Friday, 25 April 2008

Caffeine fix hits the spot

Continuing my series of experiences over last weekend as I journeyed to Undara's Outback Country Rock and Blues... I stopped at Mareeba Coffee Works on my way home after two very late nights to recharge my batteries before tackling that last hour down the Kuranda range to home...

I don't know if it was that I was tired and in need, or if the coffee really was that good...but I have to say the flat white ($3.50) I had at Coffee Works was one of the best I can remember in a long time (from any venue). Piping hot, strong Black Mountain beans, with a lovely fine crem'a - not too thick - coating my lip as I sipped. One of the great advantages to coffee here is that the beans truly are roasted daily. And this adds so much to the flavour - roasted, ground and brewed within hours - heaven.

I found the service very friendly and helpful while still being relaxed and unobtrusive. Their cafe manager Leisa is a wonderful asset and I see so much of her personality reflected in the service style. They also serve scarily large serves of incredibley calorie-laden cakes ($5-$8) and healthy lunch options to balance the intake ($8-$15).

The stop off ended up being quite an investment as I was attracted like an iron filing to a magnet to the Chocolate Works. The chocolate here is not your usual run-of-the-mill experience. Chilli chocolate, kafir lime and black pepper chocolate, lemon myrtle chocolate... along with more usual combinations like ginger, macadamia and coffee-infused chocolate. The lemon myrtle has been a favourite of mine and my son's for some time so of course that came home. I popped a bag of chilli chocolate in for my best mate who has lamented the loss of chilli Tim Tams; and I took a gamble and picked up the lime and pepper combination (yet to be tried - you'll have to wait on the review of that one...). They have a great deal - buy four bags of chocolate and get the fifth free. As all the bags are $6 this gives you a 20% discount and makes it seem less scary at the cash register.

I also topped up my coffee liqueur stock (both 18% & 22% alcohol available) at $39.95 per bottle. This is great on ice cream for an adult dessert or served in a red wine glass late at night around the campfire (trust me I've done it, and NO hangover the day after).

I usually get my coffee and liqueur at Rusty's Market on a Friday but having been west on Friday this was the perfect way to overcome the shortage I knew was waiting for me at home. And the chocolate was a bonus.

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