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October 8, 2018 | by  | in Food | [ssba]

Pour and Twist

In many parts of the world, the preponderance of anything “craft” or artisanal has emerged as mainstream fetishes, if you’re middle-class enough. Particularly in Wellington, we have watched the duplication of craft breweries spelling the hackneyed reassertion of masculinity in a nuanced 21st-century packaging. Thankfully, it is not all bad, as craft coffee has emerged as an antidote. My visit to Pour and Twist proved to awaken.
Pour and Twist is Wellington’s first and only manual brew coffee bar. This means that the dependable espresso machine is thrown out, and steamed milk is retired to infancy. Zuyi and Elaine, who are the most magnificent and cosiest of cosy couples, run the place. They say that Wellington was lacking in non-flat-white cafés and it was time for folks to experience the analogue flavour. The shop stocks and selects beans from an impressive range of NZ roasteries, including Rocket from Hamilton and First Hand from Napier, among other Wellington staples.
This amount of choice placed me in a difficult position. How should I have my hand-brewed coffee, through a v60, Chemex, Aeropress, or woodneck? What roastery, from what origin? The truth was that my unsophisticated palate wouldn’t care or know any better. But as I watched my coffee being made in front of me, I wanted to care. As I observed the meticulously measuring and timing each process, grinding through brewing, I understood what this meant fully. It felt respectful to the Ethiopian farmer, that we could care about and appreciate each drip of this light-roasted bean at its next stage of life.

Zuyi and Elaine kindly held my hand through the entire brewing process. Unlike what you might think about operators of a manual coffee joint, they are nothing like hideous coffee snobs. Casual, warm, and attentive, I discovered they are also massive foodies. Exchanging notes of our food experiences, recommending restaurants and recipes, it became clear to me that these guys were the real deal; how can you not be obsessed with coffee, if you aren’t also passionate about food?
It feels like the warmth of the duo is passed on to all the patrons of the café, with its set-up lending itself to communal interactions. After a while of being shy, I jump in on other conversations around me. I made friends and exchanged stories, with people I would never otherwise be able to interact with in my daily life. In these instances, Elaine and Zuyi are only too happy to act as facilitators to their customers, whom they remember by name. This struck a chord with me. While super modern in its concept and offerings, Pour and Twist is a café that, if you chose to embrace it, can offer you communal chats with some cats. It felt pretty old-school and cool. This is an antithesis the increasingly stale, self-conscious Macbook pro and Monocle magazine placing café vibes of our times.

Pour and Twist is not limited to hand brewed black coffee either. They have an impressive range of speciality drinks, including coffee with tonic, “orange choffee” and “kopi” — which is Asian style coffee with condensed milk. All these drinks look delectable and very worthy of the ‘gram. I thought the cold brew with maple was an absolute winner too.
With its clientele spanning from coffee aficionados, homebrewers, to complete noobs like me, I can confidently announce that Pour and Twist offer a coffee and café experience that is twisted in its best sense.
13 Garrett St, Te Aro


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