Best-Rated Coffee Beans

Compare whole coffee bean brands in New Zealand at Canstar Blue. Hummingbird, Jed’s Coffee Co, L’affare, Havana and Robert Harris were compared on Overall Satisfaction, Aroma, Packaging, Taste, Texture/Consistency, Variety/Range and Value for Money.

See our Ratings Methodology.

Most Satisfied Customers | Hummingbird

Hummingbird coffee beans are the buzz with Kiwi coffee drinkers, earning top 5-Star ratings across six out of seven categories and taking home Canstar Blue’s 2024 Award for Most Satisfied Customers | Coffee Beans.

How we rate coffee beans

Our review compares coffee beans on customer satisfaction, so you can discover what other Kiwis think about our compared coffee bean brands before you go ahead and make a purchase. Think of it like asking hundreds of your closest friends and family which coffee beans they think are best for their morning brew!

Canstar Blue surveyed 443 Kiwis who had bought coffee beans to brew at home in the past three months and asked for their feedback on the coffee beans they bought.

  • The outcomes reported in these ratings are measured via accredited research panels managed by Qualtrics.

Respondents rate their satisfaction with their coffee bean brands from zero to ten, where zero is extremely dissatisfied and ten is extremely satisfied. Brand satisfaction was rated by respondents on the following criteria:

  • Overall Satisfaction: measures consumer satisfaction with a coffee bean brand as an individual score NOT a combined total of all criteria.
  • Aroma: the aroma of the product was pleasant and tempting.
  • Packaging: the product packaging was aesthetically pleasing and provided sufficient information and instructions.
  • Taste: true to the flavour description (i.e. smooth, bold, etc.) and tasted delicious.
  • Texture/Consistency: the texture of the product was as expected.
  • Variety/Range: there was a wide range of choices within the product line.
  • Value for Money: good quantity and quality of product for the cost.

The winning brand is the one that receives the highest Overall Satisfaction rating once all the scores from the Overall Satisfaction criteria are combined and averaged.

  • Overall Satisfaction is asked as a specific question and represents an individual measure, not a combined total of all criteria.
  • When we cannot determine a clear winner from the criteria for the Overall Satisfaction rating, we will then look at the other criteria measured in the rating.
    • The brand with the highest number of five-star ratings within the supporting criteria will become the five-star recipient in overall satisfaction, and thus win the award. If a clear leader still cannot be determined from the supporting criteria, joint winners will be declared.

Brands must have received at least 30 responses to be included, so not all brands available in the market have been compared in this survey. The brands rated in this survey are listed below in order of best overall satisfaction.

  • Hummingbird
  • Jed’s Coffee Co
  • L’affare
  • Havana
  • Robert Harris

Find more information on our Most Satisfied Customer methodology.


Ratings Results

Congratulations to Hummingbird, the clear winner of Canstar Blue’s Coffee Beans Award 2023. Of the five coffee bean roasters in this year’s award, Hummingbird is the only brand to achieve a top 5-Star rating for Overall Satisfaction from its customers. It’s a superb result that Hummingbird replicates across a further five ratings category. Hummingbird’s lowest rating, still a great 4-Star approval rating, is awarded for its packaging.

Editor’s Notes

Hummingbird Coffee Roasters is an NZ brand, founded in Christchurch, that has been roasting beans for nearly three decades. It was also one of the first Kiwi coffee companies to import ethically grown coffee beans, and the company continues to support local worker initiatives. For every $100 of green coffee beans the company buys, it donates $1 to local communities around where the beans are farmed.

Hummingbird Coffee Roasters sells a wide range of whole beans (and ground coffees), all of which are fair trade and organic. The range includes single origin beans from Colombia, Ethiopia, Honduras and Papua New Guinea, as well as multiple bean blends.

For more information about Hummingbird’s award-winning range of coffee beans, click here.

Jed’s Coffee Co

Ratings Results

Placing second in this year’s award ratings, Jed’s Coffee Co earns an exception set of results. Kiwi coffee lovers award Jed’s a clean sweep of excellent 4-Star ratings across every one of our categories, from Taste and Aroma to Value for Money and Overall Satisfaction.

