Roaster Al Borrie, known for his strong brews and stripped-back aesthetic, opens his third coffee stop in the Hawke’s Bay region
Cupple: The Hastings coffee shop with the coolest concrete aesthetic
“I always wanted to do a really long coffee bar,” says Al Borrie. He’s found just that with Cupple on Heretaunga Street, Hastings, where a six-metre service bench runs half of the building he shares with Ya Bon French Baker.
At the long, skinny space where tastings and barista training takes place, customers can watch their brew being made. Separated by large glass sliding doors, they can also watch pastries being made at Ya Bon. “Both our businesses focus on the handmade, artisan quality of our products so it’s important for customers to see how things are made,” says Borrie, who also owns boutique coffee brand Firsthand.
Cupple is the third coffee stop Borrie has opened in the area, including the original Box Espresso, housed in a container in Clive, and Crazy Good in Ahuriri, Napier. Cupple stays true to Firsthand’s stripped-back aesthetic, with white walls and black steel shelves. A landscape designer before he got into coffee roasting and hospitality, Borrie designed the space and his brother Hayden, of Genesis Design, put together the black steel elements.
The space is simple – “concrete floors, concrete walls, concrete roof”, says Borrie. Original details, such as the high ceiling, are barely changed after the 1935 building was earthquake strengthened. Out the back, the steel windows open onto a rustic sun-loving courtyard, making an inviting place to enjoy a caffeine and carb fix.
216 Heretaunga Street East, Hastings
Words by: Jessica-Belle Greer. Photography by: Sam Hartnett