Great flavour, great service

Coffee lover Virginia Winder reads and reviews flat whites in cafes around the mountain.

Where: The Hub, Fitzroy (revisit)

Coffee count: 9 out of 10

Barista: Selena Joe

Beans: Ozone Coffee, Empire Blend, New Plymouth

The buzz: This was a coffee so good, I threw it back and ordered another. Therein also lay the only flaw to this flat white: It was too cool. Those out there who like it steaming hot (I know there are plenty) would have sent this back. The truth is, you should be able to drink a flat white straight away without burning your mouth, but this one was on the tepid side of hot. Everything else was splendid. The milk froth was velvety, forming a fine design when combined with the crema. Best of all were the flavours and the service. This was a sweet coffee that had chocolate overtones and a burst of fruit - perhaps blueberries. Selena served my coffee with a smile as she paused for a chat in the sun outside and looked horrified when asked her name by the Coffee Cow. Her fears were unfounded. With a degree or two more heat, she would have earned the perfect score.

Short shot: Te reo entered the kawhe culture last week. During Maori Language Week, staff and students at Massey University's three campuses were handed out coffee cards to help them order coffee in te reo. Also, for 30 minutes on Friday morning, customers ordering in te reo also received a complimentary fortune cookie bearing a message in Maori and English. So, for the future, try asking for a rate (latte), kaputino (cappuccino), a pango poto (short black), pango roa (long black), mowai (flat white) or a moka (mocha).

Flat white forecast: There is a tulip in this week's cup. This is a reminder that spring is just around the corner and, if you look carefully, you'll see lots of bulbs are already bursting to life. The message is simple: even when times get tough and you are buffeted by emotional storms, these will pass and there will be good times again. The image is also a wee reminder that people, like tulips, need sunshine to thrive. So, when the sky is clear, get out there and soak up some winter rays and top up your vitamin D.

Taranaki Daily News