It was 1962 when Italian migrants Giancarlo Giusti and Rino Benassi founded Grinders® Coffee House in Australia: on bustling Lygon Street – in the heart of Melbourne’s iconic Italian quarter.

At the beginning of a mission to bring the authentic taste of European coffee to Australasia, the pair could hardly have dreamed that their blend would find its way to the pristine waterside location that is Ginja Café in Omaha on New Zealand’s North Island – but find its way it did in a celebration of quality food, well-mixed cocktails and, of course, great coffee.

Grinders Coffee

With Jacqui Brown, a former magazine producer turned acclaimed chef at the helm, attendees flocked from across Auckland – an event for 70 quickly swelled to cater for 95.

One evening in early spring, café owner and head chef Jacqui Brown hosted a six course, coffee-infused culinary experience – with a little help from Grinders Coffee.

For Brown, a former magazine producer turned renowned chef, at the helm, attendees flocked from across Auckland; an event for 70 quickly swelling to cater for 95. 

It was a trip well worth it. Starting with rich, smoky coffee-roasted cauliflower and cured salmon with an espresso balsamic reduction, the bar was set deliciously high from the outset. 

Coffee degustation

Each course was paired with a cocktail made from a range of Beam Suntory’s spirits, including, of course, a Grinders Coffee espresso martini to close out the night.

A third course of pork cheek with an espresso, apple and cinnamon foam ensued, followed by a mushroom-medley California roll served with Grinders cold drip and soy reduction. And the main event? Venison accompanied by blueberries, followed by a delightfully modern take on tiramisu for dessert.  

Each course was paired with a cocktail made from a range of Beam Suntory’s spirits, including, of course, a Grinders Coffee espresso martini to close out the night.

The blend has certainly come a long way from the humble store in which Giancarlo began developing his famous continental style coffee. As one of the premier coffee companies in Australasia, Grinders Coffee still strives to produce the highest quality coffee blends and is one of New Zealand’s largest coffee suppliers. 

As the birthplace of the iconic flat white, there really is no excuse for a bad coffee in New Zealand – and with Grinders Coffee there’s just good coffee.