Go into Dear Deer (follow the smell of coffee) and order a coffee. Pick a single origin green bean (or create your own blend) while you wait then watch as those beans are roasted to your chosen level of brown as you sip. They'll even grind your beans for whatever your coffee device is...
The myriad of coffee bean choices are on display with info cards that show tasting notes, acidity level, sweetness level and body. Each is available in 250g or 500g bags - with discounts for the featured beans of the week. Choose your bean and the barista takes a scoop of them and roasts them ("light, medium or dark?" he asks) in the futuristic, compact roasting machine.
Through the glass of the roasting tube you can see your beans be tossed about in the golden light as they roast. They're then taken out to rest for a minute before being ground and poured into a sealable bag for you to take home. It is very satisfying to see. And for those who like their coffee just so, there's no higher level of perfection to be attained in Auckland.
The operation is run by Yuki Shikano, who encourages patrons toward drip filter coffee - a slower, sit-and-sip style of coffee than the Auckland-standard espresso. To facilitate that, he sells not only drip "filter" grind but drip filter devices, and little hand grinders to grind beans at home. They're all as beautiful as they are functional: little works of art.
They also have muffins, brownies and cookies at the counter: little snacks that can conveniently accompany a coffee, and they have hot chocolate, kombucha and orange juice too but it's clear that Dear Deer is a love letter to coffee in shop form.
I left the Newmarket store (there's one in Onehunga too) with a long black in hand and a bag of smooth chocolatey and slightly nutty Nicuraguan medium roast coffee for my plunger. But now I'm thinking of going back for a drip coffee maker... It's hard to leave Dear Deer with just a cup of espresso, the variety of coffee to taste, and the level of control you have over it is seductive, and I imagine, addictive. Don't say I didn't warn you!
130 Onehunga Mall Onehunga Auckland
58 Davis Crescent Newmarket Auckland