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Cash-free coffee: Ricoh Pandemic Pivot

One Christchurch café is putting the “e” in coffee, making a post Covid-19 decision to use only electronic payment. Allpress Espresso has made the call to accept no notes or coins at its Montreal Street café.



Roastery and café manager James Nightingale says the cashless system has been largely well received, with staff and customers feeling safer about hygiene.

The café was also broken into in mid-2020, so Nightingale hoped having no cash on site would provided added security, too.

There is no legal requirement for a business to give out or accept cash, except if it is payment for a debt.

The café just one of a small – but growing – number of businesses going cashless in New Zealand, where less than two percent of New Zealand’s money is held in notes and coins.

According to Retail NZ chief executive Greg Harford, a pre-Covid-19 survey revealed a very small number of businesses keen to be cashless, but the same survey post-pandemic saw a large shift.


Why buy local? Coffee Worx

Kiwis are serious about their coffee, and in a time where supporting local has never been more important Metropol catches up with local roasters, Coffee Worx, about the importance of supporting Cantabrian coffee connoisseurs.



The coffee industry is very competitive. Many homegrown coffee roasteries are facing increasing costs and a saturated market.

Trying to compete with multinational coffee companies with a large market share, and even larger marketing budgets, can be a real challenge, says Coffee Worx Co-owner Deborah Riach.

“Small local businesses are having to battle being squeezed out by these large corporates, especially in supermarkets where shelf space becomes more difficult to secure against the ‘big boys’,” she says.

There are a number of Christchurch-based roasteries that have sold to large national and multinational businesses and all the profits are now being re-directed away from Christchurch to larger cities in the North Island as well as overseas.

“The Covid-19 crisis has made us realise we can look closer to home for high quality products that keep our local economy moving.

“Therefore, wherever you see local brands consider giving them a try, if you enjoy what they offer, you are strengthening and securing the commitment and expertise of local businesses into the future.”

As a local company with a proven track record, Coffee Worx are proud to be able to offer our award-winning coffees to the local market in Rangiora and Wigram.


An adventurer’s blend: Heartland Brew

Canterbury based coffee roastery Coffee Worx is gaining ground with its retail coffee brand Heartland Brew.


Roasted from high grade premium coffee, Heartland Brew range is blended for the adventurers, hikers, bikers, trampers, car enthusiasts, fishermen and women, and all those that enjoy sipping on a superb coffee while enjoying the best New Zealand has to offer.

Each blend has been created to reflect the New Zealand environment and palate, uniquely crafted for different times of day and taste experiences.

Named Forest Floor, High Country, Midnight, Nor’wester, Waterfall and Wild River, the blends come in 1kg and 200g resealable and valved bags to ensure freshness and peak taste.

View the ‘They are drinking Heartland Brew here’ gallery on the Heartland Brew website to see some stunning photography taken by outdoor enthusiasts drinking this coffee in their favourite spots while doing what they love most. It’s enough to make anyone want to pack up and go exploring.

So, while you are taking in our beautiful backyard sip on some local labour of love.

Heartland Brew is now available in most New World, Pak n’ Save and Fresh Choice supermarkets South Island wide and through the Heartland website.


Equipped for anything: Total Food Equipment

For kitchen and cooking lovers, walking into Total Food Equipment is like a kid walking into a candy store: It’s hard to know where to look. With a gadget for everything from bakeware to cookware, the name Total Food Equipment makes total sense. It is Total Food Equipment owner Sandra McLay’s firm belief when buying cookware, you should buy once and buy right. She tells us her top in store picks.



KITCHENAID MIXER: Comes in awesome colours such as Dried Rose (pictured) or a Fresh Linen shade – yes you read that right. If you were wanting to mix it up, the inclusion of the attachment hub can transform your appliance into a pasta maker, food grinder, vegetable slicer, sausage maker and much more. Appliances having more than one function is trending.





WACACO NANOPRESSO: Get coffee on the go. If you’re an espresso fanatic and want to be able to whip one out of your pocket – literally – at any time, then this is the machine for you. All you need is ground coffee, hot water and the Nanopresso for a perfect espresso shot every time, and you don’t have to be a qualified barista to do it.








INSTANT POT 5.7 AND 8 LITRE DUO ELECTRIC PRESSURE COOKER: Wow what a mouthful but it sure will keep all of the mouths full at home. The store is the only independent stockist in Christchurch of this amazing multi-cooker with seven appliances in one: pressure, slow and rice cooker; steamer, sauté pan, yogurt maker and warmer. Get one that does it all!





Time for a revival: Urban Revival

Urban Revival’s mission has always been to use food to create community and to have a good time. During these times of uncertainty, they are excited to be able to welcome guests again to provide both!



Hankering for a taste of good quality food prepared by someone else?

Then visit Urban Revival for some post-quarantine indulgence and support local while satisfying your cravings for yummy baking, Switch coffee and hearty meals.

