A Christchurch Guide to Coffee Roasters

Christchurch’s coffee roasters are the ones to watch. With established roasteries and new players popping up on the scene, the South Island’s biggest city is competing with the best of ‘em.

Close up of unroasted bag of coffee beans at Prima Roastery.

Words by: Ashlyn Oswalt 

Photography by: Neat Places & Anastasiia Chepinska 

Whether you’re ready to deep dive into the world of coffee or just enjoy an interesting brew, you’ll be hard pressed to find uninspired coffees around Christchurch. Simply follow your nose to the nearest roaster, or order online to try something new. If you’re looking for more than just a basic brew, we suggest checking out some of our favourite local coffee roasters for a caffeine fix.

Man pouring hot milk into a flat white at Unknown Chapter.

Unknown Chapter

254 Saint Asaph Street, Christchurch Central City, Christchurch

Unknown Chapter is a favourite among the Christchurch brunch scene, but they also have a robust coffee roasting programme. Using specialty-grade coffee that’s traced back to the farmer, the beans are roasted and then lovingly prepared by expert baristas. With a rotating menu of beans that change with the seasons, you can enjoy your cuppa in-house where they’ll showcase their industry-leading brewing methods, or buy a bag to have at home.

Man roasting coffee beans at Coffee Embassy.

Coffee Embassy

107 Fitzgerald Avenue, Christchurch

Nestled on Fitzgerald Street, Coffee Embassy can be found by following your nose. An old mechanic’s workshop, this little roastery has transformed the space into a tiny cafe and wholesale space for their beans, roasting on-site. They use quality-grade coffee and offer innovative twists on coffee, such as their nitro brew on tap and barrel aged cold brew, all available to be enjoyed from their airy, trendy space. You can find their beans at hotspot Grizzly Baked Goods.

Man at C4 making coffee using brewing equipment.

C4 Coffee

113 Fitzgerald Avenue, Christchurch

C4 Coffee is somewhat of an institution in Christchurch. Operating from their roastery on Fitzgerald Avenue, the coffee kings source specialty beans, which are roasted daily, and served by their highly-trained - and friendly! - staff. Their green beans are selected for their high quality and then roasted to their optimum flavour, some as single origin batches and others as blends. Their shop also has an unrivaled selection of coffee accessories for domestic and commercial use - so pop in to marvel at their collection and pick up a new brewing method!

Woman working in the roastery at Prima.

Prima Roastery

387 Brougham Street, Sydenham, Christchurch

Take a moment to soak in the beauty of Prima Roastery’s space - and their coffee. Around since ‘95, the team behind Prima have been ahead of the trends since day one. With sustainability a core focus for all aspects of the business, they lead the pack with the first compostable coffee packaging and eschew any single-use cups, asking customers to bring in their own. They also partake in in-house composting and are Fairtrade certified, meaning there’s less guilt behind that cuppa. Stop in their Sydenham roastery to enjoy one in-house, and then take some beans home with you.

Coffee beans in the grinder at Addington Coffee Co-op.

Addington Coffee Co-op

297 Lincoln Road, Addington, Christchurch

Addington Coffee Co-op proudly serves up their Common Good coffee, a brand determined to use business to make the world a better place. The company supports four poverty-stricken neighbourhoods in India through their sales and helps farmers and their communities through fair-trade organic supply chains. The coffee is high-quality and always freshly roasted by the knowledgeable baristas at Addington Coffee Co-op. The space itself is a treat, too, so head down to Lincoln Road to cosy up with your laptop at their humming little cafe.

Close up of roasted coffee beans.

Switch Espresso

25D Birmingham Drive, Middelton, Christchurch

Switch Espresso provides the jolt of caffeine you need to enjoy the day that lies ahead. All sourced from fair-trade and organic cooperatives worldwide, Switch roasts their beans to highlight nuanced flavours and provide a variety of blends and single-origin varieties locals have fallen in love with. Visit them at their flagship espresso bar, Industrie, where you can sip on a coffee and watch the magic happen right in front of your eyes.  The beans are available in lots of cafes around the south island too, including Switch New Brighton

Coffee roasting machinery at Lyttelton Coffee Company.

Lyttelton Coffee Company

29 London Street, Lyttelton

A crowd favourite in the portside town, Lyttelton Coffee Company is located on the bustling London Street and can be difficult to grab a table during weekend brunch. If you’re lucky enough to snag a spot inside, you’ll cosy up next to the roaster, situated in the middle of the old brick building, and enjoy their delicious roasts.

Man roasting coffee beans at Viking Coffee.

Viking Coffee

6/245 St Asaph Street, Christchurch

Viking Coffee is tucked away on St Asaph street and truly believes in the “crop to cup” philosophy. They select and source only the highest grade ethically grown coffee and roast in-house to capture the exact flavour the bean is destined for. You won’t find any dark roasts here - Markus and Maria Hirner are determined to bring out the nuances of the beans in each cup, not mask them behind big-bodied flavours. Offering brewing education and support, plus personalised coffee subscriptions, the team behind Viking Coffee are ready to help you with all your coffee needs.

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