Atie Elbers

June 2024

In Loving Memory of Atie Elbers (1935–2024)


Atie Elbers, a trailblazer in Auckland’s coffee scene, passed away this week. As the former coffee trainer at Robert Harris during the late ’80s and ’90s, she left an indelible mark on the industry.

Atie’s passion for coffee was contagious. She generously shared her knowledge and love for the craft with countless individuals. Her influence extended beyond the café walls, shaping the way Aucklanders experienced their daily cup.

Born in 1935, Atie vividly recalled her childhood in Amsterdam during World War II. She sat on the fence, watching German troops march past her home as they occupied Holland. Her journey eventually led her to New Zealand, where she became a cornerstone of Auckland’s café culture.

Her era witnessed the rise of fluffy cappuccinos and the emergence of the iconic flat white. Atie was meticulous about coffee extraction and the cleanliness of equipment, demanding perfection in every cup. Her colourful attire and vibrant presence always lit up any room she entered.

As we bid farewell to Atie Elbers, we celebrate her legacy—a legacy that will continue to inspire coffee enthusiasts and professionals alike. She will be dearly missed but forever remembered.