Auckland coffee culture has really stepped up its game and it’s now deservedly regarded as one of the great coffee capitals of the world. When it comes to hunting down the best coffee in Auckland, us caffeine lovers are spoilt for choice. There are plenty of great spots to enjoy a cup right across the city, so you’re never too far from a fix. We’ve traversed the ‘burbs and the city, downing many a flat white along the way to bring you a list of Auckland’s best coffee.
ARK Coffee Company
You’re forgiven for never having stumbled across this Auckland coffee spot. Located down a tiny alley beside the Department Store, ARK brews some of the best coffee in Auckland. It doesn’t look like much from the outside, but the interior is a sleek coffee connoisseur’s emporium. This hidden gem is run by two incredibly friendly Japanese sisters who can pour you a perfect flattie, but equally are happy to leave you alone to browse the shelves filled with amazing coffee brewing apparatuses. Don’t get overwhelmed though—the girls are more than happy to walk you through the difference between pour-over and cold-press and help you to find the perfect bean and method for you.
The simple and brilliant Ceremony—a tiny hole-in-the-wall joint by the Grafton Bridge—brings us the fabulous Flight coffee from Wellington. These young guys standing behind the stainless steel Marzocco machine are serious about their coffee and that comes across in both the presentation and the taste—this is some of the best coffee in Auckland. Their brew coffee is served in beautiful ceramic mugs made locally by Wundaire, which you’ll probably love with as much as the fabulous coffee and want to purchase to take home.
Atomic Roastery Kingsland
Atomic has sat in Kingsland for a while and it has a reputation for brewing some of the best coffee in Auckland. This means Atomic is often packed, but there’s good reason! Atomic is a roastery and ‘Brew Bar’ all-in-one, so the staff are absolute experts. The airy and modern interior is a great place to sit and enjoy a good, strong cup of your coffee of choice. Bonus points if you can nab one of the street-facing tables outside, which mean you can partake in the Parisian pastime of people watching the characters of Kingsland. If you grab some beans to take home, Atomic will shout you a coffee to enjoy while you’re there in return. Now that’s what we call hospitality.
Coffee and bikes might seem like an odd combination, but it’s all too common in European cities such as Amsterdam, Copenhagen and Berlin, catering to the bearded cyclists who only drink Chemex. Blend’s owner was inspired by his travels in Europe and opened the bike-coffee hybrid store in Ponsonby but it’s since relocated to a cool corner of Eden Terrace. Stop by for a great cup of local Smith coffee and grab a coffee holder to snap onto your bicycle for the ride to the office.
Eighthirty is slowly but surely taking over Auckland with their expertly brewed coffee. First opening on K Road in 2009, you’ll now find their espresso bars in the CBD (High Street and Anzac Avenue) as well as Parnell and Ponsonby. While each joint is unique in its own right, they all have sleek, industrial interiors. The minimal spaces don’t have the unnecessary frills—just good, honest coffee brewed to perfection every. single. time. You’ll also find the much-loved brand across a handful of cafes throughout the country (they only work with the best!).
Fancy an emoticon with your coffee? Taking coffee art to a whole new level, the friendly baristas at Sandringham’s Petit Bocal never cease to amaze with the artwork adorning their cups. Half the fun is waiting to see what cartoon character, animal or elaborate pattern will arrive at your table. Trust us when we say: they’re too adorable not to Instagram! Rest assured, the novelty doesn’t get in the way of quality with beautiful Supreme Coffee hiding underneath the foam.
Freemans Bay and Ponsonby
Let’s be honest, Allpress coffee is one of our country’s greatest exports and makes us damn from to be Kiwis. Becoming a major player in the coffee game worldwide, you’ll find flagship cafes in Tokyo, London, Melbourne and Sydney. Closer to home, you can get your fix from their roastery in Freemans Bay or retail store on Ponsonby Road. Allpress coffee has earnt a reputation for being smooth and consistent so you can be sure to receive a top-notch cup every time. What’s more, the Ponsonby site hosts in-store coffee classes so you can create a café-style brew at home!
Perched on an unassuming suburban corner in Grey Lynn, Crumb stays true to its corner-store roots. It feels like your local (even if you’re not) with a friendly vibe where neighbours chat and pick up a few things for home. The coffee, made from Supreme beans is great, but it’s the espresso milkshake, made with fresh espresso and ice cream, that’s the star. Grab one and enjoy the sunshine on the beanbags just outside the door. Sounds like a recipe for the perfect day if you ask us!
Kokako was one the leaders of the health food wave that has swept the city and their coffee is truly the star of the show. How so? Kokako coffee is both certified Fairtrade and organic—on ya, Kokako! Situated in the historic Grey Lynn post office, the café serves a range of coffee options (both espresso and filter) as well as a seasonal menu that’s both delicious and nutritious. You can also buy beans for at-home brewing—they even have a subscription service available! The supply their beans at select cafes nationwide—look out for the iconic Kokako bird (the one with the blue wattle).
