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The alchemy behind the perfect coffee

Bink Bowler is changing how Christchurch drinks coffee. A committed micro-roaster, Bowler has remained true to his hands-on, artisanal approach by roasting his own special blend of beans in small batches every week. 

"Globally, coffee is going healthier and smaller. Forget the large mug of sugary coffee we used to drink, the focus is now on quality of brew and micro lots," Bowler said. 

"The only thing we don't do within our four walls is grow the coffee." 

Small batch roasting, as any coffee aficionado will tell you, is an effective way for coffee shops to control the quality of blend and richness of taste, thereby ensuring the best flavour from bean to cup. 

"To our knowledge we’re the only coffee franchise in New Zealand to do this," Bowler said.

Instead of using a blend that consists of up to five or six different bean types as most coffee shops do, self-roasting in smaller batches gives Black & White Coffee House the freedom to select the varietals of beans used in each cup. They’ve developed their own Boss Blend, which draws its bold, deep flavour from only two beans for a clearer, more distinctive taste.

Opening a coffee house at The Crossing has afforded Bowler the opportunity to create a unique experience in the CBD. Across from the Christchurch Bus Interchange and along the length of the shopping precinct, Black & White Coffee House offers a distinctively urban taste of coffee culture in the city while nodding to the character-filled coffee houses of yesteryear. 

“We’ve made it our responsibility to play our part in reviving Christchurch’s coffee culture. We love that businesses are encouraged to have their own personality at The Crossing – we immediately knew we wanted to be part of this prized development,” explains Bowler. 

Combining his love for coffee with one of his other interests – décor – Bowler has sourced the décor and repurposed secondhand finds to create a unique look in the space. 

“We don’t employ interior designers – we believe in doing it all ourselves. A café can’t get too far away from coffee and character.” 

What are Bowler’s top tips to coffee makers at home? “Don’t buy an espresso machine,” he emphatically advises. Rather, invest in quality grinder and coffee plunger. 

“Spend the time to grind your beans fresh every morning, it’s the best way to drink good coffee at home.”