Editor’s Notes

Jed’s Coffee Co is a homegrown brand that has expanded its range considerably over the past few years. As well as whole beans, Jed’s offers different grinds, to suit both espresso machines and plungers, as well as coffee bags, freeze-dried instant coffee and coffee capsules, for use in Nespresso coffee machines.

Jed’s whole beans come in four strength levels: ranging from 3 (Strong), for a full, rich roast, to X (Extreme) for coffee that really packs a punch!


Ratings Results

Third on our awards table, L’affare earns a strong set of ratings from its very contented coffee drinkers, including a 4-Star rating for Overall Satisfaction. The coffee bean brand earns its strongest rating, 5 Stars, for Packaging, and its lowest, a 3-Star rating, for Variety/Range. For despite retailing a wide range of single-origin beans and blends from its cafes and website, the selection of L’affare beans available in supermarkets is more limited.

Editor’s Notes

Established in Wellington in 1990, L’affare is another home-grown coffee success story. The brand operates its own cafes in Wellington and Auckland, and supplies coffee and coffee equipment to the wider hospitality industry.

L’affare’s range of coffees includes capsules and a wide selection of locally roasted whole and ground coffee, including Fairtrade and organic beans.


Ratings Results

The last of our coffee bean roasters to earn a 4-Star rating for Overall Satisfaction on our awards table, Havana earns its highest rating for its eye-catching packaging. And while it scores 3-Stars for Taste, this is by no means a rating that indicates disproval. Instead, 3 Stars indicates that Havana’s customers are happy with the taste delivered by Havana’s beans and blends.

Editor’s Notes

Havana coffee was founded back in 1990. When it started, it was one of four companies roasting coffee in New Zealand. Now part of giant drinks company Lion NZ, Havana retains its individual identity and continues to roast and grind great coffee.

Its range now encompasses a wide choice of coffees featuring different single-origin beans, blends and roasts, both in whole bean and ground coffee.

Robert Harris

Ratings Results

Robert Harris earns almost a clean sweep for 3-Star ratings across all measures of consumer satisfaction. This marks a level of consistency that indicated that Robert Harris customers are regularly satisfied with their choice of coffee beans.

Editor’s Notes

Robert Harris is one of the oldest coffee brands in New Zealand. It was founded over 70 years ago and has grown to include over 30 cafe franchises across the country.

The range of Robert Harris coffees available in supermarkets includes single-origin beans, instant coffee, fresh ground coffee, infused ground coffee and coffee pods.

Other coffee bean brands

Not all brands in the market qualify for our ratings (based on minimum survey sample size), but that doesn’t mean they’re not worth considering. Here are more brands to check out before making a purchase decision.

  • Avalanche
  • Karajoz
  • Shaky Isles


Editor’s Notes

Avalanche is a Kiwi owned and operated coffee brand that was founded just over 20 years ago. It sells a range of fresh coffee beans and grinds, in addition to coffee capsules, for use in Nespresso machines, and instant coffee. Like the big international brands, it also sells its own range of flavoured milky coffee powders.


Editor’s Notes

Karajoz has been roasting beans for almost 30 years, and is led by Derek Townsend, who is a coffee and cafe legend in Auckland. Karajoz products are available in supermarkets nationwide and encompass a range of blends, in whole bean and ground.

Shaky Isles

Editor’s Notes

Shaky Isles is a smaller coffee brand that was established in Auckland around 15 years ago. It currently sells a range of five whole bean blends, including decaffeinated, with more in the pipeline.

Choosing the Right Coffee for You

Coffee tastes are very personal. Some like their coffee milky and sweet, others short, black and bitter. But whether you’re a latte or an instant lover, one thing is paramount, the flavour of the coffee.

Just over a third of respondents in our survey (36%) are faithful to one brand, which corresponds to the biggest factor influencing their choice of outstanding coffee: taste, cited by 33% of our coffee consumers.

