With the Christchurch rebuild well under way, it’s fantastic to see Christchurch moving ahead in leaps and bounds. Nowhere is this change more evident than in the thriving café industry.
Black and White Coffee Cartel has been leading the charge since 2015 with a vibrant place to grab a coffee from a crew of people who are focused on making your experience exceptional.
With 400 years of coffee in western society, expectations of coffee and the house in which it is brewed and drunk have grown substantially. Christchurch is a daytime city, with a visit to the local café a daily ritual for many thousands of Cantabrians. It’s become part of our lives; ingrained in our culture.
Black and White Coffee Cartel is well-placed – with eight in total, amongst the thriving new city being built around us. Bink Bowler says, “When we started in Victoria Street in 2015, you had a clear view of the Port Hills, now it’s a hive of building activity”.
With the plethora of café options, it’s a clear indication that Christchurch is on the right track. Nothing builds harmony amongst a people more than its social gathering points.
With coffee consumption in Christchurch giving Auckland a run for its money, we’re all wide awake for a beckoning future of success and growth after an event that has affected us all. I for one love the great taste of coffee to accent a wonderful day in the garden city. Don’t you?
It’s definitely ‘Kiwi as’, from its traditional ma’s savoury mince dish to the rustic recycled fence planking around its servery counter. And of course there is the name and its association with a cheeky Kiwi flightless bird, the weka – though you may not find any purple ones in the wild.
Being Kiwi is the essence of the Purple Weka Café and Bar’s charm. It’s owned by a Kiwi family and offers great Kiwi hospitality, service and food. That’s why people from all over town who have discovered the café keep coming back, especially in the weekend, to enjoy a lazy breakfast, brunch or lunch among convivial company. Many customers have met over the café’s substantial hearty food and become friends for life.
Great comfort food, great coffee and a warm friendly atmosphere are what we look for in a café as we come into winter. The Purple Weka is in its element at this time of the year. How better to warm yourself up than with a serving of hot cakes with lashings of maple syrup, or creamy mushrooms served on toasted ciabatta, or one of the café’s famous soups?
Perhaps a big breakfast with all the trimmings, a steak sandwich, or even a generous serving of blue cod and fries are more to your taste. The Purple Weka knows the way to a Kiwi’s heart is through tasty food, cooked and served superbly well, all at very reasonable prices.
Another plus for the cafe is the abundant parking right outside the door at 48 Fitzgerald Avenue – not something you generally find so close to the CBD.
Let’s be honest, the closest most of us get to experiencing a million-dollar member of supercar royalty is when saying “On the way to work this morning, a brand-new Lamborghini went past me”.
However, on 13 May, the inaugural Christchurch Cars and Coffee event took place at Garden City Helicopters’ new state of the art helicopter and private-jet facility. This gave fellow petrolheads the chance to see not just three or four, but 60 plus rare and exotic classic and supercars up close and personal. Naturally, we couldn’t pass this up.
Cars and Coffee is a worldwide phenomenon, with regular events taking place globally every year. Each event is designed to bring together owners and enthusiasts of dream cars for a meet and greet over a coffee or two.
Flushed with the success of Cars and Coffee’s New Zealand launch at Auckland’s Viaduct last year, car obsessed event founders Ian Chan and Sean Young were determined to bring that action south. “We were blown away at the success of the first New Zealand launch in Auckland back in 2017, so we had no doubts that Christchurch would be just as successful, if not greater,” Chan says.
“Our mission was always, and still is, to bring the C&C brand to all of New Zealand. We all know that little old New Zealand has a great presence of supercars and classics and our goal is to give New Zealand the opportunity to shine on the global C&C platform.”
Lined up for all to see were so many greatest hits of current and classic automotive mecca. Thoroughbreds like Ferraris 458 and F12, Lamborghini Gallardo Superleggera, McLaren 650S Spyder, a gorgeous Lancia Stratos Replica, and countless Porsches, including a very tasty 911 RSR, kept Euro enthusiasts, and myself, very happy.
Lovers of American Iron were also spoiled, with ZR1 Corvettes, Mustangs, a Cobra, and a 600 Horsepower Camaro attracting green eyed stares. Also, the new Honda Civic Type R and legendary NSX showcased Japan’s fastest toys.
Sean has a deep knowledge of Christchurch’s supercar scene and knew there would be a big turnout. “Well we know for a fact there is a high calibre of cars present in Christchurch. Anything from your latest Astons, Lamborghinis, Ferraris such as the F12, Porsche GT3s, to the likes of true classics such as Lancias, 930 turbos, Morgans, Fords… the list goes on. We want to bring out the best of Christchurch, that’s for sure.”
