A great morning coffee can mean the difference between a good day and a bad one.
And it's not something local baristas take lightly, especially those brewing at the five cafes announced as finalists in The Hits Rotorua Top Shop and Must Dos latest category.
What started as a workplace debate on the best fish and chips in Rotorua has become a 2019 mission for The Hits, supported by the Rotorua Daily Post, with category four pitting locals' favourite coffee spots against each other.
With the nomination stage done and dusted, The Hits are happy to reveal the finalists; Columbus Mitre 10 MEGA Rotorua, Revolver Espresso, Scope, Third Place Cafe and Be Rude Not To.
Columbus Mitre 10 MEGA Rotorua owner Delina Dibben said she was "absolutely stoked" to be named as a finalist.
"I've had the place for six weeks and, in that time, we've been working really hard to do things better," Dibben said.
"To have that recognised by the people who have come in and voted for us is incredible and whatever happens from here is just a bonus."
Revolver's Andrew Phillips said the cafe's selection as a finalist came as a complete surprise.
"We're absolutely stoked," Phillips said.
"We love what we do and we are happy we can share it with people who enjoy it."
Dana Greer from Scope said it was very cool to be named as a finalist.
"We want to say a big thanks to our customers who took part in the competition," Greer said.
"Success that comes as a result of customer votes really is awesome. It's a fantastic way to be recognised."
She said the team at Scope always did their best and to have it confirmed was a great feeling.
Mandeep Singh from Third Place Cafe said the crew were feeling pretty stoked and would "keep doing what they do every day" as their best chance of winning.
"Every day we make the best coffee we can make so the person drinking that coffee comes back," Singh said. "We have great baristas who are proud of what they serve."
He said a great coffee had to look good, be the correct temperature and have not only silky smooth milk, but also the correct amount of milk for the coffee they had ordered.
"Knowledge is the key."
Be Rude Not To cafe owner Priscilla Reid said the cafe was also absolutely stoked to be announced as a finalist.
"It's nice to know you have the support of your customers, now we'll just see what happens from here," Reid said.
"We know we do good coffee, it's nice to have that confirmed."
Voting is currently open here.
Columbus Mitre 10 MEGA Rotorua
Third Place Cafe
Be Rude Not To