Fully licensed serving local beverages, this loveable light-filled eatery is a crowd favourite with its repurposed furniture and log fire ambiance.

Events such as wine tastings and quiz nights have been held pre-lock down which the team is eager to have more of once it is safe to do so.

They are also open for private events. Like Urban Revival on Facebook to be advised of upcoming events.

Do yourself and your taste buds a favour – take the Northern Motorway’s Ohoka Road turn-off to Silverstream and you are virtually there. Go ahead – revive yourself.


Oat of the ordinary

Oats have long been a mainstay of the breakfast buffet, but now oat milk is adding to the lineup. Yes oat milk has joined the ‘dairy alternative’ hall of fame alongside almond, rice, soy, cashew and coconut milk, except it seems this new option is trying its best to inch ahead of the rest.

Consumers are choosing oat milk for many reasons: texture, allergies, sustainability and best of all, it makes the perfect partnership with coffee.

It’s hard to fault it really… it’s creamy in texture, has multiple nutrition benefits and is environmentally friendly to produce. Makes you feel like you’ve been drinking coffee wrong all this time, doesn’t it?

Made through harvesting steel cut oats, soaked in water, blended and strained, oat milk has especially been admired for being environmentally sustainable.

It uses the least amount of water during its production compared to other plant-based milks and oat milk has a small carbon footprint.

Heathline raves about it online stating that “it’s naturally free of lactose, nuts, soy and gluten (if made from certified gluten-free oats)”.

Great news for the nut and lactose intolerant amongst us, oat milk provides yet another alternative for their caffeine hit.

Next time you’re getting your morning coffee, ask the barista if they’ve got some oat milk; you might just be pleasantly surprised.


Spend time at Seven!

On the corner of Hansons Lane and Riccarton Road sits an idyllic spot for your next private function, Seven Café; great for small groups of people to get together after the lockdown in an intimate, safe environment to share time together.

Catering to groups of 15 to 30 people and with an outdoor area if required, Seven Café has a reputation for great food and amazing service.

If you have an engagement, hen’s party, birthday or company get together in the works, Seven Café is ideal for that small post-lockdown gathering that everyone needs right now.

With something as decadent as a high tea to finger food platter options, there are plenty of choices for everyone’s taste on their extensive menu.

It’s bespoke, so if you have something in mind, give them a call to discuss your requirements.

They’re open 8am till 4pm Monday to Friday and Saturday and Sunday 9 till 4pm; they will open from 5:30pm for your group to accommodate your special function!

Licenced for wine and beer till 11pm, they’ve also got amazing barista-made coffee.

Seven Café has registered as an SOS Café. A non-profit organisation set up to support local cafés, this enables you to buy a voucher now, to redeem later.

We all know how important it is to support local and that alone is a very good reason to make your booking now by emailing so you can raise a glass of bubbles with a close group of friends at the wonderful Seven Café.


Takeaways & coffee sorted! – Pam’s Cafe and Gifts

These may be testing times we’re living through, but Pam Burrows of Pam’s Café and Gifts is proving that the old saying ‘The show must go on’ is the only way to go when the going gets tough.









While keeping in mind COVID-19 Level 3 protocols of no physical contact with customers, the business reopened for evening hours 28 April, with a focus on the takeaway menu of fish ’n’ chips and burgers. But that’s only the half of it!

Never one to rest on her laurels, Pam also has a coffee van which she parks up most days outside Amberley’s Top Stop Café.

In fact, such is Pam’s coffee service, that from Waikari to Waipara, folks never quite know where she and her van will turn up next.

Pam hopes to add yummy muffins and slices alongside the coffee in the very near future.

Come Level 2, the forecast for Pam’s Café and Gifts is to extend its Friday, Saturday and Sunday business hours from morning to night. Which pretty much explains why there are so many smiling faces around the district right now!

In the meantime, we townies can look forward to that day when we’re out there, on the open road, heading to Hanmer, perhaps, and there it is – open for business, the same warm welcome, and the food just as sublime as the last time you stopped by.

Find Pam’s Café and Gifts at 8 Weka Pass Road, Waikari. Phone 03 314 4644.


The Caffeine Queen

An energetic buzz brews behind a Christchurch coffee icon – and its co-owner shares her gift of motivation to the world.

Sacha Coburn is the Chief Operations Officer for Coffee Culture and who also delivers entertaining leadership talks through The Company You Keep.

Now 46, she overcame aggressive breast cancer a decade ago, when fate threw her one of the toughest curve balls imaginable.

Sacha retained her spirited smile, flipping tragedy on its head. She’s now embracing the life-changing journey as a gift – one that has fuelled her motivation to help others succeed.

“It didn’t make me want to retreat, it made me want to expand,” she says. “I live out every year deliberately as though it’s my last. I want to keep learning, sharing and contributing.”

So far there have been two highlights of her life, she says. “One is meeting my husband, the founder of Coffee Culture, in ‘99.”

