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Pinaman Owusu-Banahene is kind of amazing, she is the founder of social enterprise ADJOAA (Africa Design Journey through AustralAsia) the brains (and brawn) behind Wellington’s first ever Africa Fashion Festival and is (aptly) perhaps the most fashionable person I have ever met.

I sat down with Pinaman last week at our Constable Street café to talk about her long-gestating vision for Africa Fashion Festival FINALLY coming to fruition, what she’s most excited about and why the festival is about so much more than beautiful clothing. We also got to tasting some of the bespoke ‘Fashinii’ blend that Peoples Coffee has crafted to support the festival!

Pinaman Owusu-Banahene – founder of ADJOAA and the Africa Fashion Festival

The Festival

Here’s the lowdown – designed to help promote and celebrate African designers the Africa Fashion Festival is ‘an opportunity to experience the richness and vibrancy of African culture through fashion and other art forms’. From the out-set Pinaman wanted to create a platform that celebrated not only established and emerging African artists but also the heritage of the continent and the traditional techniques that have been passed down from generation to generation.

Six esteemed international designers will be showing at the festival as well as two local emerging talents.

The festival is also about giving back. A percentage of ticket sales has been earmarked for the establishment of three key social initiatives for young Africans in New Zealand as well as a fund for social projects on the ground in African communities.

Ghanaia-made Luxury Footwear from sisters Nana & Afua Dabanka for MONAA 

What to Expect

Pinaman has curated an experience that speaks to the heart of the festival at every turn. She has bought together an exceptional group of designers including Nana Brenu, Laurence Chauvin-Buthaud and Nana & Afua Dabanka showing collections ranging from dresses and accessories (handcrafted raffia bags and sustainable wooden eyewear) to men’s wear and stunning hand-made leather shoes.

Attendees will be treated to a showcase of local and ethical products on arrival from Peoples Coffee and Wellington Chocolate Factory to the The Body Shop, Good Buzz, Karma Cola and more. On top of all this there will be a whole range of surprises throughout the evening!

Patterns, prints and colour for men from Laurence Chauvin-Buthaud for LaurenceAirline

Pastels and androgyny from Nana Brenu for Studio 1981

Eco-Luxury Wooden Sunglasses from Nana Osei Boateng for Bohten

Why We’re Involved

When we first met Pinaman we were struck by her enthusiasm – she was so excited to bring the festival to life that you couldn’t help but get excited too, it was infectious. Behind that however was a driving passion to use art to create change.

Pinaman has put all of herself to use in this venture; her knowledge and love of the fashion industry, her prowess as an event manager, her years studying Public Policy and her own personal experiences as an African woman.

The Fashinii is one of our social enterprise blends designed to support special projects

Help Us Help the Festival

Peoples Coffee have developed a bespoke blend specially for the festival; the Fashinii blend.

Meaning ‘fashion’ in the Ethiopian language of Oromo, the Fashinii is a two-bean blend from the Ethiopian regions of Guji and Sidamo with fruity nuances of cranberry and mandarin.

$2.00 from the sale of each bag will go directly to the Festival’s Social Enterprise fund. You can purchase the Fashinii from our online store or at our Flagship cafe in Newtown.

Our Nitro Cold Brew – Fashinii style

We’re incredibly proud to be involved in Wellington’s first Africa Fashion Festival. We’ll be pulling pours of our world famous Nitro (made with the Fashinii blend) for all those lucky enough to have snagged a ticket. There are a VERY limited number of student and GA tickets still available HERE – but get in quick as they won’t last long!

What: Africa Fashion Festival 2016
Where: James Smith Arcade, Cnr Cuba and Manners Streets
When: Saturday 28 May

– Jesse F


May 24th, 2016


Posted In: Africa, CBD, Coffee, Collaboration, Ethiopia, Fair trade, Nitro, Organic, peoplespeople, Social projects, Sustainability, Sustainable, Wellington

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Kaibosh have a vision: Zero Food Poverty. Zero Food Waste.

It’s simplicity belies the true nature of the work that goes into achieving such a bold campaign, New Zealanders throw away over 122,547 tonnes of food a year, but Kaibosh are equal to the task.

Fresh Broccoli from the Newtown Farmers Market

Founded in 2008 Kaibosh and it’s team of over 100 volunteers ‘rescue’ food from Wellington businesses and provide it to community groups and charities that support people in need.

In the last 12 months they have provided 139,575 kilograms of food (that’s the size of a blue whale) from 31 businesses to 32 local community groups and charities.

Kaibosh by the numbers

The businesses involved are wide ranging; from supermarket behemoth Countdown and food-to-go experts Wishbone to smaller outfits such as Wooden Spoon Boutique Freezery and Astoria Cafe. Check out the full list here.

Newtown and Harbourside Farmers Markets make invaluable contributions over the weekend – ensuring a large supply of fresh fruit and vegetables.

Fruit and vege from the Farmers Markets is an invaluable contribution

Food is collected by the Kaibosh drivers and taken back to HQ (one in the central city and a newly opened hub in Lower Hutt) where it is sorted by volunteers – the game is simple; if YOU would eat it, keep it. If you wouldn’t, throw it in the compost.

We want people to open up their food box and be really happy to find great, fresh food – for it to really brighten their day’ says Driver and Fundraiser Ryan O’Connell of the sorting process.

As well as composting the team send any food that doesn’t make the grade along to Black Sheep Animal Sanctuary for their animal feed.

Happy pig – one recipient of Black Sheep Animal Sanctuary’s animal feed

Recently Kaibosh have teamed up with some like-minded businesses to create the Food Rescue Heroes initiative. Becoming a Hero is as easy as donating from $15 per month to Kaibosh – in return you get a Food Rescue Heroes card with awesome deals all round Wellington, a welcome pack from Peoples Coffee, Wellington Chocolate Factory & Ideal Cup plus invitations to Food Rescue Heroes evenings at Kaibosh HQ.

One of the Food Rescue Heroes Welcome Packs

If you’d like to know more about becoming a Food Rescue Hero or getting involved with Kaibosh, jump onto the Kaibosh website and grab the lowdown.

– Jesse F


February 12th, 2016


Posted In: CBD, Coffee, Collaboration, Fair trade, peoplespeople, Social projects, Sustainability, Sustainable, Wellington

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Vic Books is an institution for anyone who has toiled their way through a degree from Victoria University. They are the difference between an enjoyable, thought provoking lecture or a one and a half hour nap session. They are the life blood of the student body (OK so I might be laying it on a bit thick there but you get the idea – they are AWESOME!).

Two hot chocolates please!

Peoples are super proud to be a part of the Vic Books story and so we thought we’d give you all a little update on what they’ve been up to and where they’re going.

Vic Books Manager and all-round good-guy Lars Bringzen

For those of you who haven’t experienced Vic Books here’s the deal: Located in the thick of Victoria Universities Kelburn Campus, Vic Books smashes out over 2000 cups of Peoples Coffee a week. They pride themselves on having a sustainable approach to business and from their inception have partnered with like-minded entities such as Zany Zeus, Karma Cola, Trade Aid, Peoples and more.

