It seems times change, in terms of hospitality menus, but some tastes don't.

For tucked away within the cafe and roastery at Aurum Coffee in Hastings, amidst the tasty home-roasted offerings like White Gold and 24ct, is a can of very standard commercial instant coffee.

And while owner Chel Adams won't touch it, it's the only caffeine-containing brew on the premises her nan will.

"Oh she loves her instant coffee," Chel said with a smile, and tells the story of when she was only 10 or 12 and out with her nana.


They went into a cafe and there was a coffee machine.

"She was horrified," Chel said.

"She said they were horrible."

So, accordingly, there is a can of instant coffee on hand should nana call by at Aurum's Heretaunga St roastery and the smart cafe.

For Chel, the move from the world of a design background to the roasting and delivery of fine coffee was sparked back in 2011 when she went to Aurum Coffee to grab a quick-fix cup on the way to a job interview only to find it had been closed by its previous owners.

That closure sparked an opening — of thoughts about maybe taking it on as the new career move.

She spoke to her husband about it later and they both believed it was too good a place to see remain closed.

"So I made a bold change," was how she put it.

It was at a time when the world of coffee roasting, producing and pouring, was very clearly on the rise.

People wanted to taste something with a different spark, and she likened the move toward boutique roasted coffees to the rise in varieties, and overall use of, olive oil.

"They've both taken off together really."

It was taste and the culture it created.

People would make a social occasion of going out for a fine coffee and friendships were also made accordingly.

It was very much a learning curve in terms of the roasting process, but she said having worked across the hospitality industry front in the past helped.

She looked and learned, and recognised the importance of things like temperature and timing, and likened it in a way to the doctrine of design — where sharp sight and visuals became sharp sight and aromas.

"And I had a lot of help from other roasters — they were great."

When it came to naming the result of the Arabica bean roasting sessions it was simple.

"We like to see it as liquid gold," she said.

So, out came items like White Gold, 18ct Rose Gold, 24ct and Fool's Gold (that's the de-caf version).

And it's going well ... to the tune of now roasting up about half a tonne a month.

She uses a 12kg roaster and works on about 16 to 18 minutes for 10kg of beans.

"Super hot when they go in, and cool them down quickly."

It is a taste which, given the growth of the coffee roasting industry across the Bay, clearly goes down well, and Chel sees that continuing.

"There's no cafe or pub without a coffee machine these days and I think it can only get bigger."

She has created a startling new cafe spread and is using the former site on the premises to put together a specialised coffee roasting training and education area, to help others get into the expanding field.

As something of an impatient learner and rookie in terms of how to turn out a fine home plunger brew I sought advice.

"Of course it comes down to how you like it," she said, but reckoned around the two-minute mark to draw the tastes was the ideal for a plunger.

"And press it down ever-so-gently — super slow — no rush."

That also applied to pouring it out.

"Just take it slow ... take your time."