Coffee in New Zealand, our guide through New Zealand's coffee world
We have learned one thing from our past trips, New Zealand is proud of its coffee culture. Even if you can't tell by looking at the country, New Zealand is able to help you get a delicious coffee almost anywhere. But also, for savers, New Zealand offers delicious varieties and numerous possibilities on your journey to make your own coffee. Whether it's instant coffee, French press or café, everyone will be satisfied here. And there are even coffee roasters in New Zealand. We also explain in this blog post what a delicious coffee costs and what vegan milk alternatives look like. One thing in advance, in our experience much better than in Germany. For all coffee lovers we also offer a small selection of good cafés in the most popular cities of New Zealand. Enjoy reading our ultimate coffee guide for New Zealand.
Where can I buy coffee in New Zealand
Coffee can be found on almost every corner in New Zealand. Depending on what you want to buy, there are several ways to get a tasty and delicious coffee:
- Cafes: In New Zealand every café offers good coffee. Often with good quality from sieve machines. Only a few exceptions offer coffee purely as filter coffee. Whether on site or as coffee to go, here you have both options. We recommend that you enjoy your coffee on site, if time permits.
- Supermarkets: Most of the larger supermarkets offer food and a small coffee bar in the entrance area where you can order Coffee to go. Additionally, you can buy coffee in the supermarket itself. Whether instant coffee, coffee powder or ready-made coffee blends for brewing. In the supermarket you will usually find several meters of coffee selection, not always easy to make a decision at first go. You can get the largest selection of coffee in the big supermarket chains, New World, Countdown, Pak'n Save and Fresh Choice. In the smaller stores of 4 Square the selection is a little smaller, but still good. If you buy ground coffee, buy a lot of coffee that you can use up within a week or two. Otherwise you will lose some of the coffee aroma over time.
- Coffee roasting plants: Besides the above-mentioned cafes and supermarkets, you can also buy directly from the roasters. However, these are not so often found and the selection of coffee is of high quality and the price is rather high. In return you get a great quality and usually also a little advice to find the right roasting for you. If you are a high-quality coffee lover, you should definitely try this.
How much does coffee cost in New Zealand
The price of the coffee specialities depends mainly on whether you want a pure coffee or a coffee speciality with milk. We have collected our coffee prices in Christchurch, but other regions have similar prices. Here we list the prices for the most common types of coffee in standard size, for an upgrade to large portions you can add between 0,3 – 0,7 NZD:
- Americano: 4 – 4.5NZD
- Cappuccino: 4,5 – 5,5NZD
- Chai latte: 4,5 – 5,5NZD
- Flat White: 4,5 – 5,5NZD
- Hot Chocolate: 4,5 – 5,5NZD
- Latte Macchiato: 4,5 – 5,5NZD
- Long Black: 4 – 4,5NZD
- Long macchiato: 4 – 4,5NZD
- Mocha: 4,5 – 5,5NZD
- Short Black: 3,5 – 4,5NZD
- Short Macchiato: 3,5 – 4,5NZD
- Vienna: 4,5 – 5,5NZD
Where to buy coffee accessories in New Zealand
Besides the coffee powder you probably need more. We bought most of our coffee accessories at Kmart and the warehouse that is available everywhere. French Press (Coffee Plunger) is available in two sizes and in prices from less than 10 NZD. The cheapest version is usually quite comfortable. We also bought a thermos flask, but here we fell clearly on the nose with the cheapest variant and bought twice in the end. If you would like to help yourself to filter coffee, the ceramic filters required for this are much harder to find. Unfortunately, we could not find any in the usual shops. In the roasting plants or the corresponding shops, you can buy such filters on site or by mail order. However, the costs are much higher than for a French Press.
How to store coffee
In general, the fresher the coffee, the better the taste. The warmer the place of storage, the faster the aroma evaporates. You should therefore ideally store your coffee in a cool, dry and dark place. As coffee quickly absorbs the taste and aroma of other surrounding foods, it is advisable to store it at a distance. We store our coffee in its original dark packaging, close it with a clip and then pack it in a small airtight tin. This way our coffee stays fresh for a long time and we can enjoy it every day. Ground coffee is much more susceptible to loss of aroma than whole coffee beans.