Our trainer James kicking at the Vic Books kiosk in the Hub

Vic Books has been KILLING IT over the last few years under the guidance of General Manager Lars Bringzen, opening takeaway coffee kiosk’s in the Hub and Pipitea Campus’ Rutherford House, the latter a little preview of what’s to come when the dust settles on this under-construction campus.

A glimpse of what the new Pipitea Campus will look like once finished

Throughout 2015 and ’16 the Business School hub is undergoing a massive facelift; a full redesign of the existing structures, an eight story addition and at the centre of it all a new and improved Vic Books Pipitea.

Right now the site is under lock and key; a hundred and one tradesmen guard the entrances with pick-axes and eye-wateringly orange vests BUT we will be bringing you a little insiders look quite soon.

Some little gift bags from a recent Peoples Coffee event at Vic Books

Our training session ‘Coffee One-oh-One’ in action

Until then keep an eye out for some exciting events, giveaways and other cool things at Vic Books Kelburn. We’ll be bringing back our popular ‘Coffee One-oh-One’ training sessions in the next month and rumour has it there is a cheeky little Cold Flat White giveaway coming up…

Go Vic Books  – you guys rock!

 

– Jesse F


January 28th, 2016


Posted In: Cafes, CBD, Coffee, Collaboration, Fair trade, peoplespeople, Sustainability, Sustainable, Wellington

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It’s a new year! And there are VERY exciting things afoot (putting aside the mildly terrifying fact that I turn 26 this year and so am officially an adult *sigh*).

The first of these very-exciting-things is our Constable Street Peanut Butter Takeover, the brain-child of our brilliant cafe manager Patrick and the team at Fix & Fogg.

Smooth – w. Moutere Gold raspberry jam + basil

The Takeover places peanut butter in the spotlight – irrevocably cementing it as THE taste sensation of 2016.

There are four excellent combinations – each made with the freshest local produce and featuring some of Wellington and New Zealand’s very best culinary whizz-kids.

Dark Chocolate – w. Fairtrade banana + Zany Zeus mascarpone

For those of you with a sweet tooth we have: ‘Dark Chocolate’ with Fairtrade banana & Zany Zeus mascarpone and ‘Smooth’ with Moutere Gold raspberry jam and fresh basil.

If you haven’t tried ZZ’s mascarpone before we HIGHLY recommend you do – 100% organic, light and lip-smackingly creamy.

Smoke & Fire – w. shaved cucumber + chipotle hot sauce

I myself favour savoury when it comes to a snack – so for all of you like me there is: ‘Smoke & Fire’ with shaved cucumber & chipotle hot sauce and ‘Crunchy’ with Kruegermann gherkin and Zany Zeus feta.

All of the options are served on Best Ugly ‘Montreal style’ bagels. In contrast to the classic New York style bagel the Montreal is smaller, thinner, sweeter and denser, with a larger hole and is boiled in honey-sweetened water before being baked.

Crunchy – w. Kruegermann gherkin + Zany Zeus feta

I stopped by the cafe earlier this week to experience the takeover for myself. My personal favourite was the ‘Smoke & Fire’. True to it’s name it was HELLA smokey with chilled cucumber sliced into gorgeous ribbons so thin you could see right through them – yum. I’ll probably be back tomorrow for the Dark Chocolate, it is haunting my day-dreams…

Jesse (me) tucking into the ‘Smoke & Fire’

At this stage the Takeover is running through until the end of this week (Sunday 17 January) so get in while you still can – it’s worth the trip!

– Jesse F


January 12th, 2016


Posted In: Cafes, CBD, Coffee, Collaboration, Constable Street, Fair trade, peoplespeople, Wellington

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We’ve got a secret. It’s a matter of some excitement and we’re PRETTY amped that we’re finally able to share the news…

This weekend we will be debuting the gorgeous, limited edition, Mish Mash – a Mocha Porter beer we’ve been lucky enough to work on with the Wellington Chocolate Factory and the awesome folk down at Garage Project!

The brew is a one-night-only tipple that has been created specially to celebrate The Free Store‘s 1st Annual fundraiser down at Southern Cross this Sunday.

Quite the formidable team…

Using Peoples Coffee’s darkest roast blend; the Sebastiana Martinez and Dominican Cocoa Nibs from Wellington Chocolate Factory, Garage Project have crafted a bitter-sweet chocolate coffee brew with more kick than you can shake a stick (at).

Our darkest roast is named after a Peoples Coffee legend

Pete Gillespie – now THAT is a beard

To be quite honest my knowledge of the beer brewing process is woefully uninformed so, in order to write this blog, I sat in with Garage Projects Head Brewer (and all-round legend) Pete Gillespie and learnt all about the incredibly involved craft, much of which is not at all unlike the coffee roasting and cupping process.

Two grain varietals – two very different flavour profiles

Step 1: Pick a grain. Grain is ground to an oaty porridge-like consistency above the brewery and piped through to the mash tun, a very big silver goliath which is part of the main brew kit.

Step 2: Mash and Wort. Water is then added to the dry grain to create a mash which is eventually drained to produce what is called the Wort – a sticky sweet liquid that becomes the base of our beer.

Now because we are brewing a small batch beer, the Garage Project team use a smaller brew kit called the Pilot Kit (or ‘Brew Magic’) for the next step in the process. The Pilot Kit is capable of 50 litre brews and was the ORIGINAL Garage brew kit, so it has quite the legacy!

Capturing the Wort run-off

It can be a messy process!

Step 3: Boil time. Now it’s time to get our wort nice and hot (to get rid of any nasties). Sanitisation is one of the most important parts of the brewing process as nasties can destroy an otherwise perfect brew.

Step 4: Adding your hops. Once the wort is at a rolling boil it’s time to add your hops. Our brew only has a small amount of hops in it, just enough to give it a good base. The brew is then boiled for a further 60 minutes. There are many types of hops and other ingredients that can be added at this point; bittering hops, flavouring & aromatic hops, spices and sugar – it all depends on the kind of flavours you want to create.

Step 5: Chill it. The brew is now bought right down in temperature. This is done quite quickly to ensure a good ‘cold break’ which helps with the clarity of the finished product.

Some hops for bitterness and base

Step 6: Fermentaion station. Once the brew has been cooled to around 22 degrees it is transferred over to the fermenter where yeast is carefully added. The brew will begin to ferment 8 – 24 hours after the yeast is added, the length of the fermentation process is dependant on the beer you are trying to craft – ours took around 14 days.

Step 7: Steeping. Now we add the tasty bits! Our Sebastiana and the Chocolate Factory cocoa nibs were placed in muslin cloth and steeped in the fermented brew for some time to allow the flavours to infuse. Much like tea.

Step 8: That’s it! The brew is then essentially done. It is cooled, kegged (or bottled) and ready to drink!

Time for a taste

A huge thanks to the exceptional Benjamin Johnson from The Free Store for asking us to be involved and to Garage Project for doing all the hard work! We are always stoked to be able to work with such brilliant crafters and the Garage & WCF crews are up there with the very best.

Benjamin from the Free Store

The Free Store have organised what is shaping up to be truly the coolest fundraising event you’ve ever seen. According to the Facebook invite I received you’ll need to ‘brace yourself for ear-tingling, foot-stomping musical goodness (from local bands including Miles Calder & the Rumours, Graeme James, Towers and more) and brush up your quizzical skills to take home an epic prize pack’.