Dizengoff serves up some of the best coffee on the café-saturated Ponsonby Road. Single shot coffees are just offensive to this coffee rat, so Dizengoff gets serious brownie points for being one of the first Auckland places to offer a double shot as standard. The coffee also comes out piping hot, which is a welcome touch after far too many lukewarm experiences at the other places on the busy strip. What’s more, Dizengoff has an ace brunch game. We can’t go past their half-and-half breakfast with scrambled eggs and balsamic mushrooms on sourdough. Coffee + eggs + mushrooms = the best start to the day!
This little hole-in-the-wall coffee shop brings a retro touch to the Takapuna’s food haven Fortieth & Hurstmere. Situated halfway down the leafy lane sits a 1966 mint green kombi van that pumps out fantastic Havana Coffee. Look no further than Kombi Coffee for all your caffeine cravings—from long blacks and flat whites to chai lattes and mochaccinos, they do ‘em all in exceptional style. If you’re trying to cut back on coffee (weirdo), they’ve also got cold-press juice starring at refreshing blend of apple, lemon and carrot with a dash of spicy ginger.
Parnell, Britomart and Orakei Bay Village
For some of the finest brews in town, look no further than Espresso Workshop. Founded in Parnell back in 2007, the roaster uses the best quality beans to produce small batch, roasted coffee like no other. Pop in to stock up on beans, enjoy a meal and a cuppa, or grab a coffee for the road. Alternatively, get your inner-city coffee fix from their Britomart espresso bar or the Amerpsand’s Coffee Alley in Orakei Bay Village. If you’re serious about coffee (you are) keep an eye out for their coffee workshops covering everything from preparation techniques, recipes and milk texturing.
If you’ve given hope of ever managing to nab a table at the elusive Orphan’s Kitchen for dinner, ditch the queue and make sure you visit them in the day time to enjoy one of Auckland’s best coffees. The coffee from Supreme is expertly crafted and somehow seems silkier and smoother than that served up elsewhere. Orphans offers options of creamy raw buffalo or hazelnut milk and it really does make the cup that much more lavish.
RAD occupies a relatively small space at the end of Mt Eden Village and the coffee is, err, totally rad. The house ‘bomber’ blend comes from the amazing Wellington roaster, Flight, and the team at Rad certainly do it justice. They’ve got all your caffeine faves as well as cold drip, clever brew and aero press. Yep, trust us when we say: these guys are serious about good coffee! Every cup is made with a copious amount of TLC and a range of guest blends and single origins are often available for connoisseurs. Their juices, smoothies and milkshakes (anyone for a chocolate fish shake?) are equally desirable.
One Tree Hill
Weta Coffee is making a difference—once coffee at a time. Launching in 2014, the boutique roastery uses 100 per cent premium Arabica beans sourced from sustainable and ethical farms around the world. With super friendly staff and coffee that is roasted on site (the smell!), this neighbourhood venue is perfect for your daily fix. And for the weta? They give an ongoing contribution from every cup sold towards the Giant Weta at Auckland Zoo. Noice.
too Good Espresso
Nestled on Brown Street, too Good Espresso has quickly grown a loyal following. This light and bright space is owned by Rata Miller, a barista who knows his shit—his father started roasting the beans more than 30 years ago. While coffee is the focus at this cosy spot, you’ll also find rich Belgian hot chocolate and uplifting Kawakawa tea. Pair with a sweet treat made by the talented team at Criollo and you’ll be away laughing. If you haven’t been yet, it’s time to pay a visit.
Lattes, long blacks, drip coffee—you name it, and this North Shore spot has got it. With great service, the McGregor family has travelled the world and bring their expertise back to Auckland for your coffee pleasure. The Coffee Lab believes in doing good, they also actively help orphans, abandoned kids and the poor around the world. A word of warning: this spot gets pretty chocka in the weekend so get in early or opt for a takeaway cuppa. Oh, and the chocolate brownies are not-to-be-missed!
Another North Shore hotspot, Coffee General knows a thing or two about serving some of the best coffee in Auckland. Whether you like your coffee light, medium or dark, sweet or strong, they’ll deliver. Bringing together some of the finest coffee New Zealand can offer, this funky little venue is a must-visit. You’ll also find brewing equipment so you can BYO (that’s brew your own).
Sure, Goodness Gracious is already on our radar because of its incredible bagels, but don’t stop there—the coffee is where it’s at. Get your morning fix at this small but friendly spot on New North Road as you head into the city. They’ve even got affogato on the menu for those who like their caffeine with a big ol’ dollop of ice cream!
Head out west and visit Deco Eatery for some great coffee. Situated in the historic Lopdell House, enjoy something from their delicious Turkish menu while you sip away on your coffee. It’s blended and roasted on site so you’ll be drinking the highest quality coffee possible. We can’t go past their signature Turkish coffee served with a cube of Turkish delight—it’s some of the strongest coffee you’ll try. If you’re cutting back on caffeine but want a hot cuppa, their hot chocolate is served with a stick of Whittaker’s chocolate and it’s so. damn. good.