The Art of Coffee Roasting: Behind the Scenes at Mojo

Breathing in, I can always tell when we are nearby coffee roasting. To me, the earthy, nutty aroma is a mix of two of my favourites: coffee and chocolate. I know there is no chocolate involved, but it triggers that part of my brain.

Hubby is really into coffee roasting. So much so that he roasts his own beans and took coffee training last year. Lucky for me, he consistently makes the perfect latte.

When we noticed Mojo’s huge coffee roasting facility in historic Shed 13 on Wellington’s waterfront, hubby had to see how the big boys do it. We wandered in:

Sacks of green beans at Mojo Roastery in Wellington New Zealand

These sacks of green beans were just delivered when we arrived. We entered through the same door.

Coffee storage at Mojo Roastery in Wellington New Zealand

We walked past these huge silos storing single origin green coffee beans.

Coffee roasting at Mojo Roastery in Wellington New Zealand

These coffee beans had already been roasted, and are now being stirred to cool them quickly.

Coffee roasting at Mojo Roastery in Wellington New Zealand

After the beans are cooled, they are poured into these bins to be blended later.

Mojo has six significant origins of its beans (Guatemalan, Ethiopian, Brazilian, Colombian, Papua New Guinean and Tanzanian.) plus smaller sources. They roast 500 -600 kg of beans daily at this facility in single origin batches of 5okg. This allows optimisation of flavor for each origin. The individual batches are then blended to create their signature blends.  Here are a few more shots of the facility:

Coffee roasting at Mojo Roastery in Wellington New Zealand


Coffee roasting equiptment at Mojo Roastery in Wellington New Zealand

Mojo Coffee Roastery in Wellington New Zealand

The exterior of the Mojo Coffee Roastery.

Practical Information: 

  • Mojo does not offer public tours of this facility. We asked permission to enter and take these photos.
  • Mojo coffee is a New Zealand brand, roasted in Wellington. They have 22 locations in the capital city and an additional 11 in Auckland. They are also in Japan and China and hoping to enter the US market.
  • If you are in New Zealand, you can subscribe to Mojo for home delivery.
  • While I am generally not a fan of chains, Mojo is one brand that I will select. It is consistently rich, smooth and exactly the way I think a latte should taste. I would rate it second best, following behind the one hubby makes for me each morning.

Do you do your own coffee roasting? Where do you get your favourite cup of coffee?

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Coffee roasting equiptment at Mojo Roastery in Wellington New Zealand
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  1. says

    I am an unashamed coffee snob, and I am from Australia so that makes sense. I would love to have an unofficial look around also. We roast beans also, and have done barista courses. I could imagine just how good it smelt.

  2. says

    Although I love the smell of freshly brewed, as I am a coffee addict, I don’t enjoy so much the aromas of roasting coffee. Somehow the process seems bring out the bitter smell of the beans.

  3. says

    In New England, we are lucky to have lots of small coffee roasters that do a consistently fabulous job sourcing beans and roasting them to perfection. I have never thought of roasting the beans myself, but I do think I make a perfect cup of coffee.

  4. says

    May favorite coffee is at home. I don’t care for all the flavored coffee at Starbucks so we don’t go there. Just give us a cup of dark French roast and we’re happy.

    Have a fabulous day. ☺

  5. says

    The aroma of roasting coffee is one of my favourites as well. Actually, one of the things I enjoyed most about living in Cuenca, Ecuador was walking around El Centro because the old town area had a lot of cafes that roasted their own beans so the streets were full of the wonderful smell. Did not know your hubby roasts his own coffee. That sounds so amazing. Which beans does he most prefer to use?

  6. says

    Wow, the power of asking. That’s awesome that they allowed you to go in and take some pictures. There’s nothing better in the morning than the smell of coffee to wake you up 🙂

  7. says

    We get our beans from the shop up the road – I’m the only person that buys their beans (they aren’t actually for sale) so I turn up and they just get them for me, so I don’t have to wait in line…it’s like a kooky drug deal, done at the side of the shop…ha!

  8. says

    Hi Rhonda – you were lucky to be able to look round … what a treat. I don’t like coffee much and hardly drink it – or tea for that matter … but can quite understand the family’s passion … great shots too – fascinating place – cheers Hilary

  9. says

    I love coffee. I will try any type pf coffee drink at least once. Being an Italian, I enjoy strong coffee but not crazy strong coffee. I hate it when it gets so strong, it taste burnt. Yuk. I’ve never heard of Mojo. Is it only in New Zealand? I enjoyed this story Rhonda. Thanks.

    Cruisin Paul

  10. says

    Coffee beans start out green? I had no idea. I guess I’m like those kids who think all food comes from the grocery store and farms are just where the animals live and play. LOL!

  11. Anda says

    Very interesting visit, Rhonda. I don’t drink coffee, but I love the smell of roasted coffee and I would have enjoyed this tour too. I visited a coffee plantation in Kona, Hawaii, and I have also seen how they were roasting it.

  12. says

    when I was at NYU good coffee was not really a think yet. the only places that made European style coffee drinks were the Italian and French Cafes in Greenwich Village. There was also a store there that sold nothing but coffee beans that they ground while you waited. i loved walking by that store and inhaling. Freshly ground coffee really smells wonderful. I think smelling it is almost better than drinking it.

  13. says

    I am not crazy about coffee but I enjoy a good cup of it. Plus, I have friends who own coffee farms and have businesses revolving around the product. It is a dream of mine to visit them in Central America. I always bring about 20 pounds when I go to El Salvador.

  14. says

    That was so nice of Mojo to let you come in and snap some photos. I bet it smelled heavenly in there. Malaysian coffee roasting is a bit different in that they roast it with butter. Supposedly, the beans are not high quality, so the unique taste of the roasted butter masks the inferiority somewhat.

    • says

      How interesting. I wish I could remember the coffee from when I wan in Malaysia. Or maybe I will get a chance to go back, as now I am super curious as to what it is like.

  15. says

    Nice share Rhonda, I also love the Aroma of coffee when it is being roasted. I haven’t beeen to a Mojo, but I once visited a remote place called Chang Mai in Thailand where they roast coffee through traditional methods. It was such a great feeling and the aroma that filled the air was just perfect. I love the aroma when roasting and you are so lucky that you have someone who is experienced and loves doing it.


  16. says

    I am always looking for that perfect cup! – and have not found it in Boston yet:( I especially struggle when i am stuck at work in the burbs without access to a decent cup of espresso (and in a cube, all i can use is a a little french press which doesnt quite do it). thanks for this unique perspective:)

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