Plus of course there’s this fantastic beer AND it’s all for an amazing cause – so theres no excuses for you all not to come along. More details can be found on the event page but the essentials are thus:

Where? Southern Cross
When? 2.30pm Sunday 29 November
Why? To raise money for an awesome cause (and because live music, cool art and epic beer is not to be sniffed at)

See you there!

Jesse F

Photography by Renee Cotton Media


November 25th, 2015


Posted In: Beer, Brewing, CBD, Coffee, Collaboration, Fair trade, peoplespeople, Wellington

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Last week I took a little trip to the Free Store on the corner on Ghuznee and Willis to take a look at a new venture the fantastic team there have started.

If you haven’t heard of the Free Store before here’s the lowdown: Opened in 2010, the Free Store is a not-for-profit organisation that redistributes surplus food from over 25 cafes, bakeries and restaurants throughout Wellington. Their small army of volunteers collect the food, transport it to their repurposed shipping container home on Willis Street where, at 6pm, they throw open the doors and serve the food to the masses – completely free of charge. In the last 10 months they have redistributed over 55,000 items of food to, on average, 65 people each night.

Managing Director Benjamin Johnson was passionate about creating a space that was ‘by the community, for the community’. It was important to him that The Free Store be as open and accommodating to people from all walks of life – hence why there are no restrictions on who they serve the food to and how much is given – it’s an open, honest space where people take what they need and respect the needs of others.

Recently Benjamin felt that more could be done to create a sense of community for those people frequenting the Free Store and has reached out to several Wellington roasteries in an effort to offer hot coffee for the half hour prior to the store’s opening. Peoples Coffee are sponsoring the Friday night offering and we couldn’t be prouder to be a part of this really great initiative.

People were shy at first but the two young ladies manning the coffee station made them feel at home. Sugar? Milk? No problem and after a bit everyone was chatting and warming up with some Ethipoian Sidamo. The group was really diverse – men, women, students, pensioners and everyone in between – all just trying to keep their head above the tide.

It was pretty cool to witness the coming together of all of these people. Everyone supporting one another, helping each other out. One lovely gent even helped me with this blog by graciously pointing out that I was unlikely to get any particularly good pictures with the lens cap on…

Free Store 5
The thing I came away with is how multi-faceted the Free Store’s ambitions are. They’re working collaboratively to minimise needless waste whilst providing food, coffee & a safe, non-judgemental environment to those who need it most. If you get a chance to pop in and congratulate the team – do it. If you know a cafe or restaurant who you think would like to be involved – do that too! Every little bit really does help these guys make a big difference in a person’s life.

Jesse F


September 3rd, 2015


Posted In: Cafes, CBD, Coffee, Collaboration, Social projects, Sustainability, Uncategorized

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Today I met with Tabby Besley, founder of youth organisation InsideOUT, to talk about their charity exhibition at Matchbox Studios. Some of you might recognise Tabby – she was recently the first (and so far only) New Zealander to be awarded a Queens Young Leader Award for her work with queer youth (she even made a BuzzFeed list of 28 Badass Young People Making The World A Better Place).

InsideOUT are a pretty amazing organisation – they work with youth, whānau, schools and communities to make Aotearoa a safer place for all young people of diverse genders and sexualities to live and be in. Set-up in 2011, the organisation is run almost exclusively by youth volunteers who work tirelessly to lower rates of homophobic, biphoic and transphobic bullying in schools through initiatives like The Day of Silence and Pink Shirt Day (amongst a host of other projects).

InsideOUT aren’t government funded so they’re getting creative with a charity exhibition and auction at Matchbox Studios on Cuba Street this week. More than 40 artists and craftspeople have contributed a wide range of artworks – including paintings, jewellery, sculpture and photographs – and they have been priced to be as affordable as possible with prices ranging from $20 to $400. The artwork is available for purchase from Matchbox throughout the week with the auction kicking off at 6pm on Friday.

The auction is free to attend and anyone can bid. There will be a raffle drawn on the evening with some awesome prizes from local businesses (including some tasty Peoples Coffee!). Tickets for the raffle are only $2 and are available all week and on the night from Matchbox.

Both Tabby and event organiser Vicky Beesley have been completely overwhelmed by the generosity of everyone involved – neither expected to have so many pieces donated (in fact, even as we talked another piece arrived).

With 300 people ‘attending’ on Facebook the auction is shaping up to be a real success. Hopefully InsideOUT can raise a tonne of dough to continue to do the incredibly important work that they do. I know I’ll certainly be there on Friday – I’ve got my eye on a fox holding a balloon…see you there!

Jesse F


August 19th, 2015


Posted In: Activism, CBD, Coffee, Collaboration, Fair trade, Social projects, Uncategorized

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Last week I went to prison.

No really! For a whole hour, to Arohata Womens Prison to sit in on the barista training that Peoples Coffee are offering for inmates. The training, now in it’s second year, is run by Lauren Tennent & Ashley Roper and is designed to provide real, transferable skills outside of the ‘traditional women’s work’ the prison offers.

On arrival myself and the rest of the media team were escorted down to the training room and introduced to the women who are taking part in the programme. The group were in high spirits throughout the visit (though one might suspect it was from the 4+ cups of coffee some of them had had!) and were eager to show us what they’d learnt. We all placed our orders and the ladies jumped to the task – delivering the coffees with surprising efficiency and big smiles. My flat white was great – nice and creamy with a strong finish!

  IMG_3283

After our caffeine fix we talked to group about the training – they said it was great to be able to learn new skills that could contribute to a new life when they were released. They were especially grateful to be able to have a cup of ‘real’ coffee as the prison only has instant available “things like good coffee are taken for granted, you don’t get anything like that in here and so to be able to have a cup is a real treat”.

Prison Director Chris Burns was enthusiastic about the project – “we’ve kept the sessions deliberately short so that the women can walk away with something tangible…you’ve only got to feel the vibe in the room to know the positive effect on them”. Arohata and Peoples are hoping to be able to run the programme again sometime next year as the feedback from both inmates and staff has been so positive.

I spoke briefly to one of the women about the course and she told me that the length of the courses was good because some of the inmates had difficulties concentrating for long periods of time “people have bad days and find it hard to be able to stay for a full day”. She said the short burst style of the course combined with the step-by-step process of the coffee-making made it easier for the group to stay focused.

After our chat we got to see the group graduate – all of the ladies were grinning from ear to ear. One of the inmates was particularly excited to show her certificate to her family – “my gran and my mum are really proud of me!”.

Coffee Making Close-up 1 Ashley

Overall I have to say my first trip to prison, whilst nothing like what I expected, was pretty great. I think its fantastic to see these women so eager to learn and grow. They are really hoping to be able to use these skills in the real world and I sincerely hope they get to.

Jesse F


July 24th, 2015


Posted In: Coffee, Collaboration, Fair trade, Social projects

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Yesterday the Peoples Coffee team went on a family outing to paradise, also known as the Wellington Chocolate Factory.  Not only was the adventure pleasing to our taste buds, but it turns out that coffee geeks and chocolate geeks have a lot in common, and the roasting experts among us found kindred spirits in chocolatiers Gabe and Rochelle.

