People: Chef and experienced barista Tom Hong and a collective of coffee and food 'geeks', recruited from friendships formed at cafes that Tom was previously barista at, Little King, Dear Jervois and Ben Gusto.
Place: As the name suggests, the cafe is located on Sainsbury Road, a quiet Sandringham side street with a sweet neighbourhood reserve. The building itself is part of a brutally grey complex that houses a row of shops, takeaways and a daycare. Two german beer hall tables sit under a sturdy awning overlooking the park, a tempting spot to shelter from the elements year-round.
On the menu: Whilst Tom's ultimate passion lies in speciality coffee, he originally trained as a chef, and has spent the past two years researching menu ideas. The result is fairly typical of a wave of trendy Auckland suburban cafes that have opened of late, with Best Ugly Bagels, smoothies in every colour of health and salads topped with edible flowers.
There are more indulgent options too, and while Banana and Granola sounds virtuous, it's served atop freshly made waffles with lashings of caramel. Like all good neighbourhood cafes, there's more than one version of Eggs Benedict – the Pokeno Bacon proving most popular with its stacked potatoes in place of traditional hash.
The coffee is, as you'd expect, excellent. Supplied by Wellington roasters Red Rabbit, a long black delivers no bitterness or acridity.
Decor: The glass-fronted space has an intentional school classroom feel to it (it is afterall the home of 'geeks') with school chairs, wooden benches and blackboards repeating throughout. Flowers, leafy plants and succulents bring the reserve inside, softening the harsh edges of an otherwise industrial aesthetic.
Go tomorrow: If you're a coffee geek or a Sandringham local after a sunny spot to enjoy breakfast, lunch or a sweet treat from the cabinet. Outdoor seating overlooking a park is ideal for parents too.
Address: 1/55 Sainsbury Road, Mt Albert, Auckland.
Facebook: Geeks on Sainsbury