The Best New Zealand Coffee

The Best New Zealand Coffee

Recommended by Leo Sonnekus

As an American coffee enthusiast, arriving in Auckland, New Zealand, was like a kid walking into a candy shop. Good brews are everywhere, from high-end, barista-trained coffee laboratories to run-of-the-mill corner cafes to you’d-never-believe-it-but-it’s-actually-a-pretty-good-latte petrol stations. Heaven. Every time I got petrol, there was an extra spring to my step just with the knowledge that I could get a coffee that would rival most American cafes’ concoctions. In comparison, the best you can hope for with American gas stations is a push-the-button instant latte mix of sugar and caffeine that sadly gurgles out of the box machine.

After binge drinking too many coffees day after day, I quickly decided to put my imported Aeropress to use and invest in a bag of medium-roasted Ethiopian beans from Red Rabbit Co. Next, all I needed was a grinder and some filters.

And that’s how I met Leo Sonnekus. Leo is a barista at the Espresso Workshop in downtown Auckland, and it was my good fortune to walk in and ask him about the café’s hand grinder selection.Turns out he was one of the best people in New Zealand to help me, as in addition to being an excellent coffee maker, he won bronze in the 2015 New Zealand Aeropress Championship. He also recommended these 12 cafes in Auckland and the North Island for coffee lovers like me.


Four locations in Auckland:
136/146 Ponsonby Road, Ponsonby
553 Karangahape Road, Newton
56 Parnell Road, Parnell
35 High Street, Auckland City

43 High Street, Auckland

295 Karangahape Road (K Road), Auckland |

The Shelf
50 High Street

Grind on High
51 High Street, Auckland

Espresso Workshop
Two locations in Auckland:
11 Britomart Place, Auckland City
19 Falcon Street, Parnell

Red Rabbit Coffee Co.
7-15 Faraday Street, Parnell, Auckland

Camper Coffee
4 Kent Street, Newmarket, Auckland


Rocket Coffee
302 Barton Street


The Flight Coffee Hangar
119 Dixon Street, Te Aro

Peoples Coffee Café
12 Constable Street, Newtown

Red Rabbit Coffee Co
14 Leeds Street, Te Aro