Can we expect another Christchurch Cars and Coffee in the future? “We are aiming to make the event bi-annual at least but would love to see more in the calendar year,” Sean says.
All in all, Cars and Coffee Christchurch provided all the entertainment a passionate petrolhead could have on a Sunday morning. Oh, and the coffee was terrific too.
One of the things you discover about Black and White Coffee Cartel when you drop in for a coffee is the company’s passion for satisfied customers – whether it’s the exquisite coffee, the ambient environment or the staff who serve you.
It’s a culture consciously created to ensure every customer’s experience is one that makes them want to return.
Combine that with the company’s innovative micro-roasting, done in small batches on site, and the freedom to allow each café the space to express individuality and you have a winning combination, resulting in an atmosphere that not only makes you want to return, but also a team of people who want to work there.
It’s only taken 300 years of humanity consuming coffee to get there! As Bink Bowler from Black and White says, “Coffee is a relationship made for you. We take pride in all the coffee we make for our guests.”
That’s really the pervasive feeling you get at Black and White; gone are the 1990s snobbery coffee house. Here is the vibrant culture of people meeting people to share a rich atmosphere that has culture and coffee made for your taste. It’s a little bohemian; a little edgy; a little bit you.
With the forward-thinking team at Black and White Coffee Cartel, it’s nice to think there’s someone in the industry who has finally got that essence right. The most important thing to think about a great cup of coffee is, who’s drinking it?
The secret is out about Villa 23 Café, New Zealand’s first and only Dutch vegetarian café with the ambient charm of a rare city treasure. Hedwig Dunbar-Keek and family have infused creativity into this gorgeous stand-alone villa. It’s now seeking a new owner, with new passions.
“It’s a central location, with little competition, between Blenheim and Riccarton Road. It would be perfect for any restaurant, culinary dream, or a combined office space,” she says.
An interior designer from Amsterdam, Hedwig wishes to move on to her next project spending precious time with her gorgeous new granddaughter while concentrating solely on her Dutch-style catering business.
The landlord let Hedwig recreate the once drab, unnoticeable villa with colourful imagination. Amazing Dutch-designed wallpapers add delightful difference to the disco-glam ‘Arabian nights’ room, the light-filled ‘colour room’ and the must-see optical illusion bathroom. Husband Gregory restored its soft-pink exterior, polished floors and sturdy structure to its 1911 glory.
Her son and barista Quentin greets customers, while Hedwig conjures no-nonsense-great food from the spacious new kitchen. The café oasis serves Peruvian-origin coffee to the lucky customers working in the area – and many pop in for Dutch grocery items. The healthy award-winning smoothies, little Dutch poffertjes and oliebollen are delectable and specialties which are also sold at their Dutch stall at Deans Bush market on Saturdays.
Hedwig is off to Amsterdam this winter for her annual inspirational research. However, for interested parties, she can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org, anytime.
Villa 23 Café, 23 Mandeville Street, Riccarton (next to Flow Hot Yoga). Phone 03-343 3375. See Facebook/Instagram for details.
Rarely does a café tick every single box. The food, coffee, location, service and parking – all in a fantastic funky atmosphere. Dose Café does it so well.
The memorable breakfast menu is available seven days a week, until 2:30pm, with the French Toast being voted in the media as the top in town! The house-made brioche could be reason enough, but this paradise on a plate includes streaky bacon, sherbet mascarpone, vanilla ice cream, vanilla bean custard and Cointreau berry compote; decadently different, delicious – and very Dose Café. With sharing menus to cabinet food, it’s exciting, varied gastronomy.
The regulars are welcoming soup season. “The soup of the day is house-made fresh,” says owner Andy Shiau. “Last year our seafood chowder was so popular.”
Position-perfect on Blenheim Road, this neighbourhood café is the last refuel stop heading into or out of town – an escape haven, and just seven minutes from bustling Westfield Riccarton. Off-street parking makes popping in for takeaway coffee easy – for a double shot of Lyttelton Coffee Company’s finest that Dose Café does so well.
Popular as a function venue, the spacious interior’s large tables can be reconfigured or removed to cater for every sort of soiree from after-work parties to 21sts. “There’s no booking fee with a minimal spend,” Andy says.
“Our chefs are flexible, designing menus for each function’s requirements, for up to 120 guests.” There are craft beers, great wines, creative cocktails, and about 50 available carparks for evening events.
Dose Café, 295 Blenheim Road, Riccarton opens weekdays 7.30am-4pm and weekends 8.30am-4.30pm. Visit www.dosediner.co.nz.
If you have ever tried an authentic New York style bagel, you will know the difference between a real bagel and round bread with a hole in it.
Coffee Worx has been serving a great range of authentic bagels since it incorporated Yellow Rocket bagels into Coffee Worx after the earthquakes. If you are a fan of bagels, you will know that they are a low GI, low fat and an incredibly filling lunch or breakfast option. Coffee Worx also offers gluten free bagels, so everyone can be immersed in the definitive bagel experience.
Coffee Worx bagels are baked daily and made fresh to order into Sandwiches, Melts and Mega Bagels (with a hot meat filling), or simply split and toasted to be enjoyed with cream cheese. “We have a real fan base for our bagels,” says Deb Riach co-owner of Coffee Worx alongside her husband Ian.
“We are proud to offer such a high quality authentic product to our discerning market.”
Deb and Ian aren’t only proud of their bagels, but also all of their fresh cabinet food made daily on site at their two café locations in Rangiora and Sockburn. However, the true highlight of Coffee Worx is the freshly roasted premium coffee. Coffee Worx roasts its unique blends at Rangiora and distributes its high quality coffee to approximately 120 customers around the South Island.
For more information, visit www.coffeeworx.co.nz or call 03-341 5040.
If you are a self-confessed music nut that loves great coffee, quality eats and reckons the only way to listen to an album is with a record on a turntable, then you owe it to yourself to visit Vinyl Café.
Located at 24B Essex Street, Phillipstown, Vinyl Café is the front of house café extension of The Coffee Workshop, famous for its comprehensive range of blends and the fact customers can have their coffee roasted while they wait.
Vinyl Café, as the name suggests, is a Mecca for music lovers. Upon arrival you notice Mick Jagger and Bob Dylan’s faces on the outside wall above the entrance way. Inside, a feature wall made entirely of album covers, from Kenny Rogers to Huey Lewis and the News, immediately grabs your attention. Vintage furniture and stereo, complete with functioning record player, completes the ensemble nicely.
Along with quality coffee, tea and other hot and cold drinks, a great selection of savoury and sweet items are made fresh each day to bring ‘satisfaction’ to your culinary cravings. Most popular by far would be Vinyl Café’s toasted sandwiches, offering a wide range of flavours to suit every taste.
The Coffee Fans is a new eatery on Cranford Street. You may have seen owner Fan Yang’s schnauzer, Brownie, winking at you in the billboard or the logo.
Not only is The Coffee Fans a bright, airy place with great cabinet food and menus, it’s pet friendly as well. Doggies are welcome in the smoke-free al fresco dining area where you can sit, relax and watch the world go by.
In the cabinet is a vast array of delicious food. There are salads such as ‘roast cauliflower and broccoli’ and the ‘energy booster salad.’ There are croissants and bagels with cream cheese, salmon, or pesto. There is also an assortment of pastries and some of the biggest wraps – such as the tandoori wrap, or the falafel hummus and mixed salad wrap, with many more available.
Of course, there are sweets. Slices and muffins, and that old favourite, lolly cake. Or apple crumble shortbread. Something that will need to be experienced is the ‘fairy floss cheesecake,’ likely to be as decadent as it sounds.
The Coffee Fans is open 7 until 5 weekdays, and 8 until 5 weekends. The light menu is available 9 until 1 Monday to Friday, and the brunch menu 9 until 2 Saturday and Sunday. Popular are the eggs benedict on the weekend menu, and the French toast – with a bacon option – on weekends. There are lots of vegetarian and gluten free choices, too.
Drop by The Coffee Fans at 159 Cranford Street, grab a coffee and a treat, bring your pooch, and read the latest copy of Metropol from the stand. There is free wi-fi and lovely, friendly staff.
Back in 2016, keen culinary connoisseur Nick set up shop in a section of Designspace’s building at 400 Barbadoes Street, with the intention of providing customers with great coffee, sandwiches and other delectable eats.
Two years on and now accompanied by good friend Caitlyn, Coco Espresso is going from strength to strength, with many making it their definitive café of choice.
Nick and Caitlyn’s vision of a niche, chilled café hang-out has certainly become a reality. Comfortable indoor seating will accommodate your nearest and dearest, and outdoor Montreaux designer furniture sits plenty in chic comfort. Plus, unlike some cafés, there is no shortage of on-site parking.
The major attraction of Coco Espresso, is not just the smooth rich coffee or the outstanding customer service from Nick and Caitlyn, but the sandwiches. Available in a variety of fillings and styles, it pays to get in quick, as they do not hang around uneaten for long.
All sweet and savoury delicacies are made by Nick and Caitlyn’s friend Sarah from Blueberry Kitchen and arrive fresh each day. Nick and Caitlyn also love their music, so whether you are into Demi Lovato or Duran Duran, chances are you will be humming away during your stay.
For more information, visit the Facebook page, facebook.com/cocoespressonz.