Coffee is the most popular drink worldwide, with estimates saying around two billion cups are consumed every day (we interrupt this story to remind everyone to bring their re-usable coffee cups when ordering takeaways).
So, whether you call it java, cuppa joe, kawhi, kawhe, daily grind, rocket fuel, jitter juice or anything else, if you’re among the coffee drinkers in the world, you’re certainly not alone.
The team members here are no strangers to the wonders of the bean either, so we thought we’d share a few favourites in and around town, and why. This list is ordered by location and definitely not exhaustive – there are many more great barista-made coffees in Rotorua.
A highly caffeinated city centreRevolver Espresso
Located inside Vetro Mediterranean Foods, Revolver’s coffees (and food) are consistently good. Enjoy a seat at the communal farmer’s table while finding cooking inspiration from one of the culinary magazines and books stacked along the table.
What they’re serving: a secret custom blend of two distinct coffee origins which they roast themselves here in Rotorua
Where to find them: 1131 Amohau Street, inside Vetro Mediterranean Foods
Capers Café + Store
Great coffee and delicious food is the winning combo here, as well as the shop for gathering your artisan foodie favourite after you dine! Hint: someone on this team claims their lemon slice is one of the best things to eat in the North Island.
What they’re serving: Organic, fair trade Organico beans roasted in Auckland
Where to find them: 1181 Eruera Street
Delicious coffee + award-winning service + possibly the best sweets cabinet in town = winning combination. Scope’s quality products and cosy atmosphere have created a loyal following and you’ll often see owner Dana out on the floor greeting her regulars by name.
What they’re serving: award-winning Altura coffee roasted in Auckland
Where to find them: 1296 Tutanekai Street
Zippy Central Café
We’re not sure if it’s the coffees or the food, or both, but this long-standing stalwart of the community deserves your attention.
What they’re serving: New Zealand-roasted Coffee Supreme
Where to find them: 1153 Pukuatua Street
Artisan’s motto “handmade with love and care” rings true, and this extends to their coffees as well. Be sure to grab a sweet treat from the food cabinet if you’re taking yours to go, or you’ll regret it before you reach the bottom of the cup.
What they’re serving: Fair trade organically grown Kōkako coffee roasted in Auckland
Where to find them: 1149 Tutanekai St, just a block up from Eat Streat
Whether you’re there for breakfast, brunch, lunch or dinner, a Terrace-made long black is a consistently wonderful way to wake up. Of course, if you like your coffee to be more on the ‘gentle’ side, Kiwi favourite flat whites are great too, as well as everything in between.
What they’re serving: fair trade, specialty-grade coffee roasted in Auckland by Atomic Café
Where to find them: 1029 Tutanekai Street, overlooking Lake Rotorua
Head to the east sideOkere Falls Store
Known as New Zealand’s best eco-friendly café, Okere Falls Store offers a great garden in which to enjoy great coffee al fresco, plus they’ve got sustainable yummy food to go with said coffee.
What they’re serving: Rocket Coffee Roasters in Hamilton
Where to find them: 759 State Highway 33, Okere Falls
Just a little south of the city centreCiabatta Café & Bakery
Ciabatta’s variety of coffees, delicious sweet treats, sandwiches and freshly baked bread make a trip to the industrial area worth it. Their Banoffee (banana + toffee) Coffee is a long-time fave, and they’ve recently created Banocolatte, a banana and chocolate latte.
What they’re serving: gourmet blends from Atlas Power Coffee in Auckland
Where to find them: 38 White Street
Secret Spot Hot Tubs
Secret Spot is more than just hot tubs. Its great setting – right alongside our beautiful Whakarewarewa Forest – to start your morning coffee ritual. In fact, have a Shinny Dip too, to really get the blood circulating.
What they’re serving: Arabica beans roasted over mānuka wood by Hamilton-based Manuka Brothers’ Coffee in a home-built wood-fired roaster named Black Betty
Where to find them: mountain bike car park, Waipa State Mill Road
Waimangu Local Store & Café
If you’ve got a lazy weekend morning, you can’t beat a steaming cuppa while overlooking the steamy views of Waimangu Volcanic Valley. Plus, once your liquid gold is finished, you can eat the cup (it’s made of cookies!) and spoon. There’s no entry fee to the café, but we highly recommend making time and buying tickets to see this amazing geothermal wonderland.
What they’re serving: Halo beans roasted in Auckland
Where to find them: 587 Waimangu Road
Anywhere you areMourea Coffee Company
Mourea Coffee Company’s ethos is to “tread lightly and engage deeply”. They source their beans as ethically and ecologically as they can, which means buying fair trade, organic and Rainforest Alliance-certified green beans wherever possible. They roast using electricity, which is highly renewable here in New Zealand, and they deliver straight to your door using an electric bike. MCC packaging is either paper bags, or uses their own Swappa Jar system. All of this is everything we love in a bean!
What they’re serving: single origins from Papua New Guinea, Colombia and Honduras, and their own blends with fun names like Huntaway, Jack Russell, and this writer’s favourite, Rottweiler
Where to find them: wherever you are (as long as you’ve pre-ordered via their website)
FUN FACT: The caffeine in coffee is the most commonly used psychoactive drug in the world.