The source was a tiny shop in New Brighton’s Carnaby Lane. Self-confessed coffee nut Hamish Evans had bought himself a roaster and he was in at the deep end, learning as he went. He hung out his shingle – Switch Espresso.
Cut to 2023. That tiny shop has taken over the neighbours and is a thriving community hub for the people of New Brighton. It’s still called Switch but has a new owner, allowing Hamish and the team to put more energy into the roastery, which quickly outgrew Carnaby Lane and eventually shifted to larger premises in Middleton.
Hamish’s dream was to roast top-quality, ethical coffee right here in Christchurch. Independent and local was the kaupapa. And that is still the case – 100% New Zealand owned and operated.
What difference does that make? It means Switch is not ruled by the big fellas in the coffee world. They are free to do their own thing, which is to follow their passion for sustainable and ethical coffee and packaging, and to source great-tasting beans directly from some of the world’s coolest growers for unique and flavourful coffee blends.
Switch Espresso has state-of-the-art technology like a Joper coffee roaster. This high-tech masterpiece came all the way from Portugal and cost as much as Hamish’s first house. In one of several industry-leading sustainability initiatives, they hand-deliver coffee beans in Christchurch in reusable buckets to prevent plastic bags going in the bin.
As the ranks of independent roasters thin, there’s a growing awareness among coffee connoisseurs just what a difference that makes. Switch is part of a tight-knit local network in Christchurch and around the South Island, supporting local businesses, cafés and coffee stores to provide excellent and sustainable coffee.
It helps still having some skin in the game. As well as its many loyal partner cafés, Switch still runs three of its own: the award-winning Black Betty on Madras Street, coffee chemistry lab Bunsen at The Arts Centre, and Industrie at the Birmingham Drive roastery.
Switch is your local supplier of high-quality coffee beans, ground coffee, brewing equipment and loose-leaf tea. You can order from the website, or swing by the roastery for roasted beans direct from the source. While you’re there, pop into Industrie Espresso Bar to taste the award-winning The Rev blend – as local as it gets.