At the heart of Proof and Stock Coffee is manaakitanga, a Māori concept embodied by hospitality, generosity, respect, and caring for others. For Adrianna Greenhill and Tane Morgan, who run and operate this roastery and café on Cutfield Road, it isn't just a throwaway sentiment.
The duo embody manaakitanga in everything they do, whether in life or business. This is immediately evident as we arrive to interview them on an overcast spring morning in September. Streams of cars come and go. Tradies, up with the birds, stop enroute to jobs for a quick morning fix as the city wakes around them. Later, after the rush of school drop-off has died down, mums and dads take a moment to breathe and connect, sipping on their favourite brew. All the while, Adrianna and Tane perform an elaborate and effortless dance; grinding, tamping, and brewing coffee and artfully steaming milk, all while they talk and laugh with each customer, who gratefully walk away clutching their morning pick-me-up. Adrianna and Tane are as much a part of this community's ritual as their coffee is.
The motivation to open Proof & Stock was two-fold but was driven predominantly by a desire to achieve that all-elusive healthy work-life balance.
For them that means having the ability to run a business that motivates and inspires them while still being present for their kids. The business was also a logical unfolding of Tane's passion for coffee developed during his time working with his Dad at Cafe Blues (now Little Fed).
The evolution of becoming proficient at buying, roasting, and selling coffee meant to them a closing of the loop; of understanding the coffee process in its entirety. That meant meeting the farmers who grow the beans, understanding the impact of climate and terroir on each varietal, learning the art of roasting the beans and extracting the coffee, and finally, composting the organic waste produced as a by-product.
The wellbeing and health of everyone in their supply chain, as well as the impact on the environment, is evident in every decision Adrianna and Tane make. The coffee beans are fair trade organic, sold in both compostable bags and beautiful refillable tins that bear their hei tiki logo, designed by Tane. Feeling uneasy about the volume of waste the business was producing, they now compost their shredded coffee cups, and the coffee pucks and husks leftover from roasting their beans into two composting bays built on-site. The resulting compost is rich, dark, and full of worms, and is gratefully received by the team running the Marfell Community Gardens.
Doing business in Taranaki has its advantages and Adrianna and Tane are quick to point them out. For them, the size of the region means that news travels fast. This has proven a very honest marketing tool for Proof and Stock. They also reflect on the genuine sense of camaraderie that exists between competitors. This became evident to them early on when they bought their first coffee roaster from Escape Coffee. Their team went the distance, providing Adrianna and Tane with support and advice as they learnt to use their new machine and understand the intricacies of coffee roasting.
With three years of business under their belts, Adrianna and Tane's motivation and inspiration hasn't waned. They attribute this to their desire to continuously improve their offering, to continue to serve their customers with respect, all with the support of the team around them. Adrianna and Tane have not only built a thriving business on their residential street in central New Plymouth, but also a thriving, vibrant, connected community.
For the Cold Brew Coffee Panna Cotta
½ cup freshly ground coffee
1 ½ cups filtered water
4 gold grade gelatin leaves
½ cup cold brew coffee
1 ¼ cups cream
1 ¼ cups milk
4 tablespoons sugar
Put the ground coffee and the water into a jar, cover and leave on the bench overnight or up to 24 hours. Pour the coffee through coffee filter paper or through a sieve lined with muslin. Discard the coffee grounds. Tear the gelatin leaves into a dish of cold water and set aside for 10 minutes or so to soften. Put ½ cup of the cold brew coffee into a small heavy-bottomed pot along with the cream, milk and sugar. Heat until almost boiling (but do not let boil) then remove from the heat. Squeeze the water from the gelatin leaves and whisk into the hot panna cotta mixture. Divide between 6 little ramekins and put in the fridge to set for at least 4 hours or overnight.
For the Cardamom Coffee Syrup
½ cup cold brew coffee
1 tablespoon sugar
1 cardamom pod
Put the remaining ½ cup of cold brew coffee into a small heavy-bottomed saucepan along with the sugar. Bruise the cardamom pod with the back of a knife and add this to the saucepan also. Bring to the boil then reduce the heat a simmer for 5-10 minutes or until the syrup has thickened. Remove from the heat and set aside.
For the Cardamom Snaps
50g maple syrup
½ teaspoon ground cardamom
Preheat the oven to 180°C and line 2 baking trays with baking paper. Put the butter, sugar and maple syrup into a small heavy-bottomed saucepan. Bring to the boil then reduce the heat and simmer for 2 minutes, stirring continuously. Remove from the heat and whisk in the flour, cardamom and a pinch of salt. Set aside for 10 minutes to cool. Spoon tablespoons of the mixture out onto the baking trays, leaving plenty of room for them to spread. Bake for 8 minutes or until golden and bubbling. Rotate the trays in the oven at the 4 minute mark and keep a good eye on them as they will turn and burn quickly. Remove from the oven and set aside to cool. Cut the baking paper that lined the tray up into pieces to layer between the snaps and store in an airtight container.
To assemble. Carefully slide a sharp knife around the edge of the panna cotta then dip the ramekins into hot water for about a minute or so or until you can see that they have come away from the sides. Put a little plate over the top of the ramekin then quickly tip upside down onto the plate. Give it a little shake if necessary. Drizzle with the coffee syrup and serve with a cardamom snap.