Oddly, aroma sits close to the bottom of the list of influencing factors, along with Packaging. Although that’s probably to do with the fact that all coffee smells great!

Here’s the full rundown of what the consumers in our survey say are the main things they consider when rating their coffee picks:

  • Taste: 33%
  • Value for Money: 22%
  • Texture/Consistency: 16%
  • Aroma: 13%
  • Packaging: 9%
  • Variety/Range: 8%

Different Types of Coffee Explained

Black Coffees


Espresso is simply a shot of coffee, with no extra water added. To make an espresso, shoot boiling water under high pressure through finely-ground coffee beans and then pour into a tiny cup. The strong coffees are the purest coffee experience you can get, and while not for everyone, they can be a truly singular experience when you find a good brew.

Caffè Americano

This is simply a shot of espresso coffee with extra added hot water. The coffee style is said to originate from US soldiers in Italy during WWII.

Long Black

A long black is made by pouring a double shot of espresso over hot water. This method retains the coffee’s crema (distinctive creamy head), which is lost if you add hot water to an espresso.


Lungo is Italian for long, and a Lungo is a shot of espresso that’s been pulled for longer – had more water pushed through the coffee grounds over a longer time period. It results in a more dilute, milder tasting coffee, yet with more caffeine and a slightly more bitter taste.

Milky coffees

Flat White

Possibly the most popular coffee in New Zealand. A flat white is made by pouring velvety steamed milk over a shot of espresso, with minimal froth.

Café Latte (Café au lait)

Popular worldwide, though less so here thanks to our preference for flat whites, lattes consist of steamed milk and a small layer of milk froth. It’s like a flat white, only with a little more volume on top.


The frothiest and foamiest of the milky coffee triumvirate, the cappuccino is possibly the most popular type of coffee in the world. A cappuccino consists of three layers: equal parts espresso, steamed milk and foam.

Here in NZ, we tend to use a double-shot of espresso as the basis of all our coffee beverages. So our cappuccinos tend to have a little more kick than cappuccinos elsewhere.

Macchiato (Piccolo Latte)

A macchiato is a shot of espresso that is topped off with foamed milk dashed directly into the cup. Although it’s similar to a cappuccino, it’s usually stronger, as there’s no hot milk added. And it’s also smaller, usually served in an espresso-sized cup.


A mocha is just a latte with added chocolate powder or syrup, sometimes topped with whipped cream. If anything, this is a good entry-level coffee – existing in the world between children’s hot chocolates and adult café lattes.

About the author of this page

This report was written by Canstar’s Editor, Bruce Pitchers. Bruce has three decades’ experience as a journalist and has worked for major media companies in the UK and Australasia, including ACP, Bauer Media Group, Fairfax, Pacific Magazines, News Corp and TVNZ. Prior to Canstar, he worked as a freelancer, including for The Australian Financial Review, the NZ Financial Markets Authority, and for real estate companies on both sides of the Tasman.

More Information

Key statistics:

Use an espresso machine: 39%

Stick to one coffee brand: 36%

Buy the coffee that’s on special: 33%

Use a plunger: 31%

Have stopped buying takeout coffees to save money: 29%

Use non-dairy milks: 17%

Buy fair trade coffee: 15%

Use a stovetop espresso pot: 12%

Buy organic coffee: 10%

Buy the cheapest coffee brand due to high grocery costs: 13%

Canstar Blue surveyed 5108 New Zealand consumers across a range of categories to measure and track customer satisfaction, via ISO 26362 accredited research panels managed by Qualtrics. The outcomes reported are the results from customers who who had bought coffee beans to brew at home in the past three months. In this case, 443 New Zealanders. Brands must have received at least 30 responses to be included. Results are comparative and it should be noted that brands receiving three stars have still achieved a satisfaction measure of at least six out of 10. Not all brands available in the market have been compared in this survey. The ratings table is first sorted by star ratings and then by mean overall satisfaction. A rated brand may receive a ‘N/A’ (Not Applicable) rating if it does not receive the minimum number of responses for that criterion.

The past winners from Canstar Blue’s Coffee ratings:

  • 2023: Havana

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