Peoples Coffee Lukes Lane

Peoples Coffee

After spending 12 years based in Newtown, just out of Wellington City, roaster Peoples Coffee has opened its second flagship café in the heart of Wellington’s CBD.

“We really wanted to take what was so beautiful about [the Newtown café], an inclusive space serving great coffee with a simple complementary menu, and transplant it into the city,” Peoples Coffee Marketing Manager Jesse Finn says.

“[Newtown started as] a little hole in the wall and over the years the space has really grown. Now it’s this fantastic café that attracts a real cross section of the community. This time, we can take everything that we’ve learnt and really hit the ground running with the new space.”

The BioGro Organic and B Corp-certified Peoples Coffee was founded in 2004 when sole owner Matt Lamason finished studying and chose to go travelling rather than go down a career path in politics.

“He went to Ethiopia and was really inspired by the people he met. One man in particular was Don Wilfredo, the namesake of our house blend,” Jesse says. “He came back to Wellington and felt like he could do better by the farmers and communities he met.

“Our brand has always been tied to the people, those who work here at the roastery and the farmers and communities we source our coffee from.”

Peoples Coffee sources its fair trade, organic beans from a range of farms and cooperatives in Ethiopia, Uganda, Honduras, Peru, Colombia, Guatemala, and Democratic Republic of the Congo.

“Our head roaster René MaCaulay has been with us for 12 years now and he usually visits origin at least once a year. He’s just returned from his most recent trip to Ethiopia,” Jesse says.

The Wellington store serves its Don Wilfredo blend, with a seasonal blend available too. On the bar sits a La Marzocco Linea PB three group espresso machine.

Peoples Coffee has a range of single origins on offer, which can be prepared via Fetco or Kalita pour over.

Jesse says the café has been well received by the community, particularly its coffee, fitout, and minimalist menu. He attributes much of the quality of the coffee to René.

“[He] is an incredible roaster,” Jesse says. “The coffee coming out of these cafés is delicious and incredibly consistent. You can go in and always be sure you’re going to get a beautiful cup.”

Jesse, who was also responsible for hiring for the new flagship, believes the café’s team has successfully created a community space at the café.

“I really love a café where you can go in and feel at home. I see these staff, these great and awesome people, creating that atmosphere,” he says. “That is exactly what we hoped for.”