Wellington’s cool coffee scene is no secret, and Sprudge has experienced it previously through the eyes of World Brewers Cup champion Erin McCarthy, who visited in 2013. But on my own trip to New Zealand for the 2013 NZSCA Symposium in Auckland, I jumped at the chance to hop a quick flight south to Welly’s infamously windy airport for a few more days of NZ Barista Guild talks and general exploring.
What I found there was a place of almost indescribable beauty. In the photos to come in this feature, please keep in mind that hovering just beyond the urban skyline of Wellington’s downtown is a great expanse of verdantly green mountains and windswept bays. It’s breathtaking in the same way parts of the American Pacific Northwest are breathtaking, except there’s prehistoric lizards and flightless birds here, and a palpable feeling of being at the very bottom of the world. This is a feature about cafes in a city, but that’s just one small part of the overall Wellington experience. It is one of the most astonishingly beautiful places I’ve had the pleasure of visiting.