Specialty chocolate is relatively rare in New Zealand – and single origin roasts even rarer. We sampled strong, dark Dominican, plummy Madagascar,  apricotty Peruvian, and a smoky Bougainvillian roast that tasted like bacon. In a good way.

The depth of knowledge and enthusiasm of our hosts bordered on obsessive and reminded us of one or two coffee roasters we know – who had their heads together and their sensitive noses stuck in cacao pods for the duration of the visit.

There is a reason that coffee roasters and chocolate roasters are alike: The products are alike – more alike than we realised.

Like Arabica and Robusta coffee, cacao beans come in two main varieties: Forestero, and Criollo. The former is more abundant, and of poorer quality generally, and the latter is the real delicacy. Also like coffee, there is a hybrid between the two – called Trinitario, which has a higher yield, is of high quality, and is more disease resistant (like coffee hybrids.) Wellington Chocolate Factory beans are either Criollo or Trinitario.

Like coffee, supermarket chocolate is a world away from specialty chocolate. Confectionery chocolate has additives to sweeten it to the point that it loses its fruity acidity. As with high quality coffee, specialty chocolate doesn’t have additives, and until you’ve tasted that – you don’t know what chocolate tastes like.

Chocolate is processed like coffee: First fermented, then washed, then sun dried, then roasted. The quality of the soil, the age of the trees, the latitude of the farm and the cultivation techniques of the farmers all have a profound influence on the final product.

Like coffee, cacao plants are susceptible to devastating disease, which wipes out hectares of crops.

Like coffee, chocolate is known as a crop of poverty, and has been connected to exploitation and even child slavery.  However – the Wellington Chocolate Factory  buys from ethical growers, and is deeply conscious of its role in supporting its producers. So conscious, in fact, that they’re starting a kickstarter campaign to give independent farmers in Bougainville the processing equipment they need to stay afloat amid the increasing corporatization of the industry there. If cacao can generate real returns to Bougainvillians, Gabe explains, there won’t be a return to disputes over the local mine that lead to years of civil conflict. Bougainville may even be able to become truly independent from Papua New Guinea.

We wouldn’t mind a bit more smoky Bougainville roast on the market here either.

Check out the Welllington Chocolate Factory’s Facebook page, or peruse their website for more information. Better yet – head down there! They can be found nestled in Eva Street, between Dixon and Ghuznee.

 


July 30th, 2014


Posted In: Brewing, Cafes, CBD, Coffee, Coffee geek out, Collaboration, Cooperatives, Fair trade

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Peoples Coffee started out ten years ago as a social enterprise, before that term was part of our common vernacular. This year we have allocated a specific fund dedicated to supporting social initiatives within our community here in New Zealand, and at coffee origin. Our recent partnership with Wellington’s Multicultural Learning and Support Services (MCLaSS) for their World Refugee Day fundraising has proven the idea a success.

We have the regular privilege of  serving MCLaSS teachers and students at our Constable Street Café as one of their classes takes place right across the road. We were stoked when MCLaSS approached us to formalise this relationship and in a way, complete the circle by giving back to some of our most loyal customers.

“We realised that Peoples Coffee has a kaupapa of giving back to the community, and we felt we could build a relationship on that” says Mary Collie-Holmes from MCLaSS. She had been involved with Miramar’s Holy Cross School in developing a class to provide English language tutoring for migrant and refugee parents within the school community. The successful programme had caught the attention of a teacher at Berhampore school. His idea was to provide evening tutorials for parents, to strengthen their conversational English skills. The participants and their children would share a meal, then the school’s teachers would provide acivities for the children while their parents would learn and practice new conversation skills. Mary stresses the importance of English skills for parents, in taking an active role in their children’s education, and being part of the school community.

Designing a teaching programme, employing tutors, and providing meals costs money, and funding can be hard to come by. This is where Peoples Coffee comes in. On World Refugee Day, the 20th of June, we donated all the proceeds from our café towards the project. Café Manager Eileen says it was a really great turnout, and customers were thrilled to learn more about, and support MCLaSS’ work.

We were also invited to be part of a fundraising speaker event held at the excellent Preservatorium Café and Cannery, where Roaster Rene provided samples of single origin roasts from some of MClaSS’ clients’ home countries, along with expert home brewing tips. Green MP Jan Logie, and Wellington Mayor Celia Wade-Brown were amongst those who came to the event to support Wellington’s refugee and migrant community.  Jan Logie, on the Greens’ facebook page, says “On World Refugee Day it’s important to acknowledge the amazing work that goes on behind the scenes in New Zealand” and we couldn’t agree more.

We are delighted that our support has contributed to MCLaSS and Berhampore School’s project being able to go ahead in August, and we look forward to continuing our relationship, and continuing to put our social initiatives fund to good use.

If you’d like to know more about MCLaSS, check out their website.

(Photos courtesy of Jan Logie and the Green Party’s facebook page).

 


July 16th, 2014


Posted In: Activism, Cafes, CBD, Coffee, Collaboration, Ethiopia

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A geek is commonly described as someone who is extremely enthusiastic about specialist subject. So whether that is coding, animation, flappy bird or coffee; we are all of the same ilk. Earlier this month geeks of all facets descended on the St James for NZ’s leading web conference – Webstock.

If you follow us on twitter, you would have seen we provided the 800 conference goers with their daily caffeine. If you weren’t attending…then you probably unfollowed us due to the extreme FOMO you suffered and I don’t blame you. Webstock is a conference like no other – do your conferences have popcorn and Woodenspoon ice cream on tap or a special Garage Project brew for afternoon tea? Webstock is a world class conference focused on celebrating all things internet, with some seriously amazing speakers like Charlie Todd from Improv Everywhere, Hannah Donovan of This is my Jam and Aaron Walter from MailChimp – So internet, much web, wow.

With so much information to take in over those two days, Webstockers consume a serious amount of coffee. With two espresso stations over two days, I worked out we served around 2500 coffees.With an average of 3.5 hours of break time per day, that had our baristas cranking out about 6 coffees a minute!

We’ve been involved with Webstock for a few years now but this year we thought we’d take it up a notch. Inspired by the red velvet, gold decal and elegant surroundings of the St James, we thought we’d add to the show. With this two day meeting of great minds, we paid tribute to the iconic coffeehouses of Paris 1920′s.When Picasso would rub shoulders with Hemingway and Fitzgerald, sharing ideas, musings and gossip; a bit like Twitter of the time (#IRL). With it hidden away and a bit more chilled out it allowed us to showcase a variety of soft brews and an array of single origins, but possibly our finest hour, was channeling The Dude and offering Cold Flat White Russians at the after party.

It was such a pleasure to hang out with so many incredible people, we learnt a lot just hanging out on the sidelines and it was great being able to add to the education and enlightenment in our own special way.

