Talking to Bink Bowler, the man behind our city’s Black & White Coffee Cartel, you immediately understand why Christchurch is beginning to look pretty darned amazing; while many post-earthquakes wrung their hands in despair, Bink saw it as a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity not to be wasted.
“We’ve got no choice; we’ve got to go for it. We’re set to become the most modern, thriving city in the world! Look at what we’ve achieved out of this disaster. Imagine us five years from now – it’s very exciting!” In 2015, Bink opened his first Black & White in Victoria Street; this year marks the opening of the eighth, at Plymouth Lane in the CBD. A triumph, indeed, for one who’s had to weather his fair share of doom ‘n’ gloom prophets.
Bink believes what makes the Christchurch café scene so unique is because it’s a daytime city. “And Christchurch people are real daytime people. We have beautiful parks and rivers. This is a fantastic place to live and raise a family. Ours is a traditional city and we should embrace that.” With an eye to opening another café in Queenstown, Bink says his loyalty to Christchurch remains. “That’s always been our mantra. We’ve never lost confidence in Christchurch. Every year here just gets better!” Bink Bowler, ladies and gentlemen, barista and entrepreneur; the kind of guy that helps take a city from ordinary to awesome!
Visit www.blackandwhitecoffee.co.nz or follow on Facebook.
An Ethiopian goat herder noticed his flock became rather rambunctious and frisky after nibbling from a tree of coffee cherries – and so goes the origin of coffee. Another belief is a healer roasted raw beans to remove bitterness and voila! Next came the Ottoman empire and Indian Spice Traders, then once Europe got a whiff of its energising powers, our caffeinated civilisation was hooked.
The Coffee Monster, aka Chris Meyer of Black and White Coffee Cartel, at 150 Lichfield Street, has been enlightening groups of intrigued caffeine fiends on the ‘hows and wows’ of coffee, in an aromatic journey from plant to cup dubbed The Coffee Appreciation Project. The main beans are Robusta and Arabica. The best, ripest cherries of the latter are hand-picked only from mountainous slopes of the equatorial belt. However, there are some 48 coffee-producing countries.
The micro roaster, a rather Jules Verne-esque beast, was demonstrated. The aroma was dewy grass, which became caramelised straw. Each small-batch roast goes through an endothermic process, when raw beans absorb heat, then an exothermic process, releasing heat. Airflow, temperature, speed and timing culminate in perfection, via bells and whistles for Africa, and an astute roast master.
Italians gave us our espresso machines, which require a super skilled human to extract the elixir just so. Other interesting means were demonstrated, such as the Cold Drip, a 7-12 hour process in a science lab-like vessel, creating the most sultry, smooth liquor. Interestingly, we learnt the Swiss water process decaffeinates naturally without chemicals, retaining its full flavour – a secret weapon of the coffee obsessed in the late afternoon.
Two years ago, keen coffee 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 constantly welcoming more and more regulars.
Comfortable indoor seating will accommodate your nearest and dearest, and outdoor Montreaux designer furniture sits plenty in chic comfort. Plus, unlike some cafe’s, there is no shortage of on-site parking.
The major attraction for Coco Espresso, is not just the smooth, rich coffee, which can be served in a variety of environmentally sustainable cups, or the warm, smiley service from Nick and Caitlyn, but the cheese rolls and sandwiches available with many styles and fillings. Both items are immensely popular so first in first served.
Nick and Caitlyn also love a wide range of different music, so be prepared to hear some of your favourite artists over the sound system.
The best thing about Coco Espresso has to be the laid-back atmosphere. It’s great to sit here on a warm spring day and just chill, with a cuppa in hand.
Check out Nick and Caitlyn on their Coco Espresso Facebook page, www.facebook.com/cocoespressonz or call 020 4135 9243.
Coffee Worx Espresso Bar is situated at 60 Hayton Road in the heart of Wigram’s busy industrial area.
This funky little industrial espresso stop is the perfect filling station for the discerning coffee lover; either to get a takeaway coffee, delicious freshly made cabinet food including the famous bagels, or to buy freshly roasted coffee for home use.
Coffee Worx has had a long history of roasting and serving premium quality coffee blends for the Christchurch market and has now created the perfect marriage, combining its coffee distribution centre and a fast service coffee bar.
The company has been distributing coffee to its many customers around the South Island from Wigram for the past 10 years, but until recently was housed in a cul-de-sac without a street frontage.
However, many people would call into its industrial building asking if they could get coffee to go, which wasn’t possible in that situation. So, when the owners Deb and Ian Riach saw a building come available on Hayton Road, they jumped at the opportunity to open a small café at the front, making it possible to make their sought-after coffee available to the public.
This has worked very well and they now have a regular and growing market of coffee connoisseurs getting their daily coffee fix and fresh roasted, award winning coffee beans from Wigram. They have several blends available in 1kg and 200gm bags, but they are happy to grind and pack to order.
There are few coffee shops quite like Columbus Coffee Riccarton. For the last two years, owners Ian and Tess France, along with their team, have prided themselves on giving you the most divine blend of coffee and eats in Christchurch.
Although attached to Westfield Mall in Riccarton, the vibe you get is totally unique. With plenty of natural light and indoor and outdoor seating, it’s just like being in your conservatory or summer house.
Whether you are after a chai latte or Columbus’ own unique house blend, a barista-made hot cuppa is never far away. Neither is a smoothie, iced tea or frappe if it the day gets a tad hotter than expected.
All items on the menu are made fresh each day by Ian and husband and wife team, Lindsay and Emma, with the sheer variety of options on offer impressive. Big local favourites on the menu are Smashed Avocado, Paleo Bowl and Eggs Benne Rosti with a Pork and Mushroom option available. Most items on the menu can be made gluten free on request.
Talking of gluten free, Columbus’ savoury cabinet contains a specific gluten free shelf with at least six items available daily, which change on a regular basis. Other popular options include their Chocolate and Hazelnut and Slice, Orange and Almond Cakes, Cherry Ripe and a delicious Plum Friand.
With the kitchen team developing a new and exciting spring menu for both brunch and lunch due out in September, it is time for you to make Columbus Coffee Riccarton your new regular.
In the Silverstream subdivision, West Kaiapoi, Urban Revival is an inviting, spacious café where you’ll find deliciously fresh site prepared food and great coffee.
Enjoy some hearty comfort food, with teas, coffees, kombucha or even smoothies here. Relax within the eclectic surrounds and indulge in a vino or two. On cooler days nothing beats the ambiance of the log fire. If you haven’t been to their Friday P nights (pizza, pasta, platters and plonk), you’re missing out – with happy hour 5pm to 6pm each Friday too.
Bring the scrumptious taste of Urban Revival to your event with the bespoke catering service. The entire venue is available for hire or for smaller functions and meetings there is a private function room with a 14-seat dining table.
Do yourself and your taste buds a favour; from the Northern Motorway, take the Ohoka Road turn-off to Silverstream and you’re virtually there. Go ahead – revive yourself!
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?