Skip to content

New Zealand Coffee Guide

web coffee sackweb barista makes coffee

Ciao from coffee lover  Heather Hapeta – the kiwitravelwriter


Zest Food Tours explain New Zealand coffee terms

 NOTE: the KiwiTravelWriter drinks the first 3 & only goes to cafes that serves double shots as the norm!

  • espresso / short black – basis for all coffee styles, espresso is full-flavoured, fragrant, with a velvety body and lingering after-taste; single serving in a demi-tasse (small cup)
  • macchiato – a single or double espresso shot, just stained with frothed milk
  • long black – single serving of espresso, with the same amount of hot water added; served in large cup filled to just under the top, or sometimes with the water provided separately
  • flat white – one third espresso, two thirds steamed milk with a touch of swirled froth
  • cappuccino – regular espresso with equal parts steamed milk and foam, sprinkled with chocolate or cinnamon
  • caffe latte – regular espresso, topped with hot milk and little or no froth
  • mochaccino – one third each of espresso, steamed milk, cocoa
  • ristretto – (‘restricted’) is 15-20ml of espresso, the essence of coffee
  • piccolo latte – miniature latte made with ristretto and 70ml of steamed milk; delicate flavoursome drink
  • affogato – espresso served over ice-cream
  • espresso Romano – espresso served with a twist of lemon
  • latte macchiato – steamed milk with espresso on the side
  • espresso con panna – espresso topped with a dash of whipped cream
  • cortado – Spanish version of the piccolo served in a 60ml demitasse cup
  • fluffy – for kids, a demi-tasse filled with foamed milk, sprinkled with chocolate and served with marshmallow on the side and a small chocolate fish.

Just so you know – I am am an expresso and/or black coffee drinker!



This afternoon,  friend who shares a love of coffee and quirky places took me to a café I’d not discovered here in Christchurch – the Addington Coffee Co-op – it’s great both in ambiance and coffee and I shall return to photograph and discover more about it for this coffee blog page. (I  have just contacted them and will let them write their own piece so scroll down to read it :))

Chatting about cafes around the world, she declared her best café ever was one in Mexico – where over 20 years ago she had had coffee and cake.  She went on to tell me about the wonderful atmosphere in the Gran Café, how the waiters had big pockets, that each waiter was really running his own business, that you ordered your coffee, paid the waiters (all who seemed to her to be at least 70 years old) and he would then go an order and deliver the coffee, and when you wanted a refill you hit the tall glass it was served in with the spoon. A noisy and lovely place of which at the time she said, “I have found my spiritual home”.

Returning home I did a search, and sure enough, all these years later it still seems to a be a classic that’s well worth writing about.  Have you been there? Is it still as my friend describes it? Here’s what one reviewer said: Frommer’s Review in NY Times

“In the portales that face the front door of the cathedral is this dependable restaurant with good prices and local color. In the evenings a parade of strolling troubadours, harpists, marimba players, and shoeshine men passes by. For the midafternoon meal, the comida corrida provides lots of food at a reasonable price. Avoid the overcooked pasta and most beef dishes, which are tough. The exception is the tenderized milanesa, which is good. For seafood, ask the waiter what’s freshest. The enchiladas and the soups are good, and the flan napolitano could feed a family of four.”

See photos taken earlier this year of Gran Cafe (2009)

Coffee, boots and sandals – a travel story from Ireland

(See more in Naked In Budapest: travels with a passionate nomad by Heather Hapeta)

The quality of coffee and footwear make a big difference to travel comfort. Well mine anyway -one can be satisfied and one usually can’t.

With pterodactyls on my feet I feel unstoppable.  Wet or dry these Teva sandals can take me anywhere. Bought in a sale, in a small American town, back in 1995 they walked me through many parts of the world with nary a blister.

We – the sandals and I – have gone from safaris in Africa to sailing in Australia, from climbing small mountains in Malaysia to national parks in Alaska, along city streets, beaches and even into the homes of a member of parliament in Malaysia and a USA congresswoman! What more could one want from your closest friend when travelling.

Over seven years the only attention they’ve needed was a few stitches in Thailand, some more in Christchurch, NZ and the occasional bath while still attached to my feet. When they went to the great sandal heaven in the sky I wanted to have them bronzed. They have been my best buy ever.

Winter travelling saw my maroon boots die in Europe so it was time to buy some more with money I’d been sent for Christmas. I ring New Zealand to report on my purchase.

