Wednesday, June 14, 2006

New West Australian chocolate and coffee products.

On a recent exploration and a coffee in Beaufort Street in Perth I found a gourment store 'The Merchant Store' that stocks a range of Australian and Western Australian made coffee and chocolate products.

Cocoa Farm
Naked Bean Coffee Roasters
John Road Chocolates
Cains Highland Coffee
Cocoa Farm

Chocolate lovers can now enjoy their favourite drop in a block of chocolate. I am off to find out more about this product.
Mint Chocolate

Dove Peppermint Affair (200g)
Nestle Aero (125g) $3.40
Lindt Mint Excellent (100g) $3.09

Mint and chocolate are two of those flavours that go perfectly together.

Dove Peppermint. A layer of crisp peppermint crunches in milk chocolate covered by a layer of smooth cool peppermint creme. Made in Australia by Nestle with easy to read nutritional information and great value for money when on special. The crisp peppermint crunches grated on my teeth a bit like chalk on a blackboard. Nice mild flavour although not enough peppermint creme.

Areo. Minty flavoured bubbles of chocolate covered in milk chocolate. Perfect combination of chocolate that melts in your mouth and peppermint flavour. Made in the UK. Expensive slightly more money and slightly more chocolate than Lindt but still yummmy.

Lindt. Familiar quality Lindt milk chocolate with a really slightly mint flavour that doesn't distinquish from ordinary Lindt milk chocolate. Made in Switzerland with easy to read nutritional information. Lindt is always value for money and a little bit of chocolate for a little bit extra is always worth the investment for a chocoholic.

Sunday, June 11, 2006

Cut out coffee to save. The Sunday Times. June 11 2006

The Sunday Times reported that online superannuation comapany has issued a challenge to people to top up retirement nest eggs by gvining up the daily caffeine fix.

A online survey found that if the average 30-year old took up the latte challenge and cut out a few coffees and put the funds into a super fund they could end up with $162 000 or more at retirement...Small changes even for those in the lowest salary bracket can have a sizeable imput on retirement savings with minimal compromise to lifestyle.

Drinking coffee is about other things than having a caffeine fix. Like drinking and being with other people, or taking time out for oneself from the daily grind of life. It is the little pleasures that often keep us going.
Bean Scene The Coffee Culture Magazine Winter 2006

A great little magazine about all the things close to my heart coffee and chocolate. I have brought 4 copies over the past 6 months and in the last issue they decided to change the print size to 8. It was difficult to read and find the articles amongst all the advertisements. But this issue they have reverted to a normal size print. I love the events section, a summary of things around Australia and a list of new webpages to visit and products to buy.

There is a great article on the failure and success of a cafe...'Without proper training, encouragement, support and follow up the Barista can be the reason a cafe or espresso bar succeeds or fails'. How true. Why go back to a place where the coffee is not make to my liking even if the food, service and atmosphere are excellent?
Top 5 Caffeine Hits in Perth Sunday Times January 8 2006

Wild Fig Cafe, 33 West Coast Drive, Waterman
Panache Gourmet Food and Wine, Shop 1, 50 Square Subiaco
Cafe 130, 130 Oxford Street, Leederville
Boucia Giftware and Cafe, 349 Rokeby Road, Subiaco
Milkd, 32 Angrove Street, North Perth

Soto Espresso, 507 Beaufort Street, Highgate
Dome Cafe, 649a Beaufort Street, Mount Lawley
Globe Coffee House, 1/663 Beaufort Street, Mount Lawley
Diva, 676 Beaufort Street, Mount Lawley

Van's Cafe and Deli, 1 Napoleon Street, Cottesloe was named best cafe in WA by Gourment Traveller in its Best of the Best issue in April 2006. ABC Delicious placed it on its list of places to eat in Perth in August 2005.

I am trying very hard to get to all of them in the next couple of months but what we do when we find somewhere we love with great atmosphere, food and service.
Gold Plate Awards

What makes a coffee shop or cafe win a Gold Plate Award in Perth

Coffee Shop Finalists
Sensations en Ardross, Applecross
Left Bank Bar and Cafe, East Fremantle
Cafe Fez, Bunbury

Sensations en Ardross, Applecross

Premier's Award
Le Paris Brest Cafe, Kalamunda
Best Sweets Gourment Traveller April 2006

European style patisseries, cakes, layered delights, rich aroma of coffee, real chocolate, five-textured chocolate cake, sorbet, icecream chequer board

