Street some love and check out some of our great neighbours!

Nigel Horrocks