A coffee tour of Te Whanganui-a-Tara

Tucked away at the bottom of the Southern Hemisphere is the world’s southernmost capital city, Wellington. Named by the Lonely Planet as “one of the coolest little capitals”, Wellington has a little something for everyone – art, music, culture, history, nature, surf, and of course, coffee.

Wellington is New Zealand’s coffee capital, and has embraced the speciality coffee scene in the stereotypical Kiwi fashion - warm, welcoming, and relaxed. Read on to find out more about where to go for a great cup in Wellington.

Why these five?

With so many incredible coffee spots to choose from, choosing just five is a tough ask. These five all offer different experiences while taking you on great tour of the city. By no means are these the only spots you should go to, but they are all, in my opinion, must-visit cafés when visiting Te Whanga-nui-a-Tara (Wellington).

New Chapter – The Coffee Brewers

Cafe New Chapter, Wellington
Cafe New Chapter, Wellington

On the edge of Wellington’s Central Business District is a cosy space that will provide an oasis from the hustle and bustle of a busy modern life.

New Chapter has something for everyone; amazing takeaway coffee and food for those on the run, and an amazing filter coffee experience for those who have a bit more time.

If you’re up for something a bit special, sit at the bar and order a V60 or two. New Chapter’s baristas will guide you through what you taste while taking the time to keep things simple and approachable.

The Beanery – by Mojo

The Beanery - Lampton Square
The Beanery - Lambton Square

Mojo has been on the coffee scene in Wellington for over 16 years. They’re known for their excellent, reliable and consistent coffee. The Beanery – by Mojo is no exception to this, but they try an interesting concept and move away from their traditional café format to focus more on really letting their coffees shine.

The Beanery offers only few high tables to perch at to drink a coffee, which gives them more space for their in-house air roaster and the excellent Steam Punk filter brewing system. The striped back space allows the interaction with the baristas, and the coffee to be at the forefront of the experience. The team are incredibly welcoming and knowledgeable.

You'll find The Beanery in Lambton Square, Wellington.

Lamason Brew Bar

People checking out the siphon show, inside Lamason Brew Bar

Lamason proves that you can take your craft seriously and still have an absolute blast. You’ll walk away from your time at Lamason’s absolutely buzzing, and not just thanks to the coffee.

Lamason’s has a laid back, warm and friendly style to the art of coffee making. They take what could be a cold, industrial space underneath a parking building, and create a café filled with warmth, life and laughter.

The baristas are awesome and they really care about their craft. Regardless of whether you’re having a flat white, espresso, v60 or a siphon, you’ll have an excellent time.

Lamason's is down the resurgent Lombard Street, Wellington.

Pour and Twist

The Grey Marble - one of the must-try drinks at Pour and Twist

To say Pour and Twist is unique would be a massive understatement – they are the first fully manual coffee brew bar in New Zealand and they absolutely rock it.

The lack of ‘traditional’ espresso-based coffee hasn’t stopped them from forging a great reputation and a huge following. This is thanks to the warm welcome everyone gets as they walk in the door, and the fun, and interesting coffee based drinks they keep coming up with.

Pour and Twist makes great use of their small space, utilising the industrial feel of exposed concrete walls to bring retro cool to a great part of Wellington.

You can find Pour and Twist down Garrett Street, Wellington.

Rich Coffee Roasters

The Moccamaster proudly displayed at Rich Coffee Roasters

Stepping inside of Rich Coffee Roasters is like going home for Christmas. Rich is inviting, filled with fun and laughter, and you’ll be completely at home.

Rich Coffee Roasters is a small coffee roaster that opens their doors to the public every Saturday. While you can sit in and have a coffee, the fun lies in standing around chatting to the roasters and the community of Rich lovers who stream in during the day.

While you’re enjoying a filter or an expertly made flat white (Co-owner Cameron McClure was behind London’s Flat White), take the chance to soak in the atmosphere and the company of other friendly Wellingtonians as they pop in to say hi. A must-visit.

Rich Coffee is up on the top of Adelaide Road, Wellington.

Wellington is an absolute treat

For coffee lovers, Wellington is an absolute treat. It’s an easy city to get around on foot, scooter or via public transport making it a great place to try out the many coffee spots.

In between the five I’ve picked out as my personal favorites, there are dozens more, equally worthy of a mention. You won’t be disappointed with your visit to New Zealand’s coffee capital.

Want to see more? Check out my article on Perfect Daily Grind.