A desire to deliver a flavour like no other has led Dark Horse Coffee to grow from supplying only one local eatery to stamping its mark on cafes and restaurants across the lower North Island and winning the hearts of coffee lovers across the country. Now it is partnering with Tall Poppy Real Estate, in a relationship that will see its coffee in the cups of people looking to sell their home across the country.
Dark Horse Coffee was born in 2016 when founder Matt Payne couldn't find the coffee flavour profiles he loved and wanted to offer in the business he owned at the time, Raumati Social Club. Having worked in cafes since the age of 15, Matt knew what he was after in a coffee flavour but couldn't find it in the market.
"At that point, I'd been in coffee for just over 20 years, so I was pretty confident that I could turn my hand to coffee roasting and execute it to my own high standards. We started with a sample roast, initially supplying Raumati Social Club, and it grew from there.
"When it comes to making anything - be that coffee, chocolate or wine - it's all about balance. I was looking for a nice full-bodied dark chocolatey roast with all that harmony and a sweet finish, with nothing burnt or bitter. When people think of dark roasts, they think of old-school, ashy tasting coffee. In creating Dark Horse, I wanted to show there was a way of having a beautiful, full-bodied dark roast that had that sweetness at the end," he says.
Since then, Dark Horse has flourished, growing to supply many cafes and restaurants across the lower half of the North Island and opening two additional 'windows,’ Dark Horse on Wellington's Egmont Street and Coffee & Flowers in Paraparaumu Beach. Tall Poppy Real Estate will be including Dark Horse's well known Colt blend in its bespoke gifts to potential vendors (as part of the appraisal process), alongside its custom-created Wellington Chocolate Factory chocolate bar.
Heidi Roberts, Head of Brand for Tall Poppy, says Dark Horse is a local, passionate company doing something they believe in, which struck a chord with them.
"We love being able to highlight local brands who are achieving great things. Our goal is to challenge perceptions of real estate and do this through the premium and personalised events and experiences we create to excite, inspire, and surprise.
"Sending a gift box rather than just standard documents to every person who is thinking of selling is quite unexpected for the industry we're in. We can use our custom products with Dark Horse and Wellington Chocolate Factory to add to the experience, and really showcase what Tall Poppy stands for.
"Each person's first name is written on the chocolate bar, and the coffee packet comes with a how-to video to watch via QR code, so everyone gets the most out of their plunger coffee. Sitting down with a delicious coffee while reading about Tall Poppy is a great first impression to make, and the perfect conversation starter," Heidi says.
Matt says Kāpiti is home to many growing, innovative businesses, and he's excited to be working with Tall Poppy.
"We're stoked about reaching more people with our coffee and growing sustainable long-term relationships. We love collaborating with passionate, enthusiastic crews, whether that's a cafe or business we're working with. It's all about building momentum and working alongside people who are also excited about what they do," he says.
Dark Horse's Colt X Tall Poppy coffee will come in a specially created 60g packet, the perfect quantity for making a plunger coffee at home.