‘I bought my gift from you’ I say

‘Great – what did you get?’

‘Boots. Doc Martins’

‘Oh, I thought you’d get some jewellery! What sort are they?’

‘Nice high ones, they go well up my legs-lovely and warm’

‘How many spots? Holes for the laces.’

There’s a pause while I count.

‘Six eyelet’s and four hook things.’

‘Oh my gosh. Don’t f*** with me boots!’ she exclaims.

I guess she was right. No-one has challenged me while I was wearing them. However no-one has confronted me with sandals or bare feet either.

So both my best travel footwear are essential to my travel comfort. Coffee is different: very different.

Mostly I have found it easier, and cheaper, to give up the caffeine. Go into withdrawals for a few days and then just imbibe the local drink, hot water or diet coke – which globalisation has made available in most places.

Why do I do this? Because when I ask for a ‘long black’ (no sugar) I expect to be given the same as I get at my regular cafés at home or in Italy. Hot. Strong. Fresh. Espresso.

Not everyone understands these needs.  We have different regional and country interpretations as well as getting our beans from different places, so different flavours.

Ms Fussy I have been called when I moaned that I couldn’t find a decent coffee in London except for one little Italian place only yards from Buckingham Palace. Ms Resilient or Ms Stupid is perhaps more appropriate as I often try again, and again to get a cup of ‘real’ coffee. Just as I did in Ireland.

We were not sure the little tea rooms in a little village had anything for us but we needed a drink. The shelves in this tiny main street shop could have been in any Russian village-shop a few years ago – items well spaced out on the shelves in an attempt to look full, the lights dim.

We sit at a small, plastic-covered, oblong table, and the chairs square, solid, unlike their owner. Ancient, reduced to a small question mark, she looked suspiciously happy to have someone in her shop.

‘Hello’ says Renée

‘Hello’ her lips reply, her face says, you’re strangers here.

‘Can I have some tea please? Do you have Earl Grey?’

‘No,’ comes the jubilant reply- Earl Grey – I knew you were not from here!

‘Regular tea is fine’

‘I’ll have a black coffee please’ I smile

‘Black?’ she says. ‘No milk?’

‘That’s right. No milk.’

For the first time she looks me squarely in the eye, her eyebrows disappearing into her hairline.

‘None at all?’ She is astounded.

Shaking her head at my reply she disappears back into the gloom.

We could almost hear her mind.  Earl grey! No milk! I knew they we not from these parts.


Addington Coffee Co-op Christchurch, New ZealandCafe 1 web – Adrian emailed me saying …  “We’ve always loved a good coffee, so a couple of years back we thought why not get our hands dirty and start our own cafe. Since many of us live in the local area Addington seemed like a pretty good place to start. We picked an old mechanic’s garage to transform into a cafe – not a smart choice if you want an easy ride, but it seems to have made for an enjoyable atmosphere.

cafe2 webTo be sure, living a 2 min walk away from work makes it a little easier to get the muffins in the oven at 6am on a frosty morning. We’re big advocates of Fair Trade, and build relationships with coffee growers to make the industry more sustainable for both us and coffee farmers around the world. Our latest obsession is to try and grow veges around the neighbourhood for local distribution and cafe use. After last week’s hail and frosts we probably need to get our planting timing better!

Mattys coffee tips webThe neighbourhood’s a great little village – we love meeting travellers from the Jailhouse backpackers down the road, workers from the offices on our block, our Sallies regulars and those randoms who just wanted a place to grab a coffee and read the paper or hook into our wireless for the day. ”

He also told me there’s about 10 of them who in various ways were involved in seeding the project. he said “In that sense we are more than just one business person wanting to make some cash – we’re spread throughout the local community. ”

(Photos from the Addington Coffee Co-op) And, don’t forget, when you visit – tell them the kiwitravelwriter sent you!

3 Comments leave one →
  1. March 6, 2014 4:26 PM

    Have you ever thought about writing an e-book or guest authoring on other websites?
    I have a blog based upon on the same ideas you discuss and would really like to have you share some
    stories/information. I know my visitors would enjoy your work.
    If you’re even remotely interested, feel free to shoot me an email.



  1. uberVU - social comments

Enjoyed this? Please leave a comment and share it - It's always good to know what you're thinking.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s


Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 7,547 other followers

%d bloggers like this: