The scene: Raglan Roast, 40 Abel Smith St, Wellington
The trade: Raglan Roast
Price per double flat white: $3.50
On the ground: You can step on to a plane at Hamilton airport, step off in the capital an hour later, then catch a bus to Cuba St. Caffiend stepped off on a clear and cold Wellington winter morning as the masses walked purposefully to work, anticipating 5pm and the weekend.
He wandered a few blocks up Cuba St to the Goethe Institute where he, frankly, nailed a German exam. Judith, the examiner, had a few recommendations for a good brew once the tense moments had cooled. But her personal favourite was Waikato's own Raglan Roast a few blocks up Cuba and to the left on Abel Smith St. The coffeehouse has the same kind of relaxed vibe that pervades the Roast Office in Te Uku and its sister outlet in Raglan. It's more spacious, though. There were couches and chairs and stools and Caffiend didn't get asked to pay in a hurry. It was cheap and the brews were strong and rich. No frills, just quality. He also struck up conversation with a long-haired chef who is part of the furniture there. He was about as friendly as you could hope any stranger to be. Catch you later, mate, he said, as he left.
Verdict: 9 out of 10. Bloody good coffeehouse
Stimulus: The first coffeehouses in Vienna, Austria, were the first to abandon the gritty Turkish habit of leaving coffee grounds in one's coffee. Some think the German-speaking coffee fiends were also the first to add milk or cream to their joe, but it's conjecture. It was certainly a European innovation because the Turks (like the Hindus) believed that combining milk with coffee caused leprosy (The Devil's Cup).