New Zealander’s love of coffee has remained strong through the pandemic and the market is still growing, though the where and how is changing as working from home becomes more of an established option. The new Havana Coffee Works Roastery, opened today (May 2nd) in Parnell, is part of the company’s adaption to this changing coffee-drinking environment.
When Havana’s Wellington HQ launched in 1989, the industry was just getting warmed up. In 1990 there were just four coffee companies roasting in New Zealand — today there are more than 400.
Using every means from, espresso to mugs of instant, we resolutely drink our way through around 10,700 tonnes of coffee beans per year. That puts us in the top 20 countries globally for coffee consumption per capita, according to Nielsen 2021 data.
“Havana was revolutionary when it started out in the 80s and it has held onto its artisan, counterculture character while steadily growing in popularity”. says Havana Coffee Works General Manager Lee Brown.
Brown says: “Havana’s Wellington HQ remains iconic, but with limited space, capital investment in a second location was the logical decision. The new site enables us to significantly increase production capacity to meet growing demand. Having a physical presence in Auckland also improves our ability to be able to support, train and service a wider range of customers in more locations, as well as mitigate risk which has become ever-more critical these past two years.”
Havana Wellington is housed in a funky, bright green 1959 Art deco building. A stunning custom Stephen Templer mural bounces off the building front and the decor features upcycled and repurposed furniture. Second-hand furniture aside, the new Parnel location — at 69 St Georges Bay Rd — has had around $2 million invested by parent company Lion NZ. Havana joined Lion in 2018. The 756m site includes a roastery, espresso bar, logistics, servicing and training hub, to be staffed by a 19-strong team.
Sustainability and quality are the guiding principles behind the new roastery’s move to hot-air roasting, which also features an iconic Loring S70 Roaster, for 70 percent fewer carbon emissions. Like Havana’s Wellington, the Auckland site will be an open-door, single-origin roastery for visitors to observe, smell and taste the coffee first-hand and get to know the Havana staff.
The move is in part an attempt to adapt to the changing coffee-drinking environment. “We have a vibrant café culture, but more and more people are now seeking that same high-quality coffee experience at home”, says Brown. “In the past year, coffee bean sales in the supermarket category have grown around 25 percent, led by premium brands. The daily coffee ritual is still very much a part of people’s lives as a way to energise and reward themselves.”