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11° & RAINY ON WEDNESDAY 15 AUGUST IN WELLINGTON
By Lauren Harrigan
August 25, 2015
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Customs Brew Bar

A cafe that is Supreme indeed.
By Lauren Harrigan
August 25, 2015
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It would appear that Coffee Supreme is worthy of its moniker. The roastery's flagship Customs Brew Bar, on Ghuznee Street, serves up a stellar raft of caffeinated options, in a setting perfect for both its location and aesthetic.

When it comes to the coffee itself, it's reliable Supreme fare that Wellington's coffee crowd has come to know and love – a Slayer Espresso machine presides over the scene, accompanied by Fetco Filter, Chemex, V60, and SwissGold for your pourover needs. There is also a myriad of coffee apparatus for sale, including Porlex handmills and filters. The beans board is large and exhaustive, with up to nine exotic blends listed. Green beans sourced from all over the world are roasted in their Hopper Street location.

Once we ordered coffees, my coffee crawl companion and I could absorb our surroundings. The company's aesthetic redesign a few years ago is redolent in the space's beautiful fit-out. The wooden panelling with hints of '70s California design, clean typeset posters and retro accents result in a space that is in equal parts calming and interesting. On a sunny day, the seating outside is highly coveted for both people-watching and vitamin D absorption purposes. Equally though, on a winter's afternoon the brew bar's aforementioned wooden interior provides a cosy space to curl up at a table, spread out with an espresso and some reading material – Monocles and National Geographics aplenty.

I have to admit, I was halfway through a fairly rigorous coffee crawl by the time I made it to Customs. Visibly vibrating by that stage,  I had a Fetco filter – the coffee, delivered in a muted ceramic mug was still notable even after seven preceding coffees. Full bodied and rich, with notes of nuts and dark chocolate, it was brewed to perfection. My caffeinated coffee crawl companion vouched for the great espresso too – and the guy at the large table next to us said that Customs does the best ristretto in town, high praise indeed, albeit from a stranger. I couldn't bring myself to try one but if that dude's years of patronage are anything to go by, it's well worth your time. In terms of food, the focus of the operation is obviously on the coffee. There are a few counter food options though, including cinnamon toast.

Whatever your preference for 70s aesthetic, how you take your ristretto or how much vitamin D you need a day, Customs Brew Bar has the entire operation on point.

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