Circa, 2 Acland Street, St Kilda
Cream Patisserie, Shop 3 380 Cavendish Road Corrparoo
Quay, Upper Level, Overseas Passenger Terminal, West Circular Quay
Vulcans, 33 Goverts Leap Road, Blackheath
Yellow, 57-59 Macleay Street, Potts Point
Best Cafes Gourmet Traveller April 2006

outstanding Genovese coffee, excellent locally roasted Rio blends, top baristas, pastries, tarts and great gelato, quality food, great service

Bambini Trust, 185 Elizabeth Street, Sydney
Cafe Racer, 15 a Marine Parade, St Kilda
Cibo, 218 Rundle Street, (corner Frome Street), Adelaide
Degraves, 23-25 Degraves Street, Melbourne
Gertrude Street Enoteca, 229 Gertrude Street, Fitzroy
The Gun shop, 53 Mollison Street, West End
Journal, Shop 1, Level 1, 253 Flinders Lane, Melbourne
Ten Buck Alley, 1?185 Bourke Street, East Sydney
Vans, 1 Neapleon Street, Cottesloe, WA
Wall, 280 Carlisle Street, Balaclava, Vic
9583 8280?80 Campbell Street, Surry Hills

Thursday, June 08, 2006

Cocoa Deli

A new product made in the United Kingdom. Cookies and cream...Belgium milk chocolate, lolly truffles on a stick.

Layers of vanilla flavoured and milk chocolate truffle with bits of crunchy cocoa busicults covered in Belgium milk chocolate. A mouthful of yuk. One of the worst chocolates I have had in ages.

Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Chocolate lovers get good news

Chocolate lover can rejoice with a new American study suggesting that eating milk chocolate may boost brain function. "Chocolate contains many substances tht act as stimulants, such as theobromine, phenethylamine and caffeine" said Dr Bryan Raudenbush of Wheeling Jesuit University in West Virginia. He said research indicated that the comsumption of milk and and dark chocolate was assoicated with improved impulse control and reaction time.

The West Australian

Chocolate and Coffee delights

Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Take Away Coffee

Take away coffee is like the story of Goldilocks and the three bears. First Goldilocks tried father bear's porridge. It was too hot. Then Goldilocks tried mother bear's porridge. It was too cold. The she tried baby bear's porridge. It was just right and she ate it all up. That is my story of take away coffee in Perth.

Muzz Buzz - Cappuccino
Di Mondo (Midland) - Hot Chocolate
Swan Valley Cheese Shop (Midland) - Latte
Cino to Go (Subiaco) - Mocha
Bocelli (Railway Station) - Speciality drink
Miss Mauds (Perth) - Flat White

Buddhist Conference 10-11 June 2006
Perth Convention Centre

Nothing to do with coffee and chocolate but still a great event to stimulate intellectual thought and get in touch with my inner self. Great opportunity to explore vegetarian food with lunch being included in the price of the conference.
WA Wine and Food Exhibition 3-5 June 2006
Perth Convention Centre.

Another must see and do event. Plenty of gourmet goodies like chocolate, cheese, wine and icecream. I am hoping for a pleasant suprise.
Government House Opening June 6-9 2006

To celebrate the foundation of Western Australia the public rooms, ballrooms and gardens will be open to members of the public. Government House is a gothic looking fantasy building built between 1859 and 1864. The gardens are a great place to escape the noise of the city, take time to chill out and smell the real roses. A great place for high tea (with coffee and gourmet goods) with friends and family.

Afternoon tea or high tea.
The Italian Festival 27 May - 4 June 2006

The Italian Festival is on again in Northbridge. Visit the Re Store (27 Lake Street) for international and Australian gourmet foods including chocolate, cheese, coffee and pasta. Torre Butcher (41-43 Lake Street) for gourmet produce. Braziliano Coffee Education Facility (95 Aberdeen Street) will run courses in coffee making which I can't wait to do.

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

WA's Top Barista Jeremy Hulsdunk (Muffin Break Mirrabooka Square)

Jeremy’s signature drink was called ‘Pancakes’. It had a shot of espresso topped with maple syrup, cream and finished with cinnamon and icing sugar. The rim of the coffee cup was covered with lemon juice and sugar, to highlight the unique taste portfolio.

Jeremy will now to Sydney to compete against the top baristas from around the country in the national finals on Sunday 23rd April. The winner will then go on to compete in Berne, Switzerland in May to represent Australia and compete against 40 countries to win the title of World Barista Champion.