Can I bring coffee to New Zealand
Short answer, yes you are allowed to import coffee to New Zealand if you follow a few rules. According to the MPIE (Ministry for Primary Industries) website, you are allowed to import coffee in any form, provided it has no visible contamination with pests, seeds, soil, fungi or other plant or animal material. There is currently no weight limit for private imports of coffee into New Zealand. So, an unopened shrink-wrapped packet of coffee from another country should be no problem. When entering New Zealand, you have to declare this on the entry card and then in conversation with the officer you will get the final decision. If you forget to declare your coffee and get caught, you will be fined 400NZD.
Coffee roasters in New Zealand
Even if you wouldn't associate it with New Zealand at first glance, New Zealand has some good coffee roasting facilities spread across the country. Especially Auckland offers a wide range of roasting plants. Since we could not test all of them ourselves, we have a manageable selection in the larger cities. Of course, there are other good roasting companies that did not make it into our article. We give especially smaller micro roasting plants a chance. Here is a small list of roasting plants in New Zealand's larger cities:
Coffee roasters in Auckland
- Atomic Coffee Roasters: Atomic Coffee Roasters now operates a few more cafés in addition to the roasting plant in Auckland. The roasting plant is connected to a café and offers individual and high-quality coffee. Both single origins and blends are offered here. And in the adjoining café, you're sure to find something you like right away. Ideally, we recommend a visit on site. Of course, you can also order your coffee online from Atomic Roasters. We had to wait a pleasant 4 days for our test order. This is a very good time for the way from the North to the South Island.
- Congo Sopacdi: The Congo Sopacdi is a delicious mild coffee. We liked the smell and the delicious colouring of the ground beans. A nice mix of dark and light beans was to be seen.
- Essenza Certified Organic: Roasted with pure Biogro certified beans, a delicious slightly stronger coffee. With notes of citrus and caramel. We have reduced the brewing time for this coffee to 5 minutes to reduce the strength a little. We especially like the fact that the price is not higher than with the other varieties, despite the fact that the beans are very well selected.
- Espresso Workshop: The Espresso Workshop in Auckland was originally established in 2007 to develop the full taste potential of coffee. The complete ordering process is followed through the Espresso Workshop, for example, coffee is only ordered where the producer is known. This is a feature that not many roasting companies have such a complete overview of. In addition to the roasting process, there are also training courses on the topic of coffee. The roasting plant is now located in Orakei. In addition, there are two more cafés that belong to the Espresso Workshop Roasters. We have ordered coffee ourselves and will soon be able to report on our experiences here. On our next visit to Auckland we will visit the place personally to have a closer look. At the Espresso Workshop we were allowed to try three free sorts of coffee. We ordered the mild version Mrs. Green, then the stronger version Mr. Black and to round off the selection a decaffeinated one (called Decaf). All came in a nice size of 350 grams, which is more than you get as the smallest unit at most other roasters. A small shortcoming of the tested varieties, the packages can only be opened with scissors or a knife and also the reseal ability is not as easy as for example with Coffee Supreme. The prices are fair for the pack size and the extra price to the supermarket coffee was definitely worth it.
- Mrs. Green: First we tested the mild Mrs. Green. Here we especially liked the pleasant aroma. On a strength scale of 1 to 5, Mrs. Green would rate a pleasant 3. As time for aroma generation, 5 minutes in the plunger felt good. We also experimented with shorter and longer time, but 5 minutes worked best for us.
- Decaf: After that we tried the decaffeinated Decaf. This is a little milder and we found that we can drink decaffeinated coffee in the afternoon as well. There is no danger of caffeine that makes us not fall asleep when drunk too late. From the strength scale we would rate the decaffeinated coffee at a comfortable 2. Very pleasant in taste and clearly a new experience, because before we would not have given Decaf another chance. It seems like we missed something in the past.
- Black: The last thing we did when testing the varieties from the Espresso Workshop was to test the stronger Mr. Black. On a scale of 1 to 5, we would still rate Mr. Black at a comfortable 4. We reduced the brewing time to 4 minutes to get a not too strong coffee experience for us. Mr. Black wakes us up pleasantly in the morning and in the afternoon, we swing over to the Decaf to ensure a pleasant coffee supply throughout the day.
