Tuesday, July 24, 2007
Smell the Coffee ... #64
Despite the cold mornings and a chilly wind we still make the daily appointment with our coffee fix.
This is the Fuel outlet on Willis Street. The Fuel brand is one of the recognised coffee outlets in Wellington and the the Wellington Airport. Sanjay Ponnapa, founder of Wellington-based Fuel, talks about coffee the world takes on a slightly different hue. It stops being just coffee and becomes "like a good merlot", or "a pinot noir". After a few false starts at university studying everything from law to commerce and science, Mr Ponnapa dropped out to start Fuel from a single espresso cart on The Terrace in Wellington in 1996. Mr Ponnapa is a perfectionist. He has been known to throw away a 22-kilogram drum of roasted beans because the roasting process has gone awry. He has since expanded to three carts around the city and six street-front espresso bars, and taken on 40 staff.
Though many of his extended family still live in Coorg, in southern India, where they grow coffee beans, Mr Ponnapa's parents moved to New Zealand in the 1960s to work as doctors. He still buys coffee directly from his family in India, but also sources it from Italy. "When it is your family, you know they will only send you the best."
If you look carefully to the right of the photo you will note one of the Wellington street cleaners busy keeping Willis Street clean & tidy. I see this guy most mornings and he goes about his work with pride and diligence.
All out little "hole in the wall" coffee places are like welcome oases on the journey through the concrete jungle