Hailing from Onehunga, Sacha came to Christchurch for her first career as a qualified lawyer – where her daily coffee routine ended in love!

“We all have our own Coffee Culture story,” she laughs. “Tinder dates through to job interviews – it’s the place where people meet up. We’ve even had staff who have had babies, then they’ve grown up and worked for us!”

The business has grown alongside Sacha’s family, teenagers Tiger and Portia and stepson Jordan.

“The second highlight of my life was attending Harvard Business School in Boston.”

She was one of nine Kiwis to receive the 2018 Prime Minister’s Business Scholarship for three-week sessions over three consecutive years, starting last September.

“It was Coffee Culture’s achievement really – we are a real coffee nation. Harvard is such a transformational environment, with business leaders from throughout the world,” says Sacha, who also has a Master’s Degree in Education.

“I feel part of my responsibility is to share that learning and bring those skills back.”

She believes in being open to new experiences that come along. “When we have openness, crazy s**t happens!” she laughs.

It is her funny, inspirational and motivating performance that gives authenticity to the workshops presented a few times a year, in tandem with Chair of The Chiefs Rugby Club Tonia Cawood.

People rarely nod off at the lively leadership events, which uniquely interweave comedy and classic tunes.

Sacha also co-wrote the book Speakership with renowned speaker Matt Church.

She points out that public speaking has been pivotal in society for thousands of years.

Today’s TED talks are just the modern equivalent. However, the talented talker says that her favourite thing is actually just listening.

Back at Coffee Culture, the quest to constantly make things better never stops.

“We’re always thinking what would delight people the most, so it’s attention to detail with every aspect in design trends, food and drinks – and providing wonderful spaces for people to hang out. You can even have a charcoal latte now. We are all so different. It’s that combination of familiarity and freshness.”

A single origin latte with a splash of cold milk is Sacha’s takeaway cup tipple – although now it’s made with oat milk.

After 12 years living in Sumner, Hamilton became home, to help launch the brand up north. Sacha oversees all training and development of the 20 Coffee Culture stores, but plenty of time is still spent in Christchurch.

“As business gets tougher in New Zealand, we’ve been helping our young staff with ownership of their own stores. For me, that’s enormously fulfilling – having an impact on people’s lives.”

Coffee Culture Charitable Foundation, has also built new trading facilities for their coffee suppliers in Papua New Guinea.

“My main focus is ‘how do we grow our people’. We also give additional attention to mental health. It’s understanding who I am, and who they are, so we can enjoy working together in a high-performance environment.

“If I keep doing the work on myself, the opportunities will come for all of us.”


Recreating a coffee icon

Bink Bowler started making the coffee we have all come to love at the sprightly age of 13 and at age 19, 10 years ago, he and some other coffee guys founded Memphis Belle Coffee House in Wellington.



It became iconic, gaining a cult following in the capital. Bink learnt so much about the coffee business, he decided to take that knowledge to the next level and open the Black and White Coffee Cartel which permeates Christchurch.

When it got to five cafés in the space of three or so years, Bink got what he dreamed of, a bigger coffee company heading in the right direction and he thought to himself, ‘What’s this all about? Why am I doing this?’

Ending up spending much of his time at a computer, he’d lost what he really loved about coffee; people. When it got to 10 shops he decided to step out of the Managing Director role and seek what made him happy, with the blessing of his partners at Black and White.

When Bink heard Memphis Belle was closing in 2019, he decided he would recreate the vision and set about creating a grown up version of Belle that represents the Bink of today, just as the renowned coffee house did 10 years ago.

So, the evolution has come full circle, with a return to Belle coffee house on the corner of New Regent and Armagh Streets.

Memphis Belle never left Bink’s heart nor did his faith in Christchurch.

After working in the hard yards in Wellington he’s seen the bright future that is central Christchurch and in relaunching, he rediscovered quality of life.

With a wealth of experience, a new spark in his heart and passion for a great coffee house, Bink has made his triumphant return with Belle.

Even though coffee houses have changed since Memphis Belle started a decade ago, good culture and great service haven’t.

With its unique vibrant style and food to tempt even the fussiest breakfast gourmet with a stunning creamy mushrooms on toast, classic eggs benedict and if you’re really hungry, the bigger breakfast, loaded nachos or just a bowl of fries.

With a full kitchen there’s a tasty treat for almost everyone.

Belle has returned in style with great coffee.

Classics are always in style and Belle is all about doing the basics and doing them exceptionally well.

This is a place that is about good people, good coffee, good food and a whole lotta charm!

Belle operates with gratitude toward all of those who were involved in the original Memphis Belle story.

It’s just a little bit of Wellington in the Garden City, but still quintessential Christchurch.

Check it out for yourself from 7am to 4pm Monday to Friday, and 8:30am to 4:30pm Saturday and Sunday in the heart of the central city.