The Coolest Little Coffee Capital

Since arriving in Wellington we have literally been in coffee heaven.  Mine’s a long black, Jeremy’s is a flat white and Sophia has hers milky 🙂 Kiwis know how to roast and serve it best; there isn’t a granule of freeze-dried coffee or a Starbucks in sight. We’ve been trying the locally roasted coffee that we have heard so many good things about and are still working our way through the list of recommended best coffee houses. There are so many quality places to try but we already have a few firm favourites.

I am in no way knowledgeable enough about coffee to even pretend to know anything of value here other than ‘It tastes great’ and ‘You should go here’. I am unable to describe the citrusy tones or the microfoam or the crema and slurping coffee noisily off a spoon does not come naturally to me. This is more of an unpretentious: ‘Here are a few of our favourite coffee and brunch spots’ kind of post with some super latte art (pics by Jeremy). If you’re ever in Wellington, I recommend you try these places:

Maranui Café

This surf-loving, coffee-brewing paradise is situated south of Wellington city, right on the coast at Lyall Bay and serves locally roasted Havana Coffee. We visited it the same day we went to Weta Cave and have been back again and again since. It has a cool surfer décor and is always busy for hearty weekend brunches. Be prepared to queue and peruse the menu but believe me it is well worth the wait. The views and food are amazing. It’s baby friendly with high chairs and changing facilities but do note that it is located on the first floor so buggies wouldn’t be advisable upstairs. There is an outdoor decking area overlooking the bay and free parking is just outside the main entrance.

Memphis Belle

Situated just off Cuba Street is this little gem of place serves the amazing ‘Flight Coffee’. Memphis Belle has quirky décor: chalk graffiti on the ceilings, old pictures and dog-eared books on the tables and a large selection of mismatching arm chairs outdoors. There is always a funky playlist to hum along to and the owner and baristas are super-friendly. The team did everything they could to accommodate our huge pram in their cosy coffee shop and made sure there was space for us inside on the chilly day that we visited. The coffee is world-class and these guys know just how to serve it perfectly.

Ripe Coffee

Slightly further outside Wellington, this little roastery and coffee shop in Petone is our local. It’s where we buy our whole beans from, ideally about 10 days old, I forget the reason why, they just taste even more amazing. The service here is really great, with the barista knowing the names and orders of the regulars. Clearly, from the photos, we feel at home enough to take Sophia there in her PJs…. we probably ran out of beans that morning and abandoned breakfast plans before going straight there for a coffee! Check out the cool map.

Flight Coffee Hangar

Flight Coffee was the first incredible award-winning coffee that we tasted when we arrived in Wellington. This popular roastery supplies coffee places all over town, including: Memphis Belle, Arise Church, Wellington Library and obviously also at their own place Flight Coffee Hangar. It is a great place for brunch and lunch with a wide selection of tasty treats and meals. These guys are seriously talented baristas and Flight Hangar is home to the 2014 and 2015 New Zealand Brewer’s Cup Champion in addition to  the 2013 New Zealand Barista Champion. Guaranteed brilliance!

Coffee Supreme
Coffee Supreme holds weekly cupping sessions during which the roasters come to the shop and taste test the coffee. There is quite an art to it and a science, with a array of weighing scales and test tubes, slurping, sniffing and descriptive tasting notes. We were very fortunate to have their expertise the day that we popped in and I really tried to taste the citrusy notes…. This little shop has all the coffee gadgets that any coffee nerd could dream of and I think Jeremy has added the whole shop to his Christmas list!

Mojo Coffee

Someone recently described Mojo as ‘the Starbucks of Wellington’ as it seems to be one of the main coffee chains. They also have a roastery on the waterfront and coffee shops all over the city. Whilst we appreciate the coffee art, their shops do have that cookie cutter feel about them: very similar decor and layout, which is fine but not the ‘hidden gem’ feel that we prefer. We would mainly go here for a bite to eat as they have a wider selection of food than the muffins and sweet treats of other coffee shops.

And there are still so many more places to explore…


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About tripleespresso2go

Jeremy, Katie and Sophia are a family of three from the UK who have a passion for travel, good coffee, music and photography. They are currently based in Penang, Malaysia. Follow their adventures as they taste the finest coffee and photograph their way around the Asia.