- Kokako: Kokako has his roasting plant in Auckland near Mount Eden. Especially at this coffee roasting plant the focus is on a complete organic and certified coffee product range. Even the CO² imprint is neutralized by the participation in corresponding projects. Already since 2001 Kokako roasts coffee on highest level. As a cool promotion here at Kokako there is still the so-called “Tasty Tuesday”, where you can listen to the latest seasonal coffee offers and of course also taste them. Ideally, subscribe to the newsletter for the latest news from Kokako.
- Aotea Blend: At Kokako we tried the Aotea Blend. A delicious coffee, we especially liked the origin. Because at Kokako we attach great importance to organic and certified products. Compared to the coffees we have already tried, we particularly like the high-quality origin of the beans. We missed the reseal ability of the packaging.
- Rwanda Ejo Heza Single Origin: A tasty coffee made from one type of bean. No blend, therefore somewhat more intense in taste than the previously mentioned Aotea Blend. Altogether delicious, but we prefer the Aotea Blend. We have found that the differences with each additional coffee to be tested are more difficult to name. Often it is nuances in taste that make the difference.
Coffee Roasting in Christchurch
- Coffee Embassy: The Embassy coffee roasting plant is located in Christchurch and is probably one of the smaller roasting plants on this list. An old car repair shop has been converted into a chic roastery with a café. Thanks to the innovative drive of Andy & David, there are always fresh roasts and new blends for delicious coffee.
- Jailbreaker/Addington Coffee Coop: The Jailbreaker roasting plant is conveniently located in the Addington Coffee Co-op. So here you can not only enjoy a delicious coffee speciality during a visit, but also have a look at the roasting machine or the roasting process. As part of a larger vision, both are part of a project that now looks at the whole journey of coffee from Calcutta to New Zealand. We have been to the café ourselves and not only the coffee specialities are worth a visit.
- Switch Espresso: Switch Espresso offers a nice selection of Single Origin coffee and various carefully selected blends. The coffee comes from Fair Trade or organic cooperatives around the world. Switch Espresso then roasts the coffee and blends it according to its own taste and strength. Whether in the participating cafés in Christchurch or by ordering home, have fun and enjoy.
Coffee roasters in Wellington
- Havana Coffee Works: As early as 1989, Havana Coffee Works (then under a different name) started as one of four coffee roasting plants. Since then, the number of roasting plants in New Zealand has grown significantly. The roasting plant is located in a beautiful original 1959 building in Wellington. Havana roasts organic and ethical coffee. What used to be a simple café has now become a coffee roasting plant rich in tradition. The goal was (and still is) to roast coffee that tastes as good as it smells. And there's even a book about the history of the Havana Coffee Works for the whole story.
- Coffee Supreme: Coffee for breakfast has been available here at Coffee Supreme since 1993, and the original story began in 1990 when founders Chris and Maggie opened their first café in Wellington. With a dose of naivety, they both thought they could do everything better than the existing cafés. They were all advised against starting their own coffee company, but the story shows that they were right. After almost 10 years they even ventured into another country, Melbourne in Australia. Meanwhile there is another location in Tokyo Japan. Coffee is also sold online and inspires coffee fans all over the world. We have ordered coffee here ourselves and can therefore report. We have tried two sorts. Once the “Supreme Espresso Blend” and the “Ethiopia Guji Filter Roast”. It was an exciting test and we didn't think we would taste any difference with our plunger, but far from it. Try it out when you are in New Zealand. What we particularly liked about Coffee Supreme is that the packaging can be opened easily and without scissors or other sharp objects. The packaging is also easy to re-seal to keep the aroma for as long as possible. Nevertheless, we recommend to use the coffee as soon as possible after the start. We are looking forward to your comment on what kind of coffee you tried and how you liked it.
- Ethiopia Guji: The Ethiopia Guji is a delicious and mild coffee. Perfectly suitable especially in combination with milk or milk foam. On a scale of 1 to 5 for strength, the Ethiopia Guji gets a pleasant and tasty 2. Comparing the two types of coffee, we would order the Ethiopia Guji again.
