Wellington Coffee Roasters and Cafes

For a city known around the world for its coffee culture, it’s no surprise that Wellington is home to some standout roasters and cafes. From a pared back industrial look to a small artisan bakery, these cafes take the craft of coffee seriously.

The best part is, they also make an impressive cup of joe.

One of the pioneers of Wellington’s celebrated coffee scene, L’affare has a pared-back industrial style that appeals to everyone. It’s a busy spot seven days a week, with an all-day menu that includes classic cafe favourites. The beans come from the in-house roasters and can be savoured in espresso, filter or iced. The ‘beanstore’ within the cafe has all your coffee machinery needs covered and you can even purchase some beans for your own roaster.

Havana Coffee Works is the roaster behind the espresso in many of Aotearoa’s top cafes but if you’re wanting to see what it’s all about, head to their home on Tory St. They specialise in serving single-origin, high-quality espresso coupled with their own dairy milk – Aotearoa was made for espresso after all.

Another of the original four Wellington coffee roasters, Mojo was all over town – if not on every corner then certainly in most office buildings. Its coffee went gangbusters and ambitions were grand (the locals still talk about ‘Mojo’s on every block’). But as the Covid virus hit, Mojo pulled back and sold a number of its cafes to Lion – which now owns most of Wellington’s other big roaster/cafe brands including Shed 13, Vivace, Eight Thirty, Prima and Emporio.

Located in what was once a car park, the Hangar is now an excellent cafe that serves Flight’s house blends (‘Dr Mojo’s Medicine’, ‘The Injection’ and ‘Feel Good’). Their roasting takes place in a suburban New Plymouth garage, and the pair of chefs running it are passionate about sourcing high quality beans from around the world. The scrumptious brunch menu isn’t to be missed, either.

Embassy are a relatively newcomer to the scene but their passion for coffee and their dedication to social responsibility have won them a large following. The owners are true advocates of the craft and they buy their coffee according to harvest calendars to get the best possible freshness. They also auction off their equipment to help community groups and donate a day of profits.

Swimsuit is all about the quality and Tait Burge is a barista of the highest calibre. There’s a strong focus on supporting local – it is the heart of Wellington, after all – and they also support the ethos of the Fairtrade movement with a preference for roasters who prioritise equitable pay for their farmers. They are also a champion of sustainability with compostable cups and bags.

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