You can follow us back Twitter and Instagram now


February 26th, 2014


Posted In: Brewing, Coffee, Coffee geek out, Collaboration

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There is something pretty awesome going on in Wellington. It’s something you won’t really notice until it’s pointed out to you. But once it has, you’ll see it everywhere. No, it’s not leggings as pants, but the community and collaboration going on with some of Wellington’s amazing foodie producers. It’s basically like a giant house party, with everyone mingling and hooking up and those of us not invited are on the outside looking wistfully through the windows (weirdos).

So in this post I thought I’d point out a few of the great producers that have either collaborated, been involved with or using Peoples Coffee in their products. Warning: This post is going to give you some mega cravings.

Garage Project

These guys are the kings of collaboration. They’ve worked with Escarpment wines, Whittaker’s Chocolate and even the Royal NZ Ballet (I’m assuming they didn’t use old ballet shoes in the brewing process) and Peoples Coffee were there right from the start. They were part of not one, but TWO, of Garage Project’s epic launch of 24 beers in 24 weeks (mental). Peoples Project #1 was a smooth dark roast coffee bockbier, safe enough. However, Peoples Project #2 was probably Garage Project’s most polorising brew to date (not most controversial though) – A strong spicy golden Saison, infused with green unroasted coffee beans for their pungent earthy aroma, people loved it or hated it with a passion. Brewer Pete described this beer as “our finest hour or our greatest failure”.

Milk Crate/August

Baking genius and willy wonka-esk chocolatier Agnes Almeida is a feeder of the best kind. I’ve often sat down at Milk Crate and been “forced’ to try her latest baking creation. Donuts with a chocolate glaze and potato chips on them? What?! Sounds crazy, but tastes crazy good in my mouth. And while Willy Wonka had his everlasting gobstoppers, Agnes has her “Everything Bar” and really…it is exactly that. Everything and anything – Does she want to put pretzels, potato chips, freeze dried blueberries and ground peoples coffee in it? Yup. Is it the most amazing thing you will put in your mouth. Yup. I hear Agnes is leaving soon so get in quick with this incredible chocolate bar (watch out for Slugworth).

Wooden Spoon

Food subscriptions, why are these not more of a thing. I like eating, so having food turn up on my doorstep when I’ve completely forgotten about it is pretty much like Christmas every month. Now, when that monthly package is ice cream, then suddenly it is like those Christmases as a child when you actually couldn’t sleep with the excitement. Wooden Spoon is boutique freezery that delivers ice cream to your door and my absolute favourite flavour is their Peoples Coffee Cà phê đá. They’ve taken Don Wilfredo espresso and added sweetened condensed milk, it’s their take on vietnamese iced coffee. This insanely smooth ice cream has a huge coffee kick and, speaking from experience, it’s best not to eat it just before bed (read: ice cream for breakfast is totally allowed).

Dough Momma

A bit smaller scale to Wooden Spoon, Dough Momma is all about the pie, the sweet American kind. An all American gal herself, Brandie missed a few of those home comforts so started baking for friends, but someone that bakes you pie will make friends far too easily, so she went into business. For $20 for a family serve or $7 for a (American size) single serve, Brandie will deliver pie to your door (or work place) every friday. But maybe Brandie isn’t so “all American” anymore, because you have to try her “Flat White pie”. Flaky pastry filled with Peoples Coffee-infused sweet milk custard.

Six Barrel Soda

Six Barrel Soda have been using Peoples since the start in their cafe, mostly notably for their bottomless filter coffee. My favourite is their Coffee & Kola drink ($6.50), kola nut soda with a shot of Don Wilfredo (that guy gets around) for a super summer’s day coffee hit. But now in some sort of food inception, we are going to take this collaboration one level deeper. The UBER collaboration, if you will. The very limited edition: Ca Phe Da Kola Float ($6.50), kola nut soda with a scoop of Wooden Spoon Ca Phe Da ice cream, then if we want to go further down the rabbit hole, they’ll add a shot of Peoples espresso. Amazing.

So there we have it, Wellington’s food party and we are all invited to. Have I missed any out? Or are there any collaborations you’d like to see?

 


September 3rd, 2013


Posted In: Beer, Coffee, Coffee geek out, Collaboration

One Comment

There is something pretty awesome going on in Wellington. It’s something you won’t really notice until it’s pointed out to you. But once it has, you’ll see it everywhere. No, it’s not leggings as pants, but the community and collaboration going on with some of Wellington’s amazing foodie producers. It’s basically like a giant house party, with everyone mingling and hooking up and those of us not invited are on the outside looking wistfully through the windows (weirdos).

So in this post I thought I’d point out a few of the great producers that have either collaborated, been involved with or using Peoples Coffee in their products. Warning: This post is going to give you some mega cravings.

Garage Project

These guys are the kings of collaboration. They’ve worked with Escarpment wines, Whittaker’s Chocolate and even the Royal NZ Ballet (I’m assuming they didn’t use old ballet shoes in the brewing process) and Peoples Coffee were there right from the start. They were part of not one, but TWO, of Garage Project’s epic launch of 24 beers in 24 weeks (mental). Peoples Project #1 was a smooth dark roast coffee bockbier, safe enough. However, Peoples Project #2 was probably Garage Project’s most polorising brew to date (not most controversial though) – A strong spicy golden Saison, infused with green unroasted coffee beans for their pungent earthy aroma, people loved it or hated it with a passion. Brewer Pete described this beer as “our finest hour or our greatest failure”.

Milk Crate/August

Baking genius and willy wonka-esk chocolatier Agnes Almeida is a feeder of the best kind. I’ve often sat down at Milk Crate and been “forced’ to try her latest baking creation. Donuts with a chocolate glaze and potato chips on them? What?! Sounds crazy, but tastes crazy good in my mouth. And while Willy Wonka had his everlasting gobstoppers, Agnes has her “Everything Bar” and really…it is exactly that. Everything and anything – Does she want to put pretzels, potato chips, freeze dried blueberries and ground peoples coffee in it? Yup. Is it the most amazing thing you will put in your mouth. Yup. I hear Agnes is leaving soon so get in quick with this incredible chocolate bar (watch out for Slugworth).

Wooden Spoon

Food subscriptions, why are these not more of a thing. I like eating, so having food turn up on my doorstep when I’ve completely forgotten about it is pretty much like Christmas every month. Now, when that monthly package is ice cream, then suddenly it is like those Christmases as a child when you actually couldn’t sleep with the excitement. Wooden Spoon is boutique freezery that delivers ice cream to your door and my absolute favourite flavour is their Peoples Coffee Cà phê đá. They’ve taken Don Wilfredo espresso and added sweetened condensed milk, it’s their take on vietnamese iced coffee. This insanely smooth ice cream has a huge coffee kick and, speaking from experience, it’s best not to eat it just before bed (read: ice cream for breakfast is totally allowed).

Dough Momma

A bit smaller scale to Wooden Spoon, Dough Momma is all about the pie, the sweet American kind. An all American gal herself, Brandie missed a few of those home comforts so started baking for friends, but someone that bakes you pie will make friends far too easily, so she went into business. For $20 for a family serve or $7 for a (American size) single serve, Brandie will deliver pie to your door (or work place) every friday. But maybe Brandie isn’t so “all American” anymore, because you have to try her “Flat White pie”. Flaky pastry filled with Peoples Coffee-infused sweet milk custard.