- Supreme Espresso Blend: The Supreme Espresso Blend is a slightly stronger coffee. On a scale of 1 to 5 we would give it a 4. The Supreme Espresso Blend is due to the slightly stronger aroma a delicious variant for lovers of the stronger coffee If we had to choose between the two types, we would prefer the Ethiopia Guji because it has a milder aroma.
- L'affare: The L'affare roasting plant and the associated café in Wellington have been around for over 25 years. This is where coffee is roasted and great blends are created. The Café in Wellington offers 120 seats and also Coffee to go. Since 2016 there is now also a second café in Auckland. Like most of the roasting plants mentioned in this article, L'affare also helps local coffee producers for a long-term partnership. The coffee can be bought in their own cafés as well as in some New Zealand supermarkets. Since 2010, L'affare has also been monitoring its own impact on the environment and neutralising it where possible. In addition to coffee, everything necessary for coffee preparation is also offered.
Coffee cultivation in New Zealand
Even if we ourselves did not know it before, yes, coffee can be grown in New Zealand. Even though our research shows that there is currently only one coffee farm in New Zealand, it is located in the warm Northland. In the warm Northland the variety Arabica is grown on a farm. It was more by chance that the farmers discovered that this variety can grow in Northland.
You can also find the farm online under the brand name Ikarus Coffee.
We are curious to see how the cultivation of coffee in New Zealand will develop in the coming years.
There are many ways to make coffee, but we are dedicated to the ways you can comfortably make your own way.
We also have a whole detailed article here on the blog where you can find out more about our preferred method of making coffee in the French Press (Coffee Plunger).
Popular coffee specialities in New Zealand
New Zealand offers all the popular coffee specialities that you already know from other countries. This includes classic coffee but also various milk specialities such as cappuccino or latte macchiato. Very popular in New Zealand is also the so-called Flat White. At a few cafés you can also get more special shapes like a Vienna or a Short Macchiato. You can find a complete list of all available coffee specialities in New Zealand in the article above, together with our approximate prices of what a coffee will cost.
Vegan Coffee Specialities in New Zealand
When it comes to vegan coffee specialities, New Zealand is super well positioned. In all the cafés we have tried you can easily get milk substitutes like soy milk. Many shops also offer more than one milk substitute, so we could try soy milk, oat milk, macadamia milk, coconut milk and almond milk. No matter where we were, there was always at least one vegetable alternative. So vegan coffee specialities are no problem at all in New Zealand and you can ask for them without hesitation.
Best Cafés in New Zealand
To make it a little easier for you to find good cafés in New Zealand, we have made a search. All the cafés we mention here have very high ratings throughout. In many (but not all) of them we have been ourselves. For the sake of simplicity, we have sorted the cafés in the respective cities alphabetically. Have fun exploring the café landscape in New Zealand. Can you find another café that you think should be on this list? Then we would appreciate your tip in the comments here on this article. Thank you very much.
Best Cafés in Auckland CBD
- Between Café & Eatery: The Between Café & Eatery is located in Auckland's city centre on the famous Karangahape Road. Besides good coffee you can also find great food here. Whether it's breakfast, lunch or just a delicious coffee, you'll find what you're looking for here. You can also enjoy a brunch here. The location is conveniently located and worth a visit all day long. Depending on the time of day, it can be very busy. Here you can get tasty muffins and a great atmosphere.
- Caffee Torino: The Caffee Torino is located in Auckland near the popular Albert Park. Very central but in a quiet side street. The coffee and food here are highly praised. Very cosy for a longer stay. The owners are very friendly and especially the desserts are worth a visit. A good way to start the day in Auckland. Many visitors feel very comfortable here because of the good service and the friendly staff. The size of the location is rather small, but that makes it even cosier.
- Coffee Pen: Coffee Pen is located just outside the Auckland CBD. Close to Mount Eden this small café invites you to a delicious coffee and a hearty meal. Coffee Pen is located in the district Eden Terrace. Especially the delicious desserts are to be pointed out, which are often sold out early. Good stop before or after a visit to Mount Eden. Try the delicious banana bread there.
- Eighthirty Coffee Roastery: The Eighthirty Coffee Roastery is located in a street parallel to the harbour. The big location invites you to have a delicious coffee. Also, vegan options are no problem for coffee here. The coffee is roasted on site and depending on the time of day you can also see the roasting process itself. One of the better coffee places in Auckland. If you are interested in coffee equipment this is also the right place for you. Simple café with delicious coffee.
