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You’ll find Caffe L’affare in College St (off Tory St). Here, they stop at nothing to make
great coffee, and their customers seem to appreciate it. And as we all know, Wellingtonians take
their coffee pretty seriously.
In 1990 Enzo L’affare arrived on our shores with a mission: to establish the northern Italian
espresso tradition in New Zealand. He brought with him his family’s in-depth knowledge and years
of espresso tradition. Tucked away in his luggage was an Italian espresso machine with which he
could extract the soul of the beans into a cup.
He found the premises in College St, Wellington, and the first thing he did was to import a
Petroncini coffee roaster. In those early days, people didn’t know much about espresso, so Enzo
gathered around him a team and inspired them with his knowledge and passion. He explained the many
factors which contribute to producing great espresso, but Enzo’s over-riding principle evolved
into the Caffe L’affare motto: "It’s in the cup that counts."
He learned to live with the fact that most New Zealanders take their coffee with milk, but he
taught his baristas that the key to every coffee was a perfectly extracted espresso. Wellington took
Enzo’s caffe to heart. They loved the roar of the roaster at the back, the buzz of conversation,
the interesting music, the delicious food, and of course the coffee. Enzo was delighted when they
voted the coffee at Caffe L’affare the best espresso in Wellington.
In order to recreate the experience of an Italian caffe, Enzo began importing panini grills. His
panini, filled with delicious combinations, became a hit in the caffe. Always one to share a good
idea, Enzo showed them to other caffes and the panini wave began to swell.
So as you will see when you visit, this is no small coffee bar, The caffe boasts 120 seats, so
you’ll usually be able to get a seat. At busy times each day, the place hums with conversation,
music, kitchen noise and the sounds of coffee-making. And the aroma…oh the aroma!
Armed with a fine espresso, you’ll be swept up in the atmosphere and your spirits will lift.
You’ll realise once again the unique appeal of the coffeehouse, which has not diminished since its
introduction centuries ago.
Most mornings you’ll find the founder of Caffe L'affare, Jeff Kennedy, holding court on table
21. He’ll also be chatting to customers, asking them how they liked the fare, taking soundings,
giving advice and encouragement, and, once in a while, giving a blast on the steam whistle just to
remind everyone that it's also about having fun.
The Caffe offers an all day breakfast menu and such staples as raisin toast, porridge & mixed
berries, toasted bagels, eggs all ways, and fresh fruit salad with yoghurt.
For lunch you could try their famous seafood chowder, a daily soup, a selection of tasty turkish
toasties, delicious salads and daily blackboard specials.
So, whether it’s a quick coffee break, a lingering lunch or a business get- together, Caffe
L’affare is the place to be.
The book How to Make Really Good Coffee was first published in 2005 and due to its
outstanding popularity has been reprinted twice. How to Make Really Good Coffee gives an
outline on how and where coffee is grown and processed and then reveals how to get the best cup your
chosen equipment can provide — whether you use a plunger, filter, stovetop or full-blown espresso
machine. It features recipes for each type of espresso — from short black to flat white — and
offers tips on everything from how to grind, infuse,prepare and pour milk, clean your equipment and
store your coffee.
Here are a couple cafes that have their coffee supplied with Caffe L'affare's delicious fresh
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