146 Cuba St, Te Aro, Wellington
Opens 7.30am Mon to Fri, 9am weekend; closes 10.30pm Mon to Thurs, 11pm Fri & Sat, 10pm Sun
Muesli $10.50; Mojo coffee, t-Leaf-T tea
Kaffee Eis is a place I often used to go to for a cup of tea and delicious orange cake. I’ve always liked its soft bench seats, natural light, and low intensity, relaxed kind of atmosphere. Most people will think of it, as I did, as a gelato place that also does coffee and serves a few cakes. Certainly gelato is its thing at other branches, and Kaffee Eis say they are one of the largest producers of gelato in New Zealand.
Not long ago I stopped to examine the menu on the door and was surprised to see they served muesli. With the founder’s Austrian origins (hence the German name for coffee and icecream), I thought I could be looking at a muesli close to the Swiss source, so I was keen to check it out at Kaffee Eis.
The muesli is described on the menu as toasted, but the oat flakes as well as the sunflower, pumpkin seeds and few bran twists looked fairly raw to me. No problem though. There were roasted almonds and almond slivers, cashews and macadamia nuts in the mix. These helped to give a toasted flavour to the whole. I didn’t spot any coconut, such a ubiquitous ingredient in many a muesli mix and disliked by some. The mix was also almost free of dried fruit – perhaps the only pieces were the two chunks of papaya you can see in the top photo.
The muesli was also pretty sugar free. At first I thought there was something sticky holding the ingredients together (maybe it was a touch of oil) but I didn’t get any hint of residual sugar in my milk when I had nearly finished eating. So, you have quite a healthy muesli here.
A small bowl of slightly acidic and very thick Greek yoghurt was served on the side, as was a bowl of berry and apple compote. I like the idea where you can add them yourself according to your taste. Maybe I would have liked a bit more compote. That would be my only niggle.
Now I don’t know if you have ever mixed ice cream with muesli, but it is scrumptious. Why not, with gelato on tap at Kaffee Eis, have that as the supplement instead of (or even as well as) yoghurt? I’m going to ask for this next time.
Given the Austrian connection I’ve tried Vienna coffee here previously. It was served with whipped cream. There are different views on whether you should use cream or whipped cream. It was the first time I’ve ever tried such a coffee, so I can’t comment. I enjoyed it enough to investigate further though. With my muesli I had an Americano coffee. It was fine.
A few weeks after my visit I decided to try the orange cake and tea again. Tea bag, but served in a good pouring pot and tasted fine. Nothing too special, but not bad either. I suppose the cup it was served in qualifies as a tea cup, so good marks there. The cake I found too sweet. My tastes have clearly changed since I started eating more healthy food a year or two ago.
Kaffee Eis started out as a coffee and ice cream outlet in Oriental Bay in 2004 (where it still operates) and now has a shop under Frank Kitts Park on the waterfront (open according to weather and season), a kiosk at TSB arena, and a café in Courtenay Place (with the same hours as the Cuba St café). They don’t serve muesli a Courtenay Place, but I don’t hold that against them: the waitress at Cuba St said I was the first person who had ever asked for muesli in her experience.
Exceptionally good value. And an unusually healthy version of muesli: plenty of nuts, almost no dried fruit, no detectable sugars. And if that is just too healthy for you, then you could always ask for a side pot of gelato. And there is a pleasant, uncrowded environment early in the morning and good coffee to boot.
Reviewed August 2020.
Menus, ingredients and opening hours may change. Check with eatery before you visit.