- Fond(ou): Fond(ou) is located in a parallel street to the popular Auckland Queen Street. On Hobson Street, Fond(ou) serves delicious coffee, sandwiches and scones. There is also a delicious breakfast all day long with different options including vegan or gluten free options. The café is located in the Auckland City Hotel and offers only a few seats, but is a good opportunity for a tasty take away. For all lovers of sweet food, you can also get delicious muffins and cakes here. Our tip, a place at the harbour and enjoy the take away in peace.
- Kingston Street Café: Following the other customer recommendations, this is an unexpected positive surprise in Auckland's CBD. Located directly on Kingston Street, you can get delicious food and great coffee here. Besides delicious smoothies you can also try a great quiche. We also recommend the Ginger Slice if you like fresh baked goods. The place is also visited by many locals and employees from the surrounding buildings. The prices are fair and the hosts offer a good service for the money.
- La Petit Café: La Petit Café is located right next to Britomart in Auckland. Here you can get delicious coffee of good quality. Even though it is often quite crowded, the waiting times are manageable. The best coffee in the Britomart area and very popular with commuters who want a quick coffee before work. The muffins are also delicious. Even though the name sounds French, most of the employees seem to speak little or no French. Pleasantly close to the harbour if you want to enjoy the sun.
- Reuben Café: The Reuben Café is also located on Eden Terrace. Here you will find delicious coffee and great food. Vegetarian options such as vegetarian breakfast is also available. You can also order delicious bagels with different variations. Enough space for a delicious quiet meal in the café. Coffee is in the upper middle range, but the friendly service, good food and delicious food will help you to get a place in our list.
Best Cafés in Wellington
- Deluxe Café: The Deluxe Café in Wellington is located just a short distance from the Wellington harbour front. Close to the Te Papa Museum you can get delicious coffee and good food here. In a cool retro atmosphere, you can also get vegan food options. There are also delicious salads and good pizzas. We can recommend the muffins and hope you enjoy the retro charm of the café.
- Kaffee Eis: The focus of Kaffee Eis is on delicious ice cream. Whether classic or experimental ice cream, or vegan options in the form of ice sorbet, every ice cream lover will be happy here. One of the best ice cream options in Wellington. With Kaffee Eis New Zealand meets European ice cream creations. The stated goal of Kaffee Eis is to produce the highest quality ice cream in New Zealand. The first shop opened in 2004, originally with the aim of opening a café that also sells ice cream. In the meantime, the focus has been reversed, offering super delicious ice cream and coffee specialities. To give something back to the population, Kaffee Eis also supports a non-profit organisation in New Zealand every month. Therefore, by visiting this organisation, you are not only helping the owners, but also the local New Zealanders.
- Raglan Roast Coffee: Raglan Roast Coffee offers excellent coffee and good baristas. Located directly at the harbour, there are many places to sit and cheap coffee. Many regular customers thanks to the practical location directly at the harbour front. You can also find delicious ice cream here if you like. Coffee prices are very reasonable for Wellington.
Best Cafés in Christchurch
- Addington Coffee Co-op: The Addington Coffee Co-op is located, as the name suggests, in the Addington district of Christchurch. From tasty coffee to savoury and sweet dishes, a wide range is offered here. Vegan dishes and cakes are also available. The whole thing is rounded off by a small selection of gluten-free dishes. The café is usually well attended and sometimes you have to wait a little until you get a table. We recommend this place for delicious coffee and the muffins. A great place to enjoy a delicious coffee with friends in a relaxed atmosphere. We were there and found the place very pleasant. Directly opposite is also one of the better-known hostels, the Jailhouse Christchurch. We would come back and enjoy another delicious coffee. Vegan options are available here.
