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Inside Kōkako Commercial Bay

June 10, 2020

Inside Kōkako Commercial Bay

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Kōkako Commercial Bay — a new concept for specialty coffee

The concept for Kōkako Commercial Bay takes cues from various components of international coffee shops visited by our team over the last few years, bringing together the latest innovations in coffee equipment with a sustainable and modern New Zealand design aesthetic. 

Wanting to bring a new concept for specialty coffee to Auckland’s CBD, the goal of our new space is to showcase our specialty coffee in an intimate and considered space. Commercial Bay will house some 10,000 workers in the immediate vicinity, so it was vital for us to create a space that can transport you to a slightly slower state of being. Although we are opening March 2020, our team has been working passionately on this project for over three years.

We opened our original Kōkako branded café in 2002, located in Parnell, (now known as Domain and Ayr), followed by 537 Great North Road in Grey Lynn (an institution for the suburb, today named Postal Service). Kōkako Commercial Bay will be the third Kōkako branded and company owned coffee shop in our 19-year history that will showcase our take on speciality coffee for a new decade; perfectly timed for a city that continues to mature into a world-class city. We could see several years ago when Precinct developed initial plans for Commercial Bay that this represented an exceptional opportunity to redefine the gateway to our city. 

We’ve also seen significant change within the coffee industry here in New Zealand. Commercial Bay provides us with the opportunity to continue building an awareness and appreciation of specialty coffee with a new community — redefining what coffee is, contributing toward a more transparent, sustainable industry. This is important to us because we are huge advocates for promoting the premiumisation of specialty coffee whilst providing education on the supply chain and producers. 

Bringing Kōkako Commercial Bay to life

We’ve collaborated with some great minds and creatives to bring Kōkako Commercial Bay to life. Our 40 square-metre coffee bar was designed by Auckland based Interior Architects CTRL Space and features a natural timber wall alongside a variety of innovative sustainable materials. 

Perhaps the shop's most distinctive feature is the counter cladding manufactured by Critical, a circular design studio located in Mt Roskill. It’s produced from 100 percent recycled HDPE (High Density Polyethylene) and is made up of approximately 8880 upcycled used 2L plastic milk bottles. We’ve used timber highlights such as FSC Cedar for the wall cladding and window joinery and Stained Ash for our countertops.

To complement this, ten High Stools from Melbourne based design studio Fomu line the bar, inviting you to take a moment with your coffee and interact with our team. The bar also features a customer Reusable Cup Wash Station to encourage the uptake and use of Reusable cups and sustainability — something that is very important to us as a brand.

The espresso bar features the latest espresso machine technology from Italian manufacturer La Marzocco — the 3 group KB90 has the same shape as our main bar and we will also feature a single group Modbar on our brew station which puts the entire espresso-making process on display. 

Our coffee offering

Various methods for brewing filter coffees are on offer including multiple daily batch brews, the Clever Dripper, Aeropress and Chemex. The brew counter also houses four dedicated taps with a nitrogenated cold brew, Cascara Kombucha and a rotating selection of coffee-related beverages developed in-house. 

And for those who do not drink coffee, decaffeinated or otherwise, there is a refined selection of teas from local tea producer Fine + Dandy on offer alongside a rotating single-origin decaf. We’ll also be brewing a beautiful fresh chai by Fine & Dandy paired with Happy Happy Soy Boy Milk, featuring honey harvested from rescue beehives on our roastery rooftop. 

Being located within Commercial Bay will allow us to continue with what we started many years ago at Parnell, then at Grey Lynn, which is to connect the coffee producer with the coffee drinker and to make speciality coffee accessible and easy to understand. Our Commercial Bay space will offer a truly authentic coffee experience where we can test new products, host tutorials and events, where people can come and engage with us, with our brand and as a discovery platform for our Outposts across Aotearoa. 

Whether you’re on your way to and from work, passing through between meetings, or in the precinct for leisure, we think you’ll find our new space in Commercial Bay to be the perfect stop. For updates, event notifications, such as public cuppings and brewing workshops, follow us on Instagram or sign up to our email newsletter.


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