Country Calendar: Meet New Zealand’s Sole Commercial Coffee Growers


While many Kiwis love to drink coffee, it hasn’t been grown on a business-venture scale in New Zealand – until now.

Ikarus Coffee, owned and run by Rob and Carol Schluter in Northland’s Pekerau Hills, is New Zealand’s first commercial coffee farm. So what motivated them to grow something associated with much warmer climes?

“That’s a really difficult question to answer because it’s not just one particular thing,” laughs Rob Schluter.

While it was a combination of factors that kick-started Ikarus Coffee, it was the couple’s deep and long-lived appreciation for the beloved beverage that inspired them to give growing a go.

They started out vending coffee at markets before moving into roasting the beans. It was then that the coffee they had planted several years beforehand sparked their imaginations.

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