- Box Café: The Box Café is located in the Riccarton district. Besides the coffee, the delicious lunches are especially popular here. There are seats inside and outside. They also praise the cosy and informal atmosphere. We were there and found a nice very small but cosy cafe. Especially if the sun is shining you can sit outside or at the window front which we did. Vegan options are not really available, except for coffee, but we tried three vegetarian options. All dishes were delicious and the prices were reasonable. The coffee was strong and well made. Especially the hospitality and good mood of the staff was cool. There are only a few parking lots, left of the cafe. But further down the street there is another parking lot with shops around where you can stand for 1 or 2 hours free of charge. Good for a tasty coffee and a small snack.
- Café Colombia: Café Colombia is located in the Sydenham district, near Moorhouse Avenue, which is one of the larger streets in Christchurch. As its name suggests, the café has a distinctly Colombian touch and offers some of the dishes that are classically available in Colombia. The whole thing is complemented by classic New Zealand dishes. The coffee is delicious and there are even low carb dishes (Keto). Try the delicious quiche on your next visit. We were here ourselves and enjoyed a breakfast. Many dishes are also available in vegetarian form, if you miss something it helps to chat with the two nice owners and ask for your wishes. Everything was made possible for us, what we imagined. We didn't see vegan options for food here, but coffee in vegan form is no problem. Insider tip: The week starts here on Mondays and that means the largest selection of cakes is then available, the further the week has progressed, the sooner the selection becomes smaller.
- Circa Café: The Circa Café is located in the St. Albans district. Especially popular here is the excellent coffee and the good coffee. The café is relatively small, but very cosy. All in all, it is relatively modern and cleanly furnished. The hearty muffins are also worth a try.
- Coffee Worx Espresso Bar: The Coffee Worx Espresso Bar is located in the Wigram district of Christchurch. You can buy beans as well as super delicious coffee there. Many are long-time fans of the coffee varieties available at Coffee Worx. Also, the friendly service team is often praised. There is also a selection of delicious food, but we think the focus is on the delicious coffee.
- Portershed Specialty Café: The Portershed Specialty Café is located in the city district Addington and is, so to speak, diagonally opposite to the Addington Coffee Co-op. Beside a delicious food selection the Portershed also offers super vegan and dairy free food variations. You can also get smoothies here. In addition to the vegan options there are also gluten free options. This is also known as Vegan Heaven, as the selection is much larger than in many other cafés. Of course, there is also delicious coffee and comfortable seating. We were here ourselves and we can say that it was delicious and everything is vegan. We tried some specialty coffees. Speciality here, by default coconut milk is used in all coffee varieties, but of course there are also various other vegetable milk varieties. And the muffins, simply delicious. Have fun, our tip for vegan enjoyment in Christchurch.
Best Cafés in Queenstown
- Caribe Latin Kitchen: The Caribe Latin Kitchen offers delicious food and a Caribbean flair. There are only a few seats, but in good weather we would rather recommend Take away and then sitting at the lake enjoying the food and a delicious drink. The prices are rather cheap for Queenstown and we definitely recommend the tasty tacos. There are also some vegetarian food options, considered by some to be the best food location in Queenstown. Here at Caribe Latin Kitchen the focus is not necessarily on coffee.
- Life's a Grind: Delicious coffee shop in Queenstown, working out of a small coffee trailer. Offers a delicious selection of classic coffee specialities. Due to the location only a small selection outside the coffee selection. Offers only take away options.
- Patagonia's Ice Creamery & Chocolaterie: Delicious ice cream shop with great dessert options. Beside great coffee you can also find delicious ice cream here. There is also a selection of more exotic ice creams and ice creams with prices in the middle range. Definitely worth a visit in good weather. We recommend to take the ice cream with you and then sit at the lake and enjoy the ice cream.
- Peak Espresso: Peak Espresso is located a little outside of Queenstown in the industrial area. Described by many as the best coffee in Queenstown, the sales staff is often in a chatty mood. Good to have a tasty coffee as well as a little exchange about Queenstown. Small location, therefore we rather recommend Take away.
- QRC Café: If you want to get away from the busy places, the QRC Café is the place to go. Beside affordable and delicious coffee you can also get delicious vegan desserts here. It's also a little crowded during the breaks at the nearby school. Mostly not overcrowded, so it's just right for take away and a short stop at the café.
Questions, suggestions or additions
Do you have a question, a suggestion for this article, a great café that you have visited yourself or any other addition that you are missing in our article? Then we look forward to your comment here under this article. Thank you very much!
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