These 8 Christchurch Roasters Will Change the Way You Think about Coffee

A woman working behind the counter at C4.

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.

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.

Coffee brewing equipment lined up on shelves inside C4 cafe in Christchurch.

C4 Coffee

113 Fitzgerald Avenue, Christchurch

C4 Coffee is an institution in Christchurch coffee circles, and it's not surprising, given their many years of experience. Over that time, they've gained well-established relationships with outstanding coffee farmers worldwide and have an extensive range of single origin options and signature blends alongside the city's most extensive retail and commercial brew gear and gadgets. So make your way to the home of beans, machines and caffeine on Fitzgerald Avenue and have your brew with a view, thanks to the floor-to-ceiling glass wall that allows you to check out the roasters at work while you sip your espresso. They also run a full la carte menu that's well worth exploring.

Unknown Chapter

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254 Saint Asaph Street, Christchurch Central City, Christchurch, Christchurch & Canterbury

Unknown Chapter is a café favourite among the Christchurch brunch scene, but they also have a covert robust coffee roasting programme happening offsite. Using speciality-grade coffee 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 a cuppa from the people who brew it best in-house, where they showcase their industry-leading brewing methods or buy a bag to have at home. You can also order beans from their website.

Prima Roastery

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387 Brougham Street, Sydenham, Christchurch, Christchurch & Canterbury

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 at their Sydenham roastery to enjoy one in-house, and then take some beans home.

Lyttelton Coffee Company

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29 London Street, Lyttelton, Christchurch & Canterbury

The dark horse of Christchurch coffee roasting and supply, Lyttelton Coffee Company, has been serving and roasting coffee since 2007, about the same time their London Street café opened. Operating within a stunningly restored 1921 heritage-noted building, the café famously doesn't offer trim milk or decaf; coffee is done on their terms, it's not for everyone, but they are the experts, so we're happy to abide. There are DJ's every Friday, Saturday and Sunday, plus sporadic gigs. Beans are best bought onsite alongside a sit in coffee and spot in the sun watching people come and go.

A man and woman sitting at a counter with their backs to the camera.

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 area into a tiny cafe and wholesale area for their beans, roasting onsite. They use quality-grade coffee and offer innovative twists, such as their nitro brew on tap in the summer months and barrel aged cold brew, all available to be enjoyed in the airy, trendy space.

Addington Coffee Co-op

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297 Lincoln Road, Addington, Christchurch, Christchurch & Canterbury

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 with fair-trade organic supply chains. The coffee is high-quality and 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 this humming little café.

Switch Espresso

25D Birmingham Drive, Middleton, Christchurch

A New Brighton favourite, Switch Espresso is the jolt of caffeine you need to enjoy all the seaside activities that lie ahead. The beans are sourced from fair-trade and organic cooperatives worldwide and roasted to highlight nuanced flavours, plus provide a variety of blends and single-origin varieties locals have fallen in love with. Try something new by ordering their single origin coffee via syphon, filter and Aeropress.

Freshly roasted coffee on display in boxes.

Underground Coffee

190 Durham Street South

If you're looking for coffee that packs a punch, then look no further than Underground Coffee. After starting out in a Cashmere basement, the team behind Underground have moved above ground to an uber-cool space in the CBD. Using a patented Sivetz Hot Air Roaster to attain the cleanest, purest flavour from their premium beans, all styles are roasted to achieve "kick-in-your-teeth" flavour profiles. Their coffees can be found throughout New Zealand, and are easy to spot with their distinct black and gold packaging. Check out their limited edition flavours for some even more exciting profiles.  

 

Neat Christchurch & Canterbury Places

Bonobo Café

Birds-eye view of four dishes on a pink table at Bonobo, Christchurch.
Place Christchurch & Canterbury
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Bonobo: a benevolent primate, a trip-hop artist and more recently a plant-based cuisine destination in the seaside suburb of Sumner.

Tūranga

Harry Potter stairs at Turanga.
Place Christchurch & Canterbury
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It’s not often that grand designs are plucked from the mind’s eye and brought to life. At Tūranga they are, every day.

Miss Peppercorn

Three different cocktails on a black table with straws.
Place Christchurch & Canterbury
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Miss Peppercorn is a modern eatery, celebrating the fragrant and mouth-numbing flavours of the owner's hometown in the Chinese province of Sichuan.

Tomi Japanese Restaurant

Looking over the counter into the kitchen where the chef is.
Place Christchurch & Canterbury
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Serving authentic Japanese cuisine, Tomi is most famous for their sashimi sourced from the local fish market.