Karajoz was established in the café business in 1982, and we have been roasting our own coffee since 1997. Now, we are one of the biggest privately owned roasters in New Zealand. Our online store is home to various delicious coffee blends roasted by Karajoz Coffee Company, each blend carefully crafted to suit different palettes.
Karajoz Coffee Company is led by Derek Townsend, the coffee fanatic behind the legendary DKD cafe and the inventor of the flat white.
In 1980 a very young Derek Townsend went travelling through Europe. The café society in Europe, Italy and France in particular, really inspired his mind. These experiences helped Karajoz in perfecting blends for all walks of life. Derek found inspiration with European cafés being a meeting place which was inexpensive and not based around getting blotto on alcohol. A place of ideas and conversation.
When he arrived back in NZ he was burning with the idea to set up his interpretation of the European café, and the legendary DKD café was created. DKD ran for around 17 years, and it would be fair to say that "life passed through its doors”. A full-on ambience that preached good coffee, which was always best paired with great conversation.
However, it became apparent that the roasted beans could be much better, coffee at that time being always quite acidic. Derek was inspired to craft the best coffee available to New Zealand. That’s when all the magic happened.
In 1997, we had one of our busiest years. Perfecting this blend took 4 months and 2 tonnes of beans, and a great deal of ‘putting in the hard yards’. After a million attempts at making a coffee, a coffee so good that we were proud to call it ours, we achieved it. Smooth, full, and with an overlying sensation of sweet chocolate. We follow a simple philosophy, ‘it should be delicious’. And so it was, from 1997 till now.
The name Karajoz represents the historical figure popular across the Middle East, who came to represent the man on the street. Nowadays, we consider it to be a significant representation of what coffee means: the beverage of the streets, and sitting on the bistro terraces of local cafés. That “person on the street” makes so much sense with where coffee is today. Representing the everyday people, who start their morning with warmer hands.
We were inspired by this reverence of coffee being a gift from God in the Middle East. But the real inspiration was European, and how the café culture developed there. Karajoz conveys the culture of coffee drinking as it is understood and practised in Europe.