I have hunted down the best coffee shops in Wellington, either serving their own beans or sourcing them from a local roastery, to help you get that caffeine fix.
The term ‘coffee snob’ got a new meaning since I moved to Wellington. The locals chat about coffee as other nations do about the weather – it is very much ingrained in daily life. The following list of the best coffee shops in Wellington will help you out with your daily caffeine hit, whether you’re living in the city or just passing through on your travels.
In Wellington, there is always a new coffee shop to try – so hopefully, this guide will inspire you to go out and try out someplace new and find your new fave! If you love trying out coffees made from different beans, roasted in Wellington or New Zealand based roasteries look no further.
It’s been said that Wellington has more cafes, bars and restaurants per capita than New York.
A brief history of coffee shops in Wellington
If you ask a Wellingtonian what’s the city known for – many answers will include the word coffee or coffee spots. People are educated about brewing methods, where the beans come from and some (it cannot just be me) will go a detour to their favourite coffee shop.
These days, the words ‘coffee’ and ‘Wellington’ do go hand in hand, but this hasn’t always been the case. Back in the 1920’s you would find a lot of tea rooms in the city, followed by the appearance of milk bars in 1930. It wasn’t until the 1980s and 90’s that the coffee scene really took off.
Once cafes began to get popular in Britain and America, New Zealand followed suit. During this time, coffee was no longer reserved for just the artistic or influential elite.
The following guide of the best coffee shops in Wellington will be updated as I do keep exploring the city!
Let’s get into it shall we.
Flight Coffee Hangar is known for its specialty coffee. They are having three different filter coffees on offer, a creamy standard blend and the option of two single-origins on espresso. Prices start at 5$ for a black or white coffee. Bonus points for the option to share a tasting flight and try a cold drip or freshly brewed Aeropress coffee.
Bonus points: Loyalty card & free WiFi – available for 30 minutes and three different vegan milk options – soy, coconut, oat (delishh).
You can also find it here: Seize & outside Wellington at Clareville Bakery, Everest Cafe
The Highwater Eatery
Rich Coffee Roasters
Mainly focused on wholesale, you can find a great variety of single-origins for espresso from Colombia and Brasil as well as a coffee cherry tea on their website. The restaurant newly opened in the city centre, and there’s a 50 cent off BYO cup discount. A flat white with oat milk sets you back 4.50$.
Bonus points: Vegan milk: Oat, Soy
You can also find it here: Milk Crate
People’s Coffee Roastery
They place a huge focus on the environment by only choosing organic coffee and fair trade projects. The fact that farmers from small lots use organic farming techniques also explains the price point. People’s signature coffee shop in Newtown is always lively and well worth the visit. Next to their Don Wilfredo milk chocolate & caramel blend, you can also find single-origin on espresso.
You can also find it here: The Botanist, La Cloche, Pranah Cafe
Lamason Brew Bar
I might be late to the (coffee) party but Lamason Brew Bar is seriously one of the best coffee shops around the inner CBD. Their methods of brewing are so unique. Using a siphon bulb to brew the coffee in front of your eyes is not only entertaining but also makes having your daily coffee a real experience! Awarded with ‘Best barista’ – Dave Lamason gives People’s coffee a new twist!
ACME & Co.
Founded by the former owners of Cafe L’affare, ACME has been around since 2011. The ever-so-bustling flagship cafe brews their coffee with either a blend for espresso or a Pour Plunge Brew for a filter. A large flat white with oat milk will set you back 5$.
Bonus point: one of the best coffee shops to work from because of free Wi-Fi, power sockets & bottom to ceiling windows to watch the world go by.
You can find it also here: The Squirrel
Coffee Supreme Roastery
Officially starting out in 1993, they now supply cafés, offices and homes in New Zealand, Australia and even Japan. Their choice for coffee ranges from various espresso blends to unusual single-origin espresso (ie from Vanuatu) and currently eight single-origins filter coffees.
Since it’s opening in 1990, L’affare inhabits its flagship coffee shop in the heart of Te Aro. They place a great emphasis on Fair Trade and try to apply sustainable methods to minimise their environmental impact ie you can send your spent capsules back and they recycle them. The company also partners with Trade Aid coffee and offers a range of blends and single-origin coffees.
Bonus point: 4 different vegan milk options – soy, almond, coconut, macadamia (Yum!) & free Wi-Fi
Green Land Cafe
Originating in Eastbourne’s wharf in 2007, Karamu coffee beans are fully certified as Fair Trade Organic. The beans come from places like Ethiopia, Ghana, Congo and Nicaragua. Inside the always bustling flagship Green Land Cafe, you can find a list of charities that have been supported over time. For the full story head over to their website.
Bonus point: you can see which charities have been supported
You can also find it here: HUSK Bar and Eatery, Juniper Restaurant
Havana Coffee Works
Havana Coffee Roastery
Nestled in a 1959 art decor house, the Havana Coffee Works HQ has been around since 1990. They are pioneering the Fair Trade model for over 20 years and truly focus on deep relationships with the farmers, enabling Pacific communities to thrive. A variety of blends and single-origin coffees from places such as Vanuatu, Cuba or Bolivia are on offer.
You can also find it here: Deluxe Cafe, Midnight Espresso
An Auckland micro specialty coffee roaster, Society Coffee was founded in 2017. At Frank’s Cafe in Wellington, you can find a range of their options such as a smooth house blend & single-origin beans, from Brazil, Colombia or Ethiopia. A regular flat white with a single-origin bean (+0,50 cent) and vegan milk will set you back 5,50$. Great café
Bonus point: a relaxed coffee shop in the CBD to work from, free Wi-Fi, sockets and a relaxed atmosphere. Available vegan milk includes soy, coconut & almond
Good Fortune Coffee Co.
Good Fortune Coffee Co. has its origin in Petone, just near the waterfront. All of their beans are 100% certified fair trade coffee beans that are farmed organically. They’ve got an array of blends featuring beans from ie Peru, Mexico, Colombia or Ethiopia.
You can also find it here: Laundry, Goldie Milk Bar & Eatery, el Culo del Mundo
Revive Espresso is a Wellington-based boutique coffee company. Its HQ is situated in Petone, Lower Hutt and offers the perfect stop for brunch and stocking up on freshly roasted beans. Guy the owner founded it in 1999 after finding inspiration in the local food & coffee scene of New Orleans, Louisiana. On offer are two blends, an award-winning one featuring seven single-origin beans and a fair trade one using mostly South American beans.
Any other great coffee shops you think are missing? Drop a comment and let me know!