Put a barista next to a baker in an alleyway and you’ll get the best bread-coffee-lovechild in the Capital. On Leeds Street (just around the corner from Cuba Street), brothers Jesse and Shepherd Elliot have branched out from Ti Kouka café to create a bakery with the same organic and fresh ingredient ethos. Let me introduce you to Wellington’s newest artisan bakery and coffee combination: Red Rabbit Co. & Leeds St Bakery.
Walk down a graffiti-clad alleyway that is Leeds Street and step inside Red Rabbit Coffee Co. to get your instant coffee and fresh bread fix. The décor is clean, wooden and crisp with plenty of seating space. It’s not claustrophobic so you can enjoy your freshly roasted coffee inside or out in the alleyway in peace. To the left, a cubbyhole shelf joins the bakery to the café, displaying a glorious spread of glutinous delights. But as we were after something sweet we opted to share a piece of moist and perfectly iced carrot and walnut cake ($5.50).
I had no idea what beans went into our coffee but I trusted the man behind that Spirit Triplette Espresso machine. When our coffee arrived it was sharp, full of body and a fresh bitter flavour. But most importantly the coffee was piping hot; there was nothing lukewarm about Red Rabbit Coffee Co. While enjoying our second round of coffees a friend came in to pick up her regular organic wholemeal sourdough loaf, which she said is the most “glorious loaf of bread she’d ever eaten” (small $5, large $8). For those who love their bread Fresh, there's also a sign telling you exactly what time you can expect the next loaf of bread to emerge from the oven. I ended up deciding to pick up a cheddar and rocket scone ($4.50) on our way out the door – it’s fair to say that scone did not last long.
Red Rabbit Coffee Co is always busy, so Saturday mid-morning is perfect for a coffee-scone date if you’re in the area, or drop by for a freshly-baked loaf to take home for a shared weekend lunch. But there's no rush - Leeds Street Bakery and Red Rabbit Coffee Co are one of those combinations you know will be around for a while.