Six Barrel Soda

Six Barrel Soda have been using Peoples since the start in their cafe, mostly notably for their bottomless filter coffee. My favourite is their Coffee & Kola drink ($6.50), kola nut soda with a shot of Don Wilfredo (that guy gets around) for a super summer’s day coffee hit. But now in some sort of food inception, we are going to take this collaboration one level deeper. The UBER collaboration, if you will. The very limited edition: Ca Phe Da Kola Float ($6.50), kola nut soda with a scoop of Wooden Spoon Ca Phe Da ice cream, then if we want to go further down the rabbit hole, they’ll add a shot of Peoples espresso. Amazing.

So there we have it, Wellington’s food party and we are all invited to. Have I missed any out? Or are there any collaborations you’d like to see?

 


September 3rd, 2013


Posted In: Beer, Coffee, Coffee geek out, Collaboration

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There is something pretty awesome going on in Wellington. It’s something you won’t really notice until it’s pointed out to you. But once it has, you’ll see it everywhere. No, it’s not leggings as pants, but the community and collaboration going on with some of Wellington’s amazing foodie producers. It’s basically like a giant house party, with everyone mingling and hooking up and those of us not invited are on the outside looking wistfully through the windows (weirdos).

So in this post I thought I’d point out a few of the great producers that have either collaborated, been involved with or using Peoples Coffee in their products. Warning: This post is going to give you some mega cravings.

Garage Project

These guys are the kings of collaboration. They’ve worked with Escarpment wines, Whittaker’s Chocolate and even the Royal NZ Ballet (I’m assuming they didn’t use old ballet shoes in the brewing process) and Peoples Coffee were there right from the start. They were part of not one, but TWO, of Garage Project’s epic launch of 24 beers in 24 weeks (mental). Peoples Project #1 was a smooth dark roast coffee bockbier, safe enough. However, Peoples Project #2 was probably Garage Project’s most polorising brew to date (not most controversial though) – A strong spicy golden Saison, infused with green unroasted coffee beans for their pungent earthy aroma, people loved it or hated it with a passion. Brewer Pete described this beer as “our finest hour or our greatest failure”.

Milk Crate/August

Baking genius and willy wonka-esk chocolatier Agnes Almeida is a feeder of the best kind. I’ve often sat down at Milk Crate and been “forced’ to try her latest baking creation. Donuts with a chocolate glaze and potato chips on them? What?! Sounds crazy, but tastes crazy good in my mouth. And while Willy Wonka had his everlasting gobstoppers, Agnes has her “Everything Bar” and really…it is exactly that. Everything and anything – Does she want to put pretzels, potato chips, freeze dried blueberries and ground peoples coffee in it? Yup. Is it the most amazing thing you will put in your mouth. Yup. I hear Agnes is leaving soon so get in quick with this incredible chocolate bar (watch out for Slugworth).

Wooden Spoon

Food subscriptions, why are these not more of a thing. I like eating, so having food turn up on my doorstep when I’ve completely forgotten about it is pretty much like Christmas every month. Now, when that monthly package is ice cream, then suddenly it is like those Christmases as a child when you actually couldn’t sleep with the excitement. Wooden Spoon is boutique freezery that delivers ice cream to your door and my absolute favourite flavour is their Peoples Coffee Cà phê đá. They’ve taken Don Wilfredo espresso and added sweetened condensed milk, it’s their take on vietnamese iced coffee. This insanely smooth ice cream has a huge coffee kick and, speaking from experience, it’s best not to eat it just before bed (read: ice cream for breakfast is totally allowed).

Dough Momma

A bit smaller scale to Wooden Spoon, Dough Momma is all about the pie, the sweet American kind. An all American gal herself, Brandie missed a few of those home comforts so started baking for friends, but someone that bakes you pie will make friends far too easily, so she went into business. For $20 for a family serve or $7 for a (American size) single serve, Brandie will deliver pie to your door (or work place) every friday. But maybe Brandie isn’t so “all American” anymore, because you have to try her “Flat White pie”. Flaky pastry filled with Peoples Coffee-infused sweet milk custard.

Six Barrel Soda

Six Barrel Soda have been using Peoples since the start in their cafe, mostly notably for their bottomless filter coffee. My favourite is their Coffee & Kola drink ($6.50), kola nut soda with a shot of Don Wilfredo (that guy gets around) for a super summer’s day coffee hit. But now in some sort of food inception, we are going to take this collaboration one level deeper. The UBER collaboration, if you will. The very limited edition: Ca Phe Da Kola Float ($6.50), kola nut soda with a scoop of Wooden Spoon Ca Phe Da ice cream, then if we want to go further down the rabbit hole, they’ll add a shot of Peoples espresso. Amazing.

So there we have it, Wellington’s food party and we are all invited to. Have I missed any out? Or are there any collaborations you’d like to see?

 


September 3rd, 2013


Posted In: Beer, Coffee, Coffee geek out, Collaboration

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Coffee has a sad history for many countries. Colonialism and slavery were used as a means to set up much of the global coffee production, which has left many farmers today living in remote mountainous villages, with coffee as the only possible source of income. Even though 70% of the world’s production of coffee comes from small lot farmers such as these, standard international business practice in coffee leaves these producers at the bottom of the hierarchy.

Peoples Coffee exists to offer an alternative to the normal basis of international trade in coffee; our goal is to use our trade as a mechanism for change in the coffee industry, as opposed to building profit for our shareholders.

At Peoples Coffee, we have a triple bottom line attitude towards trade: people, planet, profit. We measure our organizational success on much more than economic criteria: we direct our trade to those we can have a positive financial, social and ecological impact with.

WHO WE TRADE WITH:

Peoples Coffee trades exclusively with small lot coffee farmers who have joined together to form co-operatives.  Key to our vision is how much the farmers are paid in the hand, not just how much we paid someone for the beans – there is a big difference.

We are coffee lovers, and quality is very important to us in our buying decisions. We choose co-ops whose coffee has a quality and flavour profile we like, and will fit into our coffee programme. But we also choose co-ops that are organized in such a way that our trade will have a tangible positive impact on the sustainability of production, and on the lives and communities of the farmers who produce it.  We do this by paying more, and taking less profit.

Peoples Coffee purchases green beans from Trade Aid Importers (TAI), New Zealand’s largest green bean broker, who buy directly from the co-operatives. We forecast our coffee sales 16 months ahead, specific to each origin, and Trade Aid factor us in when they are setting contracts with the co-ops.  We then purchase green beans on a weekly basis from TAI, who pay the relevant profits back to each co-operative annually.

Together with Trade Aid Importers, we travel to origin each year to visit our co-operatives at harvest time. We believe regularly visiting our producers plays an important role in understanding the realities of farming specialty coffee, and is key to being able to best represent the true value of coffee. Through our visits we are able to see and hear current factors in production, and understand how and why the prices farmers receive in the hand is so important.

Peoples Coffee shares a vision for coffee farmers with Trade Aid Importers, and is thrilled to be supporting co-ops with them, knowing we have a clean and transparent money chain. Buying from a co-op means we have great traceability; we know who grew our coffee, where, how, and exactly how much they got paid.

