Introducing pop-up kitchen entrepreneurs Zuyi and Elaine who are bringing their brand new drip coffee and pretzel concept store ‘Pour & Twist’ to The Courtyard.
We spoke with the determined duo about their backgrounds, their business and a little somethin’ no one knows about them.
So guys, what has your journey been up until this point? Why did you open Pour & Twist at The Courtyard?
Z: Before making the decision to start our own business, we moved to Queenstown temporarily for work. I was a chef at a busy cafe and Elaine was working as a graphic designer. We went for a long holiday to Asia before moving back and it was then we both agreed that we didn’t want to work for anyone anymore.
E: Yeah we had a long inspiring chat about how 2017 was going to be our year. We love coffee, it’s our passion. And we just want to do what we like and share this love with others. Our friend showed us the brochure for The Courtyard and we just knew it was the perfect opportunity to start this venture!
What are some of the exciting menu items we should try from your kitchen, and which one is your favourite?
E: Our pretzels are definitely pretty exciting I reckon! The classic butter and salt is definitely our favourite.
Z: The filter coffee of course. But also our matcha drink - it’s basically having 10 cups of green tea. It’s got a pretty strong taste but has all these health benefits so definitely come give it a try.
What makes your kitchen unique?
It’s really the fact that we won’t have any of your regular espresso coffees. We’re strictly focused on a manual brew bar serving specialty filter coffee. And of course the pretzels are also our point of difference.
Do you live locally? If so, what part of the local community do you love the most?
Yes we do. Wellington is probably the best place ever. We love how compact and easy it is to get around. It’s such an artsy and quirky city, we love that coffee is such a big thing here. And there’s just something for everyone you know?
Where do you buy your coffee beans from?
We get our coffee beans from a couple of places - Rich Coffee Roasters, Coffee Supreme, Flight Coffee & People’s Coffee.
What is your favourite place in Wellington to eat, drink and be merry in?
Z: Tatsushi has really authentic japanese food, the sashimi is so fresh!
E: Lamason’s for a great cup of siphon coffee and you can enjoy it in a tucked away location even though it’s in cbd. And Burger Liquor have some great food too.
What a new ingredient, style of food trend that you’re loving right now?
Z: I guess the beautifully presented dishes that are ‘instagram worthy’ is pretty in these days. I think presentation is so important. Comes and Goes have some pretty amazing food and they have lots of elements on the plate such as edible flowers. Everything is so pretty you almost don’t want to eat it.
E: I’ve seen those poke bowls around in america a lot, I’d love to have those everyday. Looks so yummy and healthy.
What’s your secret to keeping your customers happy and coming back for more?
Z: If we tell you, it won’t be a secret haha.
I think just being real and straight up. It’s really nice when we meet people that care and are super passionate about what they do, so that’s definitely what we hope our customers will see in us as well. And probably having whacky as flavours/toppings for the pretzels?! That should get them coming back right??
Do you have any other restaurants or business ventures around the city?
E: Nope! This is our first ever business.
Where do you go to get a great coffee?
Z: Pour & Twist!
E: There’s a couple of favs… People’s, Customs, Pour & Twist
If you were to eat one last meal on earth, what would it be?
Z: Fried rice with 2 fried eggs with some hot sauce, you know what I mean? And maybe durian.
E: Sushi. Or maybe a juicy piece of medium rare steak with lots of fries!! And also fried chicken!
Tell us something not many people know about you.
Z: I’m scared of dogs. Elaine wants to get a dog.
E: I fart a lot in my sleep. Is that TMI?