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Thread: Coffee Beans in Queenstown NZ

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    Coffee Beans in Queenstown NZ

    Hi guys,

    I will be flying to Queenstown New Zealand this Thursday for a drive around the south island in a camper van for 2 weeks. Does anyone know of any decent cafes in Queenstown that sell good roasted beans that I could grab for the aeropress and porlex hand grinder?

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    HI Kyeba,
    Jealous of your trip, I did it in October last year. As much as I love NZ their coffee is a way off Australian sandards. Safer bet to take you own beans and stick with the Aeropress.

    There is a coffee shop / roaster in Queenstown called 'Bean Around the World' although the LB I had from there was a let down. Allpress is the most popular bean over there.
    On the way out of town on Gorge Road is Peak Espresso in a little cabin, was the best FW I had over there.

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    Senior Member LeroyC's Avatar
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    As an Aussie that lives in NZ I can honestly say that I prefer many NZ roasters and the top level of specialty cafes to those in Australia. But just like in Australia there is a fair bit of variation and it can be pretty hit and miss, especially away from the main centres. Roasters and cafes in Christchurch and Wellington are better than those in Auckland in my opinion, but again that's no guarantee of quality.
    'empee' is right, Allpress are fairly popular, but they're not the biggest roaster in NZ. I'm not a fan of them as I tend to steer away from roasters that don't use drum roasters. Allpress, Havana and Underground are 3 fairly big roasters that use Sivetz air roasters and Avalanche use a fluid bed air roaster of some sort. The biggest specialty roaster in NZ is actually Hummingbird at the moment. Their success has led to them being bought by Bell Tea and Coffee (now known as Brewgroup), who themselves were bought by JDE last year. Caffe Laffare are probably not far behind and are also at least part owned by a large corporation (Cerebos).
    I know there's 2 or 3 local roasters in Queenstown and Wanaka, but I know nothing about them sorry. Your best bet would actually be to either bring your favourite beans with you or buy some Hummingbird from the supermarket in Q-town. They don't have roast dates on the bags, but I can tell you that for Hummingbird the 'best before' is 6 months from the roast date so you can work it out. They have basic flavour descriptions on the bags so you can easily choose something that sounds like your thing. They're also relatively cheap so you could even grab 2 or 3 bags.
    The only other option I can think of is to keep your eyes open for a cafe that uses C4 Coffee. If possible grab a bag from them. It'll probably be their Krank blend, which is best for espresso, but still reasonably versatile. C4 are my favourite local roaster. Their bean selection and roasting is impeccable and they are very selective when choosing cafes. They also ensure their clients always use fresh coffee so you can be pretty sure it'll be less than 2 weeks old.
    One final tip - if you do some groceries when you arrive don't go to the little supermarket in the middle of Q-town as you'll pay through the nose. There's a New World just out of town, sort of on the way to Coronet Peak and I think there's a Countdown or something in Frankton near the airport. Enjoy your trip, all going well you'll arrive just in time for the start of summer!!
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    Thanks for the tips/info LeroyC and empee, I guess I might just bring some roasted beans with me to play it safe (if I've got room) and try some of the local beans if I run out. Will the roasted beans I take over have to be sealed and unopened or they don't fuss over that?

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    Senior Member LeroyC's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kyeba View Post
    Thanks for the tips/info LeroyC and empee, I guess I might just bring some roasted beans with me to play it safe (if I've got room) and try some of the local beans if I run out. Will the roasted beans I take over have to be sealed and unopened or they don't fuss over that?
    Sounds like a good plan. Maybe bring enough to get you through the first week then buy some good local stuff when you get a chance. If you're passing through Dunedin, Nelson or Christchurch you'll definitely find good local roasters (and I'm happy to point you in the right direction), otherwise you're probably stuck with the options I mentioned above. Always good to have something with you so you can make at least one decent coffee a day as the small towns you'll pass through on your travels are just that - small towns. Specialty coffee isn't really something they do (with a few of the bigger towns being exceptions such as Queenstown, Wanaka, Akaroa and Kaikoura). It sounds like this was the experience 'empee' had and I've been in the same boat.

    I believe roasted coffee isn't technically food, but I always declare it to be safe. They always just ask what it is then send me through without looking at it.

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    Thanks again LeroyC.

