The Playmaker
Let's play
  • It's Wednesday
    What day is it?
  • Now
    What time is it?
  • Anywhere in Wellington
    Where are you?
  • What do you feel like?
    What do you feel like?
  • And what else?
    And what else?

The Six Best Coffee Bars in Wellington

The quirkiest, most educational and all-round best coffee bars in Wellington.
By Lauren Harrigan
August 25, 2015
By Lauren Harrigan
August 25, 2015


The quirkiest, most educational and all-round best coffee bars in Wellington.

We Wellingtonians are probably one of the most caffeinated crowds in the world, with a potent concentration of places to get our fix. With a café hawking the stuff on seemingly every corner, it's hard to know where's the best place to get your coffee kick. We understand the struggle, so we've curated the quirkiest, most educational and all-round best coffee bars in Wellington.


  • 6

    Peoples’ Coffee has fast become a favourite bean in Wellington. Their nook in Newtown is a flagship outpost, accompanied by their nearby roastery out there. The space is full of the heady scent of their espresso, and akin to most of the brew bars in the inner-city business district. Although these days the large majority of roasteries are Fair Trade, Peoples’ point of difference is their strong ethical awareness and aim of making people aware of their processes as well. This is inherent in the posters lining its walls, on their blog, and Twitter.

    READ MORE Add to Playlist
    Want to start building your ultimate playlist?

    Start creating a personalised itinerary — or add to an existing list. Save it, share it and take it with you on your next local adventure.

  • 5

    Though erring more toward café than brew bar, Memphis Belle is a stalwart Welly establishment which still offers a range of interesting coffee offerings. Chemex, Swissgold and V60 and siphon are brewed alongside Fair Trade espresso. The coffee house uses Flight-roasted beans, aiming to spread the good word of coffee through a ‘culture of progression, awareness and geekdom.’ Memphis is always busy, but the baristas are spectacular and orders roll out quickly, allowing you to get your fix on the run to work, or take your time on the op-shop couches outside, which border Aro Park. This little spot has won its fair share of awards both for best café and best baristas – if you’re after a great Welly coffee on your crawl, Memphis is a classic.

    READ MORE Add to Playlist
  • 4

    The flagship establishment of Supreme Coffee, Customs has long been a stopping point for those needing their addiction soothed. The seventies-esque wood and cacti fit-out exudes cool. 98% of Supreme’s beans are brewed in the espresso method, but some are also prepared using the third wave of alternate methods, such as pour-overs, which are rising in popularity. On my visit, I opted for a simple cup of Fetco filter. With eight different bean varieties with sources ranging from Brazil to Rwanda and Nicaragua, Customs is another sweet spot to visit in the capital.

    READ MORE Add to Playlist
  • 3

    A darling of international critics visiting Wellington for its coffee, Flight Coffee’s Hangar has a firm foothold in the burgeoning brew bar scene. Owner Nick Clarke placed 5th in the World Barista Championships in 2013, so you’re probably drinking the best espresso in New Zealand. An interesting order is their coffee tasting flights – I tried the coffee three ways, with an espresso, a flat white and cold brew from one single origin. The flat white three ways is worth a try too. If you buy beans for your home brewing, you can get them ground on-site.

    READ MORE Add to Playlist
  • 2

    A joint venture between the coffee company and Leeds Street Bakery, the two coexist in a glass-fronted store in Leeds Street (also home to veritable Wellington institutions such as the Wellington Chocolate Factory and Goldings’ Freedive). Red Rabbit is a green roastery, importing their own beans from merchants such as Mercanta. A huge Probat and bean storage take up the far wall of the premises. Owner, Steve Barrett aims to give patrons a diverse selection of beans and flavour profiles. An achingly expensive Kees Van Der Westen Spirit machine squeals and froths out the espresso alongside Aeropress, V60 and Swissgold. The Aeropress was perfect with the seasonal blend, paired with a fresh goats’ cheese, walnut and honey-stuffed baguette from the bakery. Take your laptop and sit amongst the other businessmen and arty types, a coffee at your elbow and a return visit in mind.

    READ MORE Add to Playlist
  • 1

    Tucked away right off Manners, Lamason is distinguished from the surrounding industrial apartment buildings only by some sleek wooden panelling and red window framing. An outpost of Peoples’ Coffee, the brew bar offers a comprehensive introduction to the discipline of coffee, if you’re willing to ask. The guys behind the counter will get you hella schooled in no time, with a tight selection of diversely flavour-profiled beans (numerous single origins, altitudes and harvest methods all specified in detail) and different methods of brewing. As well as standard espresso, they’re the only siphon bar in Welly, making it an essential visit. A point of interest and something to try is their cold flat white – made of deconstructed ingredients, served ice cold. Perfect for a hot day or for those interested in dabbling in cold brew iterations.

    READ MORE Add to Playlist
  •   shares
  • Reader comments...

    L - August 31, 2015

    Such a poorly written article, it pays to research and fact check before you write


Tap and select Add to Home Screen to access Concrete Playground easily next time. x
Counter Pixel