Celebrating the accolade for making the best coffee in New Zealand: Bernard Smith (right), founder of Vivace Espresso, with General Manager Paul Baker (left). Celebrating the accolade for making the best coffee in New Zealand: Bernard Smith (right), founder of Vivace Espresso, with General Manager Paul Baker (left). CREDIT: 2012 NZ Coffee Awards

Spilling the beans on New Zealand's best coffee!

Monday 8 October 2012, 11:05AM
By Food Marketing Ltd

Christchurch roasters Vivace Espresso have won this year’s Supreme Award for New Zealand’s Best  Coffee at the 9th Huhtamaki New Zealand Coffee Awards.

Vivace, which roasts at its Tuam Street premises in Christchurch, won the award from around 270 coffees entered by 65 roasting companies thanks to its Vivace Ultimate Blend. It joined 11 other roasting companies which were awarded Gold at the awards, held at the Manukau Institute of Technology in Auckland.  The judging panel, headed by internationally renowned roaster and coffee expert, Instaurator, who is based in Sydney, spent two days judging this year’s awards.

C ommenting on the awards, Instaurator said this year’s event was up to the “usual high standard”, adding:  ‘There were some real standouts with the very competitive and high number of roasters in New Zealand. In particular I enjoyed some very aromatic and nuanced Ethiopian Yirgacheffe coffees in cupping the Organic section.

‘The level of judging was the most professional so far and will only get better as coffee tasters gain international certification in the future.

‘The awards are proof that New Zealand’s coffee industry continues to be among the finest in the world, thanks to the continuous, ongoing high standards from roasters and baristas country wide”, Instaurator told guests at the awards ceremony.

In search of the country’s best beans, judges rolled up their sleeves to slurp, taste and spit during a series of “blind tests” in the 8 categories entered by roasting companies from as far afield as Upper Moutera, Dunedin and the Coromandel.

Christchurch roasters particularly stood out with Vivace’s Gold in the Breville Ethically Traded section, plus it’s Supreme Award, while Caffe Prima won Gold in the Starline Supermarket Espresso section. In the Meadowfresh Flat White category Auckland’s Jungle Coffee took out Gold, while Coromandel’s Coffee LaLa, Havelock North’s Hawthorne Coffee and Auckland’s Veni Coffee shared Gold in the John Burton Ltd Best Decaffeinated Award. The Z Energy Supermarket Plunger was won by New Plymouth’s IncaFe, while Auckland’s Kreem was a surprise winner in the Huhtamaki Best Espresso section. Last year’s Supreme winner, Auckland’s Coffee Lab won Gold in the Sherpac Best Organic section this year.

The 2012 New Zealand Coffee Awards aim to increase public awareness of the exceptional quality and value of New Zealand coffee currently available to consumers;  by showcasing excellence in both roasting and the art of the Barista,  creating world class  espresso coffee.  Many Kiwis fortunate enough to travel, appreciate our vibrant, innovative, passionate coffee culture.

For the full list of winners, go to

2012 Huhtamaki New Zealand Coffee Awards - Winners List

Huhtamaki NZ Supreme Coffee Award: Vivace (Christchurch) for its Vivace Ultimate Blend

Huhtamaki Best Espresso -
Gold: Kreem (Auckland).
Silver: Karamu (Hawke’s Bay), Roma (Auckland), Essenza (Morrinsville), Labrynth (Auckland), Toasted Espresso (Auckland).
Bronze: IncaFe (New Plymouth), Karajoz (Auckland), Avalanche (Auckland), Caffé Prima (Auckland), Cigana, Ciro (Auckland), Jed’s (Auckland), Ozone (New Plymouth).

Meadowfresh Best Flat White –
Gold: Jungle (Auckland).
Silver: Jack’s (Auckland), Karajoz (Auckland), Bach (Auckland), Pomeroys (Nelson).
Bronze: Ambition (Auckland), Summit (Taupo), Chiasso (Auckland), Fat Cat (Dunedin), Orb (Auckland).

Breville Best Ethically Traded –
Gold: Vivace (Christchurch).
Silver: Piazza D’Oro (Auckland), Altezano (Auckland), Jungle (Auckland).
Bronze: Barista Empire (Auckland), Switch Coffee  (Napier), Volt (Auckland).

Sherpac Best Organic –
Gold: Coffee Lab (Auckland).
Silver: Ozone (New Plymouth), Espresso Workshop (Auckland).
Bronze: Ristretto (Wgtn), IncaFe (New Plymouth), Global (Auckland)   , Essenza (Morrinsville), Rush (Wellsford).

Espresso Mechanics Best Supermarket Plunger –
Gold:  Chiasso (Auckland), Incafe (New Plymouth).
Silver: Rush (Wellsford), Coffee LaLa (Coromandel).
Bronze: Pomeroys (Nelson), Wildcat (Wanganui), Jed’s (Auckland),  Matakana Coffee, CPR (Blenheim).

Starline Best Supermarket Espresso –
Gold:  Caffe Prima (Christchurch).
Silver: The Grind (Upper Moutere),   Matakana Coffee.
Bronze: Robert Harris (Auckland), Hawthorne (Havelock North),  Karajoz (Auckland), CPR (Blenheim), Pomeroys (Nelson).

John Burton Ltd Best Decaffeinated  –
Gold: Coffee LaLa (Coromandel), Hawthorne (Havelock Nth), Veni Coffee (Auckland).
Silver: Bionic Coffee (Napier), Gravity (Auckland).
Bronze: Coffee Lab (Auckland), Excelso (Tauranga), Vivace (Chch).

Z Energy Best Foodservice Plunger –
Gold: IncaFe (New Plymouth).
Silver: Espresso Workshop (Auckland). Altura (Auckland), Ambition (Auckland).
B ronze: Chiasso (Auckland), Veni (Auckland), Barista Empire (Auckland), Excelso (Tauranga).