WHERE WE TRADE:

Our coffee comes from small lot coffee farmers in Africa, and in Central & South America, where the latitude and longitude meet to form ideal growing temperatures and conditions.

Our small lot farmers manage parcels of land typically around 1–5 hectares in size, and farm at altitudes above 1000m, where growing conditions are great for high quality Arabica production, but mechanized farming is less common.

They generally live in villages in the mountains, and plant coffee in amongst the natural forest plants, shaded under a tree canopy. These are perfect growing conditions for producing the tastiest coffee, and have much less impact on the environment than mono-culture planting.  Coffee production can be good for biodiversity, and in many countries is allowed to be grown in state forests, as it encourages birds and insect life.

This is in stark contrast with industrial scale coffee that is grown in larger estates and plantations. These plantations are generally monoculture, meaning the landscape has been cleared to make room for lines of coffee to be planted and to allow machines to drive through to harvest cherries.

HOW WE TRADE:

Globally, coffee contracts (how much is paid for coffee) are almost always set using a differential from the New York Coffee Futures (the stock market), where coffee is traded as a commodity.  However, the prices we pay to farmers are set through discussions with the co-op to find a price that is reflective of the year they have had, the quality, and where the current NZ pricing market is at. These prices are set to be favorable to producers, but still competitive with other coffee in New Zealand.

Coffee is almost exclusively exported from producing countries in shipping containers that carry 250–275 sacks of coffee.  A container of coffee might costs over NZD $100,000 and takes 6 weeks to reach New Zealand via global shipping routes.

In order for any coffee to get to New Zealand, a farmer must sell, and a broker must buy, a whole container of coffee. So small lot farmers, who might only produce 50 sacks a year, are unable to directly access the international export market without a middle man.  However, this issue is resolved when producers of similar region and affiliation join together to form a co-op.  By pooling their resources, they can access the market with an export license, and through mutual profits, can buy and collectively own coffee infrastructure.  As a coffee community, they can share a vision and have the means to develop it.

Through our business objectives we want to support and help progress the small lot farmer’s family business.  We want to share and invest in goals with producers, and build relationships that are more than just a division of profit margins.  We want to change the value of a commodity, by recognising the quality and value of the raw product – not just by adding value to it through roasting.

This is the crux of Peoples Coffee.


May 15th, 2013


Posted In: Coffee, Collaboration, Cooperatives, Fair trade, Sustainability, Trips

Tags: , , ,

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When it came to ice cream, I never really stood a chance.
Ice cream was the bribe that kept us quiet on long car trips; the reward for finishing all our vegetables at dinner; the proverbial cherry on top of a day at the beach.  My love of ice cream goes beyond words (and quite often, beyond limits).  And I’m not alone: New Zealanders consume more ice cream (per capita) than any other country in the world – a whopping 23 litres, each, every year!

So I was delighted to arrive at the Peoples Coffee roastery, one chilly Wellington morning, to find the staff hovering around a tub of boutique Peoples Coffee Ca Phe Da (Vietnamese iced coffee) ice cream.  Did I look at the clock and wonder if 9am was too early for ice cream?  Certainly.  Did I sit down and indulge anyway?
Yes.  Yes I did.

The next thing I did was to invite the makers of this incredible ice cream out for a coffee (for research purposes, naturally.  The fact that they turned up with another tub of ice cream was merely a happy and unexpected bonus).

Midori and Sharon are the masterminds behind Wooden Spoon, Wellington’s first boutique freezery.  They both hail from the States, where they tell me craft ice cream already has a firm hold on the market.   The two food enthusiasts quickly saw a niche in the New Zealand market for a boutique ice cream that innovates around fresh, local ingredients.  They each started making ice cream at home and testing it out on their families and friends.  A few highly successful dinner parties later, the two friends joined forces to start their own business.

“We offer flavours you won’t find at the local dairy,” says Sharon.  Their signature flavours (available all year round) are Chocolate + Sea Salt, ANZAC biscuit, Peoples Coffee Ca Phe Da (my personal favourite) and, as of May, Breakfast of Champions (a malted milk ice cream with cornflake crunch).  They also whip up a new seasonally-inspired flavour each quarter (currently it’s Chai Chip, made with real t leaf T), and a flavour of the month, just to keep it fresh (right now it’s Orange Creamsicle).

Their commitment to fresh and local ingredients quickly saw them teaming up with like-minded businesses across Wellington.

“We chose Peoples Coffee for our Ca Phe Da flavour because we’re ethically aligned, and because we appeal to the same craft enthusiasts,” says Midori.  They’ve also collaborated with Garage Project to make special beer-infused ice creams on several occasions.

By this stage of our conversation I am literally drooling, so I ask them where I can get my hands on more of their ice cream myself.  They explain that Wooden Spoon works on a membership basis, where members sign up to a three month commitment, and get ice cream delivered fresh to their door each month.

“We’re working off the old school milk-delivery concept, where you enjoy it while it’s fresh” says Sharon.  She loves this part of the job, and tells me that some people have the lids off their tubs before she’s even made it back to her car!  (I feel an affinity with these fine people).

In the year since they launched their business, the ice cream has become so popular that there’s currently a waiting list for membership.   But the good news is that this high demand has encouraged them to expand, and they’re hoping to stock individual serves of their ice cream in a few cafes around Wellington before too long (watch this space!).

You can find out more on their website or follow them on facebook.

 


May 1st, 2013


Posted In: Coffee, Collaboration

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We’re lucky to live in a time when businesses are rising to the challenge of producing goods that are just that: good.   But this increased consumer demand for ethical choices has paradoxically prompted a wave of ‘greenwashed’ businesses, who market themselves as ‘green’ or ‘eco’ ( without actually living up to those claims) in order to compete for their slice of the ethical pie.  So how do consumers know who to trust?  How can we sort the ethical wheat from the greenwashed chaff?

Conscious Consumers was launched in 2010 to do just that: assess and accredit businesses in the hospitality industry according to their ethical business practices.  Specifically, Conscious Consumers award businesses with badges that indicate where ‘smart waste’ (ie recycling, composting, eco-packaging), ‘ethical products’ (ie fair trade, free range, organic), and ‘community’ (ie. food rescue and locally sourced products) practices are in place.  In short, they do the background research for consumers, so that we can be confident that the places we’re choosing to support are the real deal.

“We aim to make it easy and fun for consumers to find and support the great New Zealand businesses that are committed to environmentally and socially responsible business practices,” says Melissa Keys, Wellington’s Regional Coordinator.

The scheme takes a ‘vote with your feet’ approach, rewarding businesses for good practice by endorsing them to the thousands of conscious consumers nationwide.  More than 3000 people and 150 businesses have already signed up to the movement, and there are more joining each week.

And they’ve just made it even easier to find great businesses on the run.  The brand new Conscious Consumer App is now available for free download.  Consumers can find all the accredited cafes and restaurants nearby with only the click of a button, as well as local specials exclusively for conscious consumers.

Peoples Coffee has been an accredited business since the movement began in 2010.  And now Peoples is proud to take their involvement one step further, as a Conscious Consumer Ambassador.

“We invited Peoples Coffee to be a Conscious Consumer ambassador because we recognise them as a New Zealand leader in ethical business,” says Melissa.

