Blues, jazz and rock ‘n’ roll spill out from this corner coffee shop along Dixon Street. Whether it’s Etta James or Johnny Cash, the music feels right. You half expect the Mississippi River to flow by but this is Wellington, not Tennessee.
Memphis Belle may not actually be in Memphis, but it’s definitely the belle of the Te Aro neighbourhood, serving awesome blends and single origin beans from local roaster Flight Coffee. Cheerful and award-winning baristas will suggest the best brewing method for each coffee – be it espresso, Chemex, V60, siphon, Swiss Gold, or cold drip.
Current owner John Matias first started as a dishwasher with Memphis Belle four years ago before taking over from former employer Elias “Bink” Bowler (who now pulls shots at his new café Black and White Coffee Cartel in Christchurch).
The café subscribes to a charming and eclectic cool décor (and somehow pulls it off without feeling pretentious or hipster-ish): well-worn and mismatched furniture, retro music, vintage-cool posters and postcards on scarlet-hued walls, and even an enormous globe tottering precariously on a high shelf.
The verdict is in. Memphis Belle is the epitome of Kiwi coffee cool, and deserves every accolade it’s received. Sweet.
38 Dixon Street, Te Aro, Wellington, New Zealand
Mon-Tue 7am-5pm / Wed-Fri 7am-7pm / Sat 8am-7pm / Sun 8am-5pm