Top Five: Coffee spots in Auckland CBD

It’s a hotly contested subject, with opinionated coffee snobs raging in debate over who makes the best coffee. I’ve been known to fall within that category, but lord knows my eyes squinted in delirium when someone once told me that the Shell Station made “good coffee”.

 

Coffee is no joke. Welcome to the quintessential guide: five places to catch your brew in the city, just as we approach the middle of the winter months.

 

The central city is squirming with great spots, but what’s the point of a curated list if you don’t cut the clutter? I judged on primarily quality of the bean, and espresso, then milk and design, along with service, ambience, and aesthetic of each joint. To ensure the creme de la creme, we also re-measured against consistency (because you never want to be disappointed). For sake of clarity, we’ve determined the CBD as anywhere within a rational and practical walking distance from Queen Street.

 

Supreme Seafarers, Tyler Street

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 Photography by Alex Young

Insofar as this locale enjoys prime location, settled at the foot of the Seafarers building, the tenancy does more than attract its fair share of businessmen. Up-to-brand standard, the Supreme Coffee served here is outstanding. Manager Kowhai runs a tight ship with the warmest greetings, and their talented barista, Jason, delivers fantastic coffee - ensuring a great start to the day. With a curated in-store shop, these guys will also supply you with your beans for home, designer pieces from Meadowlark and the full Chemex, Aeropress, and Hario range of gear. Aesthetic is clean and minimal; they take their coffee seriously.

Espresso: 10/10

Milk: 10/10

Service: 7.5/10

Ambience: 7/10

Consistency: 10/10

 

Chuffed on High Street

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Photography by Alex Young

Chuffed was delighted to be announced best in suburb last year, and rightfully so. Serving up their own Chuffed brew, hot or cold, these guys have been trouncing the competition since taking residency on High Street, The service is excellent, the full breakfast and lunch menu is second to none. So far as I’ve experienced (and I’ve experienced it many a time), you simply cannot go wrong with a Chuffed brew. The tucked-away nature of the joint also ensures a solace kind of experience away from the noise and soot of the city centre - all despite hosting most of its service on an outside deck.

Espresso: 10/10

Milk: 9/10

Service: 8/10

Ambience: 7/10

Consistency: 10/10

 

Running Horse on Rutland Street

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Photography by Alex Young

Funnily enough, this place didn’t have a name until very recently. Cropping up near AUT, the student-following-turn-residual-base have ensured Running Horse is a successful little business. The relaxed nature of the boys running the show makes for a calm renaissance from the rest of life’s goings-on (literally stepping out the door into the Auckland Art Gallery provides a healthy dose of cultural surroundings), and the Supreme Coffee served up is also nothing short of beautiful. Offering up small lunch snacks to match, the boys jamming the La Marzocco make every java-fiend who walks through the door feel a part of the community. With a soft white aesthetic and a minimalist interior, the food and coffee bring the pizzazz.

Espresso: 8/10

Milk: 8/10

Service: 7/10

Ambience: 8/10

Consistency: 8/10

 

The Store, Britomart

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Photography by Alex Young

You can’t go past AllPress, can you? The team down at The Store really hammer home the Hip Group style to come in at number 4. There’s a great spot in the sun for a chilled sit and sip in [name of that lane area pedestrian way thing], or the option to jam a takeaway out the back door, accessible on Commerce Street. Known for procuring quotes like, “This is possibly the best long black I have ever had,” they make the top 5 for their service and location, as I can’t guarantee a top quality coffee every time - but I’ll absolutely enjoy a relaxing spot in Britomart for an afternoon.

Espresso: 8/10

Milk: 6/10

Service: 8/10

Ambience: 7/10

Consistency: 5/10

 

The White Rabbit, Customs Street

whiterabbitcompletePhotography by Jessie L, and Yummy Auckland

 

It may surprise you that this new fine dining establishment has more in its repertoire of tricks than a good feed. Serving breakfast, lunch, and dinner, the corner location delivers a fine Flight Coffee brew. Surround yourself with the peaceful white pillars and wide white and brown tables that span the floor. On the corner of Fort and Customs, chances are you’ve unintentionally walked past this place before.

Espresso: 8/10

Milk: 6/10

Service: 7/10

Ambience: 8/10

Consistency: 5/10

Special Mention: Shaky Isles, Graft’n, Ortolana, EightThirty @ Barkers, Vulcan Lane Bagels, Misters and Remedy. These guys all smash a stunning brew, but I had to draw a line somewhere.

 

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