Coffee jelly is a very common treat in Japan. Photo: Jean Teng

Metro Recommends: Coffee jelly at Ark Coffee Company

Coffee jelly is a goddamn delight. 

Last week: Barker's dulce de leche milk caramel

I am not a jelly lover. Any kid that grew up in New Zealand will have flashbacks of sickly sweet artificial strawberry jelly made during science class using crystals from a small rectangular box. It was always, bizarrely, room-temperature warm. Unfortunately for me, jelly has never recovered from that unfortunate origin story – until now.

Ark Coffee Company on the North Shore is one of my favourite cafes; their filter is probably amongst the top five in Auckland, and the people there are just remarkably sincere. During summer, they get the soft-serve machine going to extrude creamy espresso-flavoured ice cream, and add a coffee mixed with tonic water drink to their menu. My favourite item of their summer-only offerings, though, is their coffee jelly.

Coffee jelly is a very common treat in Japan, a mainstay in their cafes, though it seemed to have originated from England. Ark Coffee makes it with their own in-house roasted beans, and it’s the perfect hot-day indulgence if you don’t have a particularly strong sweet tooth. The filter-coffee flavour slowly spreads across your tongue – like cold brew in jelly form – melding nicely with the sweet pouring cream they generously drizzle in the glass. The jelly is bouncy and soft, just a tad chewy, and smooth and slippery like gel.

The first time I ate it, I was immediately compelled to describe it as 'straight fire' on my Instagram story. I still stand by that initial assessment - this dessert is straight fire.

You could eat a lot of it, as it’s so light and refreshing, but Ark’s comes in individual serving glasses. I haven’t seen it anywhere else in Auckland, so unless you make it at home, it’s one-of-a-kind,  and a goddamn delight. Get it while the sun’s still out.

6/461-467 Lake Road, Takapuna

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