I love coffee and when I am visiting new cafes, one of the first things I do is research which coffee beans they are using for their coffees. Not sure why but when it comes to coffee and whisky, I can definitely taste more flavour profiles than food. Maybe that is because of the complexity and wide flavour profiles you can discover depending on your own knowledge.
Anyways, here is my list of the top seven coffee brands in order! Starting from the bottom of the list:
Number 7: Atomic
A well-known Auckland coffee brand, Atomic has been serving amazing coffee since the early 1990s in Ponsonby. Their iconic Veloce is smooth and chocolatey with a hint of cinnamon. I personally like to drink Atomic with milk - usually a double shot flat white.
Number 6: Kokako
In 2020, I probably consumed more coffees made with Kokako than any other brand. Another Auckland-based roaster, Kokako proudly offers Fairtrade organic coffee - their signature Aotea Blend is earthy and chocolatey. Tastes great as a long black or flat white, you can expect great coffees from cafes offering Kokako.
Number 5: Espresso Workshop
Mr Black and Mr White are two popular blends from Espresso Workshop. Mr Black was crafted for black coffee beverages while Mr White was crafted for milk-based coffee beverages. Both are very smooth, velvety, chocolatey with hints of caramel. I like to drink Espresso Workshop quite strong either as short, long (with an extra shot) or a flat white (with an extra shot) because the flavours are amazing - no unpleasant bitterness at all.
Number 4: Allpress
One of the most iconic coffee brands of New Zealand, you can find Allpress globally now. Its eye-catching branding, colours and cups helped Allpress to establish itself as an influential brand in the industry. But of course, the coffee tastes amazing - black or with milk.
Allpress is amazing.
Number 3: Red Rabbit
My usual coffee go-to's are flat white (mostly triple-shot), long black and espresso. However, Red Rabbit is where I constantly get mochaccino because it is one of the most delicious mochaccinos I have ever had - especially iced. Super smooth, caramelly and fruity flavours of Red Rabbit recently became one of my all-time favourites and I believe it will stay that way for a while.
Number 2: Eighthirty
I always loved Eighthirty and it has been a brand I would recommend to people who recently started drinking coffee. Their coffees are smooth and chocolatey with hints of vanilla, I personally love to drink it as a flat white (small or regular size). Also when it comes to the scent, I feel Eighthirty easily takes the number one spot.
Number 1: Rocket Coffee
The Hamilton-based coffee roaster, Rocket, takes my number one spot right now. Offering a perfect, unmatched blend of smooth, dark chocolate, caramel and citrus flavours, coffees made with Rocket is almost all the time a 10/10. I like to drink it as a triple shot flat white or a long black - the natural flavour Rocket offers is too good to dilute it with too much milk or water.
Founder & Editor | Say Seowon Song
I run Caramel, New Zealand's leading consulting and creative agency helping hospitality and food businesses grow. I also teach people and am involved in other businesses in the technology and hospitality industries.