New Zealand Coffee Culture
Coffee in New Zealand
‘New Zealand has seen an evolution of a coffee culture, or café culture, whereby the perfection of espresso coffee making has led to a distinct development of this popular drink. Coffee in New Zealand is now thought to be part of a movement to produce high-quality, and it is considered an artisanal foodstuff. In fact – all stages of production, including growth, harvest, and processing are seen as key to the product’s quality. In turn, it is also true that relationships between those growing coffee, traders, and roasters are vital to achieving the best flavour.
Prior to the 1990s, tearooms were more popular, and these were places where many British influences could be seen with typical products to accompany cream tea would be scones, sandwiches, and muffins. Although coffee was an option in these places, it would often be limited to filtered coffee. The practice of drinking espresso derived coffees has a broader European-Mediterranean connection. With this popularity, businesses adapted to feature cafés and now a café culture is a big part of the culture.
With the evolution of New Zealand’s coffee practices, Wellington was named by CNN as one of the world’s top eight coffee destinations in 2014! In addition – it is said that per capita, Wellington has more coffee shops than New York – Impressive Statistics for such a small and vibrant city!
There are a few key coffee establishments in Wellington that are recommended to have a cup of coffee, and the city is regarded as one of the best for coffee in New Zealand. One that stands out amongst the crowd and that was founded at the height of the coffee culture takeover, is Caffe L’affare, which opened in 1990, and is now considered an iconic institution, with its own roastery.
Another located on Cuba Street, Fidel’s Cafe has the friendly service of New Zealanders, combined with air roasted Cuban coffee.
For speciality coffees you might try Flight Coffee, and a spot of people-watching, while contemplating the Memphis Belle, which spills out into the streets – Or The Red Rabbit Coffee Company, which was placed in the annual barista world championships, and that now has their coffee offered for sale alongside baked goods at the nearby Leeds Street Bakery. Lastly – and one not to miss is The Hangar – another Wellington Coffee institution where you can see processing, manufacturing and packaging of coffee, all while sitting and enjoying a coffee in a nice relaxed environment.
Auckland’s DKD in Queen Street was long considered a rite of passage for teenagers learning the vocabulary of ordering what has now become such a variety of coffee drinks, it’s like learning a new language – from flat whites, to lattes, to short blacks. Although DKD is no more, its legacy remains, and coffee shops are hugely popular social hubs, as well as places for business meetings, or some time alone with a book. 140 roasters are based in Auckland alone, and espresso machines are a popular kitchen appliance.
Note: What is a “Flat White” you might ask? New Zealanders claim that the flat white was actually invented in Auckland (although Australians would often disagree) – it is; a type of coffee made with espresso and hot steamed milk, but without the froth characteristic of a cappuccino.
Aside from the big cities, even small towns such as Oamaru, in the South Island, are receiving high acclaims from customers, and have no fewer than three cafés on the main street alone. The artisan spirit thrives even here, in places such as Steam, where coffee beans are roasted on-site, using a roaster from Turkey displayed within the café. What you can also count on is an energetic kiwi welcome, as your order your cup of coffee.
Why stop at one café? When you go on a tour with Trueblue Kiwi, you can customise it to your tastes. If you’re a coffee lover, why not be guided around the best coffee spots? You can learn about all things to do with coffee beans, and soon find which café stocks your favourite flavours, not to mention the caffeine kick, possible to help you recover from your flight!
As you travel the country, you’re sure never to go without a good cup of coffee, with New Zealand’s well-established coffee making craft. Let the waft of roasting coffee beans lure you in, with coffee both strong and fresh enough to revive you, while on your travels.