Fuel Espresso is the first coffeehouse I noticed when I first arrived in Wellington. They have a coffee bar at the Wellington Airport. But why did I notice this particular coffee bar? It’s because Fuel Espresso immediately brought back memories of Fuel Coffee, one of my favorite Seattle based coffee shops. Not only that the name has the Fuel in it, but also the fact that the primary colors of both places are predominantly a coffee brown color.
There are quite a few of the Fuel Espresso coffee bars in Wellington… plus they also have one in Hong Kong. In Wellington, the two that I am lost familiar with are the one on Willis Street and the other on Waring Taylor Street. Both of these are small, ‘standing room’ only type coffee bars so they cater primarily to folks ‘on the go’. The one on Willis Street will set out a couple of tables on the street, including a standing table for those who want to hang out there. The one on Waring Taylor Street has a little nook that allows two or so people to actually sit at the bar/counter, and one person to sit in the only [arm]chair available.
As is typical with a number of the coffee shops in Wellington, Fuel Espresso has its own distinctive style and aura. Besides the dark brown wood like design and branding, I find that every time I pass by their stores, or more specifically the two above mentioned, they are always playing great music. On the wall, behind the counter, I noticed their lighting panel consists of images of 1970s style of vinyl albums. Now I haven’t really been to the other stores to see what they look like, but from their website, they look pretty cool actually, including the one in Hong Kong. Sometime in the near future, I will certainly grab my camera, head on over and hopefully be able to get some great indoor shots… though I heard that they don’t like people taking pictures of the interior. Hmmm…. reminds me of Nairobi Java House.
What about their coffee? For the most part I have been able to enjoy some great lattes there. There have been at least once or twice where the espresso drink I ordered was not as good as I thought it should be but overall I have been satisfied with their coffee.
Where do they get their coffee from? I believe the company that actually does the roasting is a company called Revolution Coffee which is the wholesale coffee company of Fuel Espresso… i.e. they are the same company. It is interesting to note that even though most of the big Wellington coffee companies also supply the local supermarkets with roasted coffee beans, whole or ground, I haven’t noticed Fuel Espresso coffee beans. I now realize that maybe I should be looking for Revolution Coffee beans and not Fuel Espresso beans. But according to their website, they have two main blends that they serve, these being, Fuel Classic and Fuel Dark. Even more interesting is that these blends were created in Trieste, “the Adriatic port at the heart of the Italian espresso culture” and the only three people who actually know what the blend consists of are prohibited from traveling together… I think that is interesting bit of tidbit off the Fuel Espresso website.
My overall assessment is Fuel Espresso is pretty decent. As of now they make my top five favorite coffees… but I also have to say that there are ton of places in Wellington I have yet to checkout.