“The Conscious Consumers movement empowers consumers to make informed choices, and businesses to employ better social and environmental practices” says Peoples Coffee General Manager Liv Doogue.  “As a 100% fair trade company, it made good sense for us to join.”

“We want to promote the values of fair trade and encourage other businesses to do the same. Consumers have the power to drive this change.”

For more info or to become a Conscious Consumer (it’s free, and takes only a moment!) see their website: www.consciousconsumers.org.nz


April 3rd, 2013


Posted In: Cafes, Collaboration, Fair trade, Sustainability

Tags:

2 Comments

There has never been a more appropriate book to put on your coffee table, than the new Peoples Coffee Barista Handbook.

Last week, hundreds of friends and fans of Peoples Coffee joined us at Unity Books to celebrate the launch of a book that unites practical espresso methodology with the stories of the coffee farmers themselves.

It’s a must-read for the cafe barista and home espresso lover alike – and both turned out in force for the event.

The boys from Garage Project were there to water the crowd with their very special coffee ‘bock’ beer.

It went down a treat.

2012 Barista champ Aymon McQuade kicked off the formalities.

Matt Lamason showed us a previous incarnation of the handbook.  It was initially titled ‘Dave’ as a tribute to the five years of love and work that Dave Lamason poured into it.  And although the title was subsequently scrapped, Dave’s personality still practically jumps off the page.

(Give him a microphone, and the same thing happens…)

Peoples Coffee would like to say a huge thanks to Unity Books, Garage Project, and all the supporters who joined us for the event!

For those who missed it, fear not!

You can get your copy of the Peoples Coffee Barista Handbook from Unity Books, Vic Books (Victoria University), Lamason Brew Bar, Peoples Constable St, or right here on this website.

And if you go into Lamason and ask nicely, Dave might even sign it for you…

 


July 25th, 2012


Posted In: Beer, Branding, Coffee, Collaboration, Publications

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Having heard rave reviews of August, the newest arrival to the Wellington coffee scene, I have been counting the sleeps to go and find out for myself.  But when the day finally comes, DISASTER STRIKES.

I wake up with a cold, and the complete inability to taste, smell, or even form coherent sentences with my croaking husk of a voice.  So I commandeer Liv from the Peoples Roastery to be my mouth, nose, and trusty sidekick for the afternoon, and together we head to 13 Garrett St to see what everyone’s talking about.

We find out pretty quickly.  August is the latest incarnation from our friends at Milk Crate, so you can rely upon the same top quality Peoples espresso and freshly baked baguettes and croissants.  But August is also making a splash in the city for its dual function as a creative and interactive space for local talent.

“We want to go beyond giving people a cup of coffee,” owner Ben Lenart tells us.  “We want to exhibit and celebrate the creative people we have around us…to give customers a unique experience.”

There are no tables or chairs in the café (which serves takeaway espresso only) and the counter is on wheels, which means that the space can be constantly adapted to accommodate the latest installation or exhibition piece.  The shop has a minimalist industrial feel; concrete floors, exposed copper pipes and the building’s original chainy-hoist thing (my words, obviously) still hanging from the ceiling.

“Last week we had a tyre swing hanging from that,” says Tom Mackie, manager and barista of August.  An artist himself, his own work is among the collection of pieces currently adorning the white walls.

While he makes us our flat whites (which Liv tells me are first-rate, though I’ll have to take her word for that), Tom tells us about some of the exhibits they’ve had since they opened their doors six weeks ago.  These include a Shannon Rush exhibition, and a group show featuring artists from as far afield as Melbourne and Sydney.

Their next project involves a 44-gallon drum of honey.  (This is very timely news for someone with a cold).  It’s in collaboration with local mead producers, Love Honey, who are going to use the space to display their honey extraction.
“They’re going to wrap the drum in a heat pack up here,” says Tom, pointing to the concrete platform behind the counter.  “Then the honey will melt down into smaller demijohns over about 3 or 4 days.  It’s going to be an amazing process to watch.”

The honey will be on display from this Friday until Monday (May 4-7), with the odd honey and mead tasting thrown in for good measure.   Don’t miss it!  I have a feeling it’s going to create quite a buzz.

(sorry.)

August is open at 13 Garrett St (next to Global Fabrics) 8am-4pm, Mon-Fri, and 10am-3pm, Sat-Sun.  Join them on facebook for updates about their latest comps and exhibits!


May 1st, 2012


Posted In: Cafes, Coffee, Collaboration

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In 2008 I spent a year roasting coffee in sunny Brisbane with my good friends, Marty Richards and Vonny Andrews, at Blackstar Coffee Roasters.

Queensland (unlike Wellington) is hot most of the year.  So Vonny started experimenting with making a cold coffee in beer bottles with crown caps, and calling it ‘cold press coffee’.  It was a coffee epiphany for me.  Simply milk, coffee, and a touch of sweet; but a serious coffee beverage.

The punters at the West End markets and Blackstar’s Roastery lapped this new beverage up.  No other 0.04ml coffee essence milk drink, corn syruped and sugared to hell, could come close.

And now, four years later and sitting on the shoulders of the Blackstar giants, we are most happy to finally launch the Peoples Coffee ‘Cold Flat White’.

The reason it has taken us four years to have a crack ourselves, is out of respect.  Many folk (including their own coffee accounts!) started imitating Vonny’s heavenly elixir, but no one ever gave credit to her recipes (which she was all too forthcoming in sharing).

It is simply this: fresh ground coffee, steeped in cold water for 12 hours, painstakingly filtered through Chemex filters, and then mixed with organic full cream milk and a dash of real Canadian maple syrup.

Like all our coffees, the brew is from our small farmer-owned cooperatives, making this one awfully good way to support organic small scale coffee producers during a lukewarm Wellington summer.

Cold Flat Whites are available now at Peoples Coffee Constable St, and Brewtown, and coming soon to Vic Books and Lamason.
And look out for the new Cold Long Black, on its way!


February 9th, 2012


Posted In: Brewing, Coffee, Collaboration

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I have never been one to care much for Twitter and its cloud cousins. That was until by making one small comment to Wellington’s newest craft brewers I managed to connect with the two gifted gentlemen behind the Garage Project.

Pete and Jos were interested in small coffee roasting company with a similar story to theirs, and I had the good pleasure of hosting them and a few of their first brews at our roastery one fortunate Friday afternoon. After sampling beer A and B I was suitably willing to work with whatever crazy ideas they wished to put forward. The first 750mls of a sparkling lager saw us happily sharing brand stories and business plans; half way through the light porter we had hatched a cunning plan to brew a beer with green coffee!

For someone who works around coffee 24/7 it is always a welcome aside to find passionate food folk outside coffee, and craft brewers seem to be right up there for me (is beer a food?). It never ceases to amaze me how much brewers know about their trade – and Pete, who has 11+ years in craft brewing, is a shining example of making simple the profundities of brewing chemistry. We hope to collaborate much more in the future, even if keeping the beer and coffee separate turns out to be a better plan!

Watch out for their 24/24 releases at Hashigo Zake – 24 beers brewed in 24 weeks!


August 18th, 2011


Posted In: Beer, Coffee, Collaboration

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