New Zealand was a simple place back in 1952. Ed Hillary was still eyeing up Everest, dinner consisted of meat and three veg, and the national tipple was tea, enjoyed with a lamington at the local tearooms.
So it was a man well ahead of his time who chose to import, blend and grind European coffee beans for a traditional farming community in Hamilton.
Because Robert Harris, or “Bob” to his friends, was never one to follow the herd. A community-minded entrepreneur, he was one of the founding fathers of fresh coffee in New Zealand. In the back room of his small delicatessen, he crafted perfect coffee blends with his daughter Zelda by his side. He was constantly tinkering and experimenting with his blends, carefully recording his customers’ favourites in his ‘book of blends’. Demand for his coffee outgrew his quiet farming community, and soon he was mailing customers around New Zealand his blends in brown paper bags with the words “Robert Harris Coffee” on the front.
Today Robert Harris is one of the most famous names in coffee in New Zealand, recognised for great taste and consistent quality. We’re now one of the largest coffee footprints in the country, whether that’s capsules, fresh and instant in supermarkets, or our dozens of cafes.
We stay true to Bob’s original vision, share his passion for craft, care, and quality products, and are proud of the role we play in New Zealand’s now legendary coffee culture.
This the true legacy of Robert Harris.