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‘Passion’ separates Wellington from the rest say local baristas

Mar 10th, 2014 | By | Category: Front Page Layout, Latest News, News, Picture story


LOCAL baristas are enjoying being among the world’s elite after a CNN article last week put Wellington in the world’s top eight coffee cities.

“It’s just passion. We love what we do here,” says Johnny Matias a manager at Memphis Belle, one of the coffee hot spots singled out by CNN.

He says there are just so many cafe’s in Wellington that it bumps the standard up.

Hannah Challis, general manager at Memphis Belle, says our relaxed approach comes through in the coffee.

When asked why Wellington is better than Auckland she says: “I’ve had a coffee up there and it’s fine, I just don’t think they appreciate it. It seems a bit rushed. There are a lot more baristas and cafe owners here that just love it.”

“The quality of New Zealand’s milk is the reason why the flat white is so popular in New Zealand,” says Havana coffee roaster Lucas Robotham.

He thinks it’s just a cultural difference.
“In Europe they are all about the strength of the coffee…in the United States and South America it’s more about the sugar.”

But P.J. Daniells from Wellington’s iconic Cafe L’affare says he finds it surprising that Wellington has been recommended so highly because he has been other places and thought they were more technologically advanced.

a“Wellington is about 300-400 years behind Auckland,” he says.

P.J. still rates Wellington’s coffee highly.
“It’s still really good quality here, but it’s just not as advanced as it has been made out to be.”

Cuban Roberto Johnson (right), a barista at Palomino Espresso Bar in upper Cuba Street, says a great cup of coffee is about everything coming together: the grind, the machine, and the barista.

He found it hard to get a good coffee when he first moved to Wellington, but says he has now mastered the art and makes the best coffee in town.

The top eight cities according to CNN : Singapore, Seattle, Vienna, Wellington, Rome, Melbourne, London, Reykjavik.

Lucas with hand on the controls

STEAMED UP: Havana coffee roaster Lucas Robotham in action.





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