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Serving coffee the old fashioned way at Aitutaki’s new hangout spot

Tuesday 14 March 2023 | Written by Melina Etches | Published in Local, National, Outer Islands

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Serving coffee the old fashioned way at Aitutaki’s new hangout spot
Allan Nanai serves up coffee made the old fashioned way with fresh coconut cream in Amuri, Aitutaki. Picture: MELINA ETCHES/23031312

At Kofi Bar located in the village of Amuri in Aitutaki coffee is served the old fashioned way – in a mug topped with freshly squeezed coconut cream gently stirred in.

The unique concept of the no frills coffee made with coconut cream has become a hit with locals in the area.

Customers and friends meet at the Kofi Bar – set up in the cool breezy outdoors under a temporary tarpaulin – to enjoy a delicious creamy basic coffee.

“We make coffee like my grandmother used to,” says the owner of the small operation, Allan Nanai.

There are no percolators or the whooshing sounds from a cappuccino machine, instead you hear the faint “ting ting” of the coffee being stirred in a mug.

Customers are politely reminded not to ask for soy milk, almond milk, low fat milk or any other milk – there are none. And neither are there dainty saucers or small or large cups – the coffee is served matter-of-factly in a one size for all coffee mug.

Locals meet at the Kofi Bar in Amuri, Aitutaki to enjoy coffee made the old fashioned way sweetened with coconut cream.  Picture: MELINA ETCHES. 23031311
Locals meet at the Kofi Bar in Amuri, Aitutaki to enjoy coffee made the old fashioned way sweetened with coconut cream. Picture: MELINA ETCHES. 23031311

The Kofi Bar coconut milk is grated and squeezed fresh every morning.

“We just keep it simple the old fashioned way, our customers aren’t fussy and just want to have a good coffee, meet with people and have a chat to start their morning,” said Nanai.

Nanai was first encouraged by his good mate Teina Bishop to start the coffee stall at the Aitutaki market in town.

Eventually he moved the coffee stall to the front of his home situated in Amuri.

“When I moved from the market, my customers followed,” he said.

The stall started off with men meeting to talk over a coffee, gradually women started popping in for a coffee too, said Nanai, who is pleased to see more customers at his Kofi Bar.

Keeping it simple and authentic, Nanai is currently constructing a kikau thatched shelter to provide better shade and protection from the elements.

Eventually, locally homemade meals will also be sold at the premises by other individuals.

The Kofi Bar is open from 6am to 10am.

Nanai would like to thank everyone who continue to show their support and encouragement.