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    Senior Member greenman's Avatar
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    Heading to NZ for 3 weeks early March, will make sure to take plenty of ready-roasted from home for hotel heartstarters!!!!
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    There's also a New World at Remarkables Park right near the airport. We had a coffee there at a kiosk in the entrance (for something different to do)

    It was snowing outside in the car park at the time (about -2 C from memory) so the wimps from Qld (us) were inside trying to get warm.

    The road from Qtn to Glenorchy was spectacular as well with blue skies and never ending snow capped mountains beside the lake (in winter). NZ is one of my favourite places. I'm sure you will enjoy it Kyeba.
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    Senior Member Barry O'Speedwagon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kyeba View Post
    Hi guys,

    I will be flying to Queenstown New Zealand this Thursday for a drive around the south island in a camper van for 2 weeks. Does anyone know of any decent cafes in Queenstown that sell good roasted beans that I could grab for the aeropress and porlex hand grinder?
    Can't speak for Queenstown, but there's a cafe which is part of the 'A Taste of Gibbston Valley' shop in Arrowtown (about 25-30mins from Q'town) that a) makes a decent coffee and b) (I think) sells fresh beans....possibly Allpress.

    If you are going through Dunedin, both Vanguard (Princes St) and Ironic Cafe (opposite train station.....and I think run by our own Leroy's brother or cousin?) sell good quality roasted beans. Vanguard are bordering on being roasted too lightly....but just sneak in. Both cafes makes excellent espresso-based coffee.

    In Wanaka, Urban Grind produced probably the best coffee I had in NZ, but I don't think they sell beans (they might).

    I took some roasted beans with me and declared them....the customs guys didn't bat an eyelid.

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    Just stopped at Dog with two tails in Dunedin by the centre of the city. They have a 3 group lever kees van der westen.

    The double ristretto was very nice and i think roasted by them.
    matth3wh, rawill and LeroyC like this.

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    Senior Member LFM60's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kyeba View Post
    Just stopped at Dog with two tails in Dunedin by the centre of the city. They have a 3 group lever kees van der westen.

    The double ristretto was very nice and i think roasted by them.
    Jealous.......

    If you get a chance, have a walk up Baldwin St. Interesting......

    Larnach Castle is worth a look too

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    Yeah we will be checking that out tomorrow before we leave Dunedin, before or after I try a coffee from mazagran cafe. Which is a small cafe/roastery that supplies a few places with beans, should be good.

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    Senior Member LeroyC's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kyeba View Post
    Yeah we will be checking that out tomorrow before we leave Dunedin, before or after I try a coffee from mazagran cafe. Which is a small cafe/roastery that supplies a few places with beans, should be good.
    Glad you're having a bit of luck so far. Strictly Coffee Co is in Dunedin too. They've got a good rep, but I've never tried them so can't confirm.
    Which way are you headed? Lots of cool stuff to see round there - The Catlins to the south, Moeraki to the north. Also I meant to say, if you are passing through Christchurch and/or Woodend flick me a PM as I can point you towards some great local cafes and roasters and I'd be happy to give you a bag of my home roasted coffee if you're in need.
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    Quote Originally Posted by LeroyC View Post
    Glad you're having a bit of luck so far. Strictly Coffee Co is in Dunedin too. They've got a good rep, but I've never tried them so can't confirm.
    Which way are you headed? Lots of cool stuff to see round there - The Catlins to the south, Moeraki to the north. Also I meant to say, if you are passing through Christchurch and/or Woodend flick me a PM as I can point you towards some great local cafes and roasters and I'd be happy to give you a bag of my home roasted coffee if you're in need.

    Was actually the first coffee I've bought so far, been enjoying my aeropress too much to spend money on coffee, originally went to mazagran but he was roasting and pointed me to Dog with two tails.

    We're literally only looking at where to go next right now, it's a very "winging it" trip. Might go up north along the coast, not sure. But will probably have time to check most towns out twice.

    Yeah I'll definitely send a PM if we go to Christchurch area, could even trade you some beans as I still haven't got halfway through the first 350g bag of Kenya Gituamba filter roast.
    LeroyC likes this.

  15. #15
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    Great thread, I would have mentioned "Hummingbird" as well, but then I am not such a good "coffee snob", I only know what I like!

    And if you were in Invercargill I would have suggested taking a look at the iconic "Zookeepers cafe", "Transport World" and "Motorcycle mecca" maybe not so much for the coffee as the total experience. You will be astounded. The last two are world class.

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