Meet the Owner: Danny Lee, Rumours Specialty Coffee

Owner and Head Barista of Rumours Speciality Coffee, Danny Lee, began working in the coffee industry seven years ago. After working as a part-time barista in Korea, Lee moved to New Zealand to study. During university, he started working in the specialty coffee industry, which gave him the inspiration to open up his own espresso bar. 

Drawn to Auckland CBD's vibrant and busy atmosphere, Lee decided to open Rumours on O’Connell Street. The chic interior of Rumours was designed by Young Do, a good friend of Lee’s. Do’s use of a neutral colour palette, rough concrete and light timber accents helped to create a minimalist space and a quiet relaxing ambience. 


At Rumours, single-origin coffee is the brew of choice. Lee’s personal favourite single-origin coffee for espresso is Ethiopian because it provides a great balance of acidity, sweetness and body. Lee noticed that there is a growing demand for specialty coffee and an increasing awareness of its appeal. 

"In the specialty coffee scene, there are also lots of interesting and different processing methods of coffee on the rise".

Lee notes that there are three qualities of a good cup of coffee to look out for. 

“A clean texture, a balance between acidity and sweetness and a pleasant aftertaste”. 

For those interested in opening a cafe, Lee’s advice is to be prepared. 

“It may look easy to start, but you need to study and learn from other professionals if you want to do it perfectly. If you don’t think it’s perfect, then you’re not ready.”

In the future, Lee hopes that he can open up a new espresso bar with a specialty coffee focus.