Chris Houston started Coffee Culture 26 years ago. It operated as one little coffee shop in the sleepy seaside village of Sumner in Christchurch, with a roaster inside the café so that guests could embrace the whole coffee experience.
Today, 20 uniquely designed boutique Coffee Culture shops now serve brews to New Zealand customers, springing from a passion to combine the science and art of coffee.
“We are definitely about getting great coffee to our guests quickly, but that handmade touch is always special,” Sacha says.
Coffee Culture’s house roast is carefully and consistently produced from its two local roasteries. Here, Coffee Culture roasts beans from Colombia, Papua New Guinea, and Brazil to create its house blend. Sacha Coburn, Director and Chief Operating Officer of Coffee Culture says the result is a widely appealing, medium-bodied blend with notes of red and jammy fruits, chocolate, and nutty notes.
At time of print, Sacha highlighted the current Matariki seasonal roast – one of four different blends which feature throughout the year – in celebration of the Māori New Year holiday. Sacha says this Ethiopian roast is full-bodied with notes of dark chocolate, blueberry, and key lime, and reflects Coffee Culture’s ethos of inclusivity and warmth.
“We have our own ideas about what the perfect coffee is,” Sacha says, “but we really want to make it so our guests from all walks of life enjoy it.”
Coffee Culture also offers light and tasty bites, with an emphasis on catering for diverse dietary needs and lifestyles.
“Our raw bites are really popular, and our salmon bagels have been a winner since day one,” Sacha says.
One of Coffee Culture’s newest shops is nestled in the centre of Christchurch at The Crossing, situating itself as a warm and inviting cornerstone of the resilient community.
“We really put a lot into making The Crossing store a special place in the heart of Christchurch city. We’re expanding, but Christchurch is very much the home and heart of what we do,” Sacha says.
The Crossing has won interior design awards for its natural tones and textures. Sacha describes the venue as a light-filled “glass cage.”
“The store becomes this beating heart, this honeycomb, it just glows. As soon as you see it, it draws people in,” Sacha says.
Like Coffee Culture itself, The Crossing store has charming origins, resting on earnest foundations of old-fashioned hospitality despite its architectural flair and bustling central location.
“The Crossing store is owned by a family that’s been with us a long time. Anna Walsh grew up in Coffee Culture doing dishes in her dad’s store. Now she has a store of her own She’s hugely valued by her guests and a really important part of the life of the city,” Sacha says.
The Crossing store shares with its sister shops a welcoming philosophy and offerings of plush comfort. Diverse seating spaces, as well as generous opening hours and a commitment to affordability, ensure that all are welcome.
“It’s a safe place for teenagers, older people, mums’ groups, book clubs, and students coming to study. It’s an inviting place that you can come and enjoy an affordable luxury,” Sacha says.
Coffee Culture (The Crossing)
158 Cashel Street, The Crossing, Christchurch Central City, New Zealand, 8011
Open Monday to Friday 7am – 5:30pm, weekends 8am – 5pm
+64 (03) 365 1771
This article appears in the August 2022 edition of BeanScene. Subscribe HERE.