Coffee, chocolate and so much more
For a positively decadent coffee and chocolate experience in the Cairns region, you cannot go past Coffee Works, Mareeba. Located a mere 40 minutes from Cairns, Coffee Works is a famous stop on the Atherton Tablelands, which caters to both locals and tourists with its eclectic coffee centre.
There are several sections to Coffee Works, including a café, gift shop, roasting centre, chocolaterie and Coffee World. While the café is locally renowned for its simple yet delicious menu, and the gift shop is an exquisite place to buy unique and local presents, the true treasures of Coffee Works lie in its roasts, chocolate and Coffee World.
Coffee Works sells over 40 different coffee beans and blends, and they feature locally grown coffee from a plantation mere minutes down the road from the Coffee Works centre. They pride themselves on selling only A-grade coffee – coffee beans are selected from the top 10% of Arabica coffee crops worldwide. In addition to regular coffee blends, Coffee Works have developed their own range of premium blends, roasted on site, which include extra ingredients such as chocolate or nuts. They also sell a select range of local teas. Their best-selling items are the local Black Mountain Coffee blend, their premium Chocolate Macadamia Blend, and Australian Swagmans Tea. If you aren’t local, Coffee Works has a personalised mail-order service called ‘Roast and Post’, which delivers coffee direct to you, anywhere in the world.
The Chocolaterie is another impressive and unique part of Coffee Works. Throughout the year, over 50 different flavours of chocolate are created on site by passionate chocolatiers. Flavours include coconut, chilli, lime and cracked pepper, lemon myrtle and cranberry and pistachio. Whatever your vice, be it dark chocolate with peppermint, or rocky road, the chocolaterie will have a chocolate for you. With chocolate made for special occasions, including Christmas, Easter and Valentine’s Day, Coffee Works has you covered.
But perhaps the most underrated and exciting part of Coffee Works is Coffee World. Coffee World includes a viewing station where you can watch coffee being roasted, and a tasting area where you are invited to try as much chocolate and coffee as you please.
However, hidden away behind the main area of Coffee Works is the true reason you should visit: a museum containing a collection of over 2,000 coffee and tea-related pieces, such as grinders, kettles, roasters, filters and more. These treasures span six continents and date back as early as the 1700s. They’re the culmination of coffee expert Ian Bersten’s life’s work. The pieces are not simply laid out in glass cases, however. Instead, like a detailed treasure hunt, you’re invited to explore the museum in search of unique and original items, including some 20 pieces that are the last of their kind.
If you pick up an audio guide, Ian Bersten narrates your journey through the ages. With speciality areas including a Turkish room, Miss America Pageant room (containing around 50 coffee pots from all over America), and Retro Room (complete with retro tunes), Coffee World is as fun and entertaining, as it is interesting and educational. If you were to just visit Coffee World alone, you’d be getting value for money.
Coffee Works is more than just a place to drink coffee and buy unique gifts: it’s an entertaining and historical treasure hidden away in Mareeba. With friendly staff, including owners Rob and Annie Webber, great food and an extensive collection of both local and imported coffee, locals and tourists alike are running out of reasons to not make a trip to Coffee Works.
Coffee Works w: www.coffeeworks.com.au t: (07) 4092 4101 a: 136 Mason St, Mareeba, QLD
A secondary Coffee Works can be found in Cairns, but it only sells a select range of coffees and does not offer the complete Coffee Works experience.