Tony and Carrina Taylor are the owners and directors of Coffee Untitled, a coffee roastery in Highland Park, Auckland.
“We both have backgrounds in events and production - hence the passion (or rather, need) for coffee. When our day jobs became obsolete in 2020, we set out to find a side hustle that we could do together while building something that would fit in with family life,” said Mrs Taylor.
Mr Taylor has a technical background. He loves learning a new skill and pursuing it until he can perfect it.
“He’s a self-taught barista, and while that sounds a little dubious, he’s proven to pour a decent cup of coffee and created a little bit of a reputation for himself with the locals,” said Mrs Taylor.
The next step for Mr Taylor was to figure out how to roast in order to have more control over the entire process.
Mrs Taylor has a background in graphic design and management.
“This has enabled us to produce a bunch of media in-house, or from home in our case,” she added.
Coffee Untitled is a new venture for the Taylor family, launching in 2020 and remaining afloat during multiple lockdowns has been a massive achievement.
COVID hasn't been the only obstacle, however, climate change and natural disaster are affecting coffee crops, and therefore coffee roasters, suppliers and distributors around the world.
“We’ve only been buying green beans since May. However, our supplier has expressed difficulties sourcing certain beans due to riots and climate change in certain areas. Droughts are also affecting crop development and crop yields.
“This has influenced how much we buy now, to ensure we have stock when we need it and know that our buy price won’t fluctuate from month to month as it has been otherwise.”
Despite these challenges, the Taylor’s have created a successful business.
“For us, we’re currently supplying a home market, so during COVID lockdowns, the business has gone really well for us. However, when people go back to work again we’re going to need to push to get in front of new customers.
“Shipping costs have taken a hike, and national delivery times have been tricky and slower coming out Level 4, but I’m sure everyone’s feeling the reality of the increased demand there,” said Mrs Taylor.
“I don’t think that people’s want for coffee is going to decline any time soon. That being said, I think cafés will start putting their cup prices up, so I think that we’ll continue to notice a shift toward people getting their own espresso machines or filter equipment for use at home,” added Mr Taylor.
So far, the most rewarding aspect of the job for the Taylor’s is the “constant supply of fresh coffee!”
“But more seriously, we love hearing people realise how much better fresh specialty coffee is over the stuff they used to think was ‘all good.’”