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Takapuna: Café Melba

Sean's coffee art a hit at Café Melba

We've got some great cafes on the Shore and one of the best is Café Melba in Takapuna. It is a favourite of locals for great hospitality, great food and great coffee. You are always greeted with a smile and most regulars are known to all the staff by name. Café Melba is celebrating its fifth birthday in Takapuna this month.
At Café Melba you'll also find some of the best coffee art – also referred to as latte art – from super-creative barista Sean Kim. His work is now legendary in Takapuna.
Sean, originally from South Korea, has been making coffees for 10 years. The past three with Bobby and Sonny, the owners of Café Melba Takapuna. He loves making coffee that tastes good but also believes that it should look amazing. Presentation is very important, so he is constantly working to come up with new designs and techniques.
"I love the smile I get from customers when they see what I have created," says Sean. "It inspires me to keep creating new designs and improving what I do."
Sean has around 80 designs that are made using many different techniques. Pouring milk cleverly and using tooth picks, spoons or stencils. The kids – and big kids – love his cartoon characters from the latest movies. He regularly receives visitors who have seen his designs posted by their friends on social media sites, coming into the café with their own design requests. During the birthday week he will be showcasing some new designs.
Café Melba Takapuna opened its doors in 2007. A year after its opening, immigrant couple Bobby Zhuo and Sunny Cao bought into the business and an on-going goal for the couple has been to provide the ultimate café experience to customers, whether new or repeat. Despite challenging economic times, the café has grown in popularity and success, building on the model developed by Melba Group with the inaugural Café Melba on Auckland’s Vulcan Lane.
 “It’s an honour to be part of the Takapuna community, and that’s truly what we are” says Bobby. “The five year anniversary of Café Melba means so much to Sunny and I. Shawn and Jens (the other Director for Melba Group) are doing a great job of growing the Melba Group, which leaves us to be able to focus on growing the Hurstmere Road café – it’s our top priority, and we look forward to the next five years.”
During the café’s birthday week, from 6th August – 12th August, the public can expect to be treated to a visual spectacle of a window design commemorating that week. Children will be treated to free face painting during the hours of 10am and 1pm in the weekend by expert paint artists from Imaginaire. Additionally, one lucky customer will win a gourmet gift basket featuring treats like wine, coffee, tea.

Cafe Melba on Hurstmere: 62-78 Hurstmere Road, Takapuna. Phone 489 0091.
Open: Mon-Thu 7am-4.30pm; Fri 7am-5.30pm; Sat 8am-5.30pm; Sun 8am-4.30pm.

by Channel Editorial