The Coffee Genius

Yesterday we drove 375km up and around the northern part of Queensland exploring the Atherton, Meereba, Kuranda and Cairns areas before heading home. It was a long day, and obviously we only skimmed each area, but it was also one of the best days we have had in a long time.

We set off early to just enjoy the drive thru the hills on the way to Mareeba where there was a coffee tasting tour and a ‘coffee museum’. The drive was beautiful and the 90 mins flew past quickly as we wound our way thru the hills.

We came to Mareeba ‘Coffeeworks‘ where for $50.00 we got to do the coffee, chocolate and liqueur tasting tour as well as exploring the ‘museum’. The tour is self guided and involves tasting around 21 different coffees and teas as often as you like, tasting 16 different types of chocolate and 3 liquers – also as often as you like! It’s a great idea because there is only so much coffee, chocolate and liqueur anyone can stomach before feeling ill.

Having done a proper coffee tasting at Five Senses this one was a little disappointing in that the coffee was in large thermos type pots and was of the brewed variety rather than the espresso. It was good, but probably not what I had hoped. Even so I reckon we got value for our $50.00 and discovered some new chocolate experiences like lime and black pepper chocolate… different…

The museum was actually quite brilliant. Again a self guided tour complete with a personal ‘headset’ that gave you information on request about any exhibit. These guys have done a great job and I’d recommend it if you are passing thru.

We left Mareeba contented people feeling we had really enjoyed the morning and then headed onto Kuranda just 30 mins down the road. That trip began well as I discovered a box of $1.00 books, 8 of which were worth purchasing. We went on to the candy store to buy some goodies and in conversation with the store owner she told us that the best coffee in Australia gets made just around the corner opposite the post office

My ears pricked up and despite my skepticism, I ventured around to have a look. It’s a big call – the best coffee in Australia – and I know many would contest it.

However I’ve got to say its probably not far off the mark.

The shop is called ‘Kuranda Coffee Republic‘ and the owner, Michael is a passionate man. We got talking and after asking him a little bit about his coffee I put some money on the counter to buy one. We really didn’t need another coffee hit at this point, but it seemed to too good to miss.

He told me to put the money away and began to make some brilliant coffee. A straight flat white, a short mach, a long black and then a variation I forget the name of, that involved a short mach with Tabasco sauce and honey. He was enjoying himself, displaying his talents and his brilliant coffee and we were loving it too.

If you’re in Kuranda and you love coffee then you must stop in and see Michael. There are plenty of dodgy coffee shops around selling pretty ordinary beans, but this bloke is the real deal.

He shared some of his vision for coffee, co ops, sustainable living and an alternative way of life. His profits go to building affordable housing for the poor folks in the town.

We left feeling like ‘coffeeworks’ was good, but this place was sensational.

We went on to Cairns for an evening walk along the Esplanade and I stuffed the day up by ordering some lame Chinese food from the night market. It was truly disgusting and a sad way to end an otherwise fantastic day.

As you can imagine the drive home wasn’t difficult at all with caffeine still boiling in the veins and some great memories being talked about.

All pics are on facebook as the net connection I am on is way too slow to upload!

6 thoughts on “The Coffee Genius

  1. Wow. Im gobsmacked. Thank you so very much for that

    genuine blab on our coffee.

    Its not just me but Belinda – my wife (my real passion of life) that creates the Bean. Im only the printer and Belinda is the computer.

    Im glad to read of likeminded people that still share a passion for life. Thank you so much for being that – “Perfect Client” and down to earth Human Being.

    Also my new friend let me correct a little part of you story. We dont build affordable housing for the poor – we help people in need and help them to get their own housing together with the right encouragement – resources – and the help and of our little but diverse community; create real magic. I hope that makes a ittle sense.

    Anyway enough blabbing – i gotta make coffee.

    cheers Mike

  2. Great to hear from you Michael.

    Your coffee and passion will remain one of the best memories of our time away!

    I will be placing an order when

  3. Great to hear from you Michael.

    Your coffee and passion will remain one of the best memories of our time away!

    I will be placing an order when we get home

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