Opinion: Wellington's five best coffee spots

Customs Cafe on Ghuznee Street
Customs on Ghuznee Street is a proven favourite among Wellingtonians. Photo credit: Supplied.

OPINION: It's pretty hard to find a bad cup of coffee in New Zealand.

When it's bad, it's absolutely terrible, and usually from somewhere you kind of already know isn't going to be much cop when you walk in.

For the most part, New Zealand does coffee better than anywhere else in the world.

Working until 11pm most nights means I'm rarely seen at work without a cup in my hand, and because of this I've pretty much given up ever being able to afford a house.

Spending my first year in Wellington just a few steps from Cuba St means most of my options are based in Te Aro - here are my top five coffee spots in the capital:

Customs, Ghuznee Street

This is a Supreme flagship cafe, so the baristas know how to bring their A-game. A constantly rotating bean line-up means your filter coffees are always different.

Before I went there, I just knew I could taste 'coffee', and to be honest I can only differentiate between, say, the Kenyan and the Colombian because one tastes nicer to me than the other.

It's worth coming here on the weekends just for the Little Dough Co donuts, which change every week and are announced on their Instagram page in the morning.

A filter coffee and a donut will set you back around $9, so it's not cheap, but sometimes you've just gotta treat yo self.


Midnight Espresso, Cuba St

I've rarely walked out of Midnight and thought "wow, the staff were super friendly today". But it's open until 3am, a flat white costs $3.50 - and it's good - so I'm not too fussed.

They use Havana beans, which are the ones you always see at the supermarket and realise are far more expensive than the others, but they taste great. Plus, Wellington's yet to get a Denny's, so where else am I meant to get a coffee so late?

Milk Crate Cafe
Milk Crate is the perfect hideaway from the real world. Photo credit: Neat Places.

Milk Crate, Ghuznee St

This is right next to Customs, so sometimes it's super awkward if you walk past one carrying a cup from the other and make eye contact with the barista.

Milk Crate is probably the most relaxed and friendly cafe in Wellington. You can sit there for ages nursing your drink and the staff don't mind. Plus, they have a loyalty stamp card, which far too few places have these days.

Hangar, Dixon St

Another flagship cafe, this time for Flight Coffee, it's not somewhere you go to if you're in a rush as even the takeaway stand is always packed.

If you have time to spare, definitely take your time and sit at a table. Like Customs, you can choose between a million different ways to have your coffee and then just settle on a flat white because you get option paralysis.

Also, get the halloumi fries. They're so good they once drove one of my friends to tears.

Raglan Roast Coffee
Get a taste of Raglan before you start your daily grind. Photo credit: Supplied.

Raglan Roast, Abel Smith St

This place is insanely cheap and has a loyal following.

One great initiative is you pay for seven coffees at once and then just write your name in a ledger. Then you just tick a box next time you come in and don't have to worry about paying - and it works out to be about $2.90 a coffee.

It's also open super early and the coffee's strong enough to dust away the cobwebs of a morning shift.

Giles Dexter is our Wellington based reporter for Newshub Late.


Opinion: Wellington's five best coffee spots