Sunday, May 21, 2006

The Fantastic Mr Dahl (Roald) ABC 2 pm
Flake (Cadbury)

When he was 9, Roald Dahl was sent to St Peter's Preparatory school, a private school in the seaside town of Weston-super-Mare, which he attended from 1923 to 1929. From 13 he was educated at Repton School in Derbyshire, where he was a fag (personal servant) for a prefect, became captain of the school Fives team and developed an interest in photography. During his years at Repton, Cadbury, a chocolate company, would occasionally send boxes of new chocolates to the school to be tested by the pupils. Dahl himself apparently used to dream of inventing a new chocolate bar that would win the praise of Mr Cadbury himself, and this proved the inspiration for him to write his second book for children, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.

I didn't realise Roald was absolutely fascinated with chocolate and new so much about Cadbury's chocolate and chocolate. His passion was for the Flake.

I absolutely loved Roald Dahl's book Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. I read it non stop on a flight between Perth and Sydney. I had just seen Johnny Depp in a new version of the film and I wanted to see how much the producers had unfortunately changed his original book.

I love the fact that Mr Dahl writes about the good, the bad and the ugly in children and not some romanticised version which seems so common these days.

Friday, May 19, 2006

The Great Tim Tam debate
Arnotts v Dick Smith

Can you tell the difference between a Tim Tam and a Temptin? Arnotts don't think consumers can.

Coffee News May 13 2006

A US medical journal published a 15 year study of 27000 older women that showed the risk of cardiovascular disease was cut about 30 per cent in those with a moderate intake, one to three cups of coffee a day.

The West Australian
Do you know the difference between semi-freddo, milk ice, gelato, sorbet, icecream, water ice and granita?
Coffee's bitter tang rules the new China.

The West Australian reported this week the impact of multinational coffee companies like Starbucks and Bookworm are having on traditional Chinese culture. Tea and it's associated rituals have been part of Chinese culture for centuries.

Six years ago Starbucks ventured into China and opened 230 branches across the country and plans to open 10 000 over the next few years. This has resulted in some traditional tea drinkers turning to coffee even though many don't like the taste. Coffee has become a status symbol of the middle class with one cup costing $5 the daily wage of the lowest paid workers. The Ministry of Labour has declared a skill shortage in the industry.

The West Australian

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

The Biggest Morning Tea

Thousands of people around the country will take part in the Cancer Council's biggest morning tea week.

The morning tea can be held anytime during the month of May. However, the official date is 25 May 2006.

For more information

The history of the morning tea and 'smoko'.

Monday, May 15, 2006

Canne's Film Festival
Ten Canoes (Cinema Paradiso Northbridge)

Canne's International Film Festival is held for 12 days in May. The director of the Australian entry Ten Canoes (starring the people of Ramingining) Rolf De Heer will present and discuss his film at the Cinema Paradiso on Monday June 5 at 6.30. Can't wait.

The Aussies are certainly making a big splash this year at Canne.
Perth Zoo and Photography
What is the Buzz? by photographer Jane Davenport
Millpoint Caffe and Bookshop
254 Millpoint, Rd South Perth

The evolution of the bookshop and cafe.
Elizabeth Durack Auction
McKenzie Gallery 8 Stirling Hway Claremont
Viewing 22 and 23 May 2006 10am to 6pm

100 colour illustrations at paintings, drawings and prints by this fine Western Australian artist.
Weekend in the City
Super 14 Rugby Union Semi-Final
Waratahs v Hurricanes Foxtel Sports 2
King Street Cafes

Darrell Lea
Infusions Coffee

Darrell Lea is an Australian icon.

Dark Chocolate Coated Coffee Whipped Nougat Bar
The Darrell Lea chocolate (lite 50% less fat per gram than the average chocolate bar) at first didn't look too inviting. I have never been too keen on coffee flavoured anything or dark chocolate. But what a pleasant suprise. The first bite was distinct dark chocolate and soft vanilla flavoured nougat, the coffee flavour being very mild. The second bite was more vanilla flavoured, the soft chewy nougat with almonds and a slightly stronger coffee flavour followed. By the last bite all the flavours the almonds, vanilla nougat, coffee and dark chocolate emerged into one small ball of delicious sweet chewy substance.

Dark Chocolate Coated Chocolate Log
Toasted coconut and a milk chocolate crunchy centre smothered in a rich dark chocolate. Very hard to describe as it is an unusual combination.

Infusions Coffee is a family run business formed in Perth in 1997 based out of the Coffee Connection at the Hilton Hotel. Their first retail outlet was established in the Fremantle Markets, then the Subiaco Pavilion Markets followed by other makets. They produce a range of chocolated covered delights covered in Cadbury's coverture chocolate, use Braziliano coffee and make a range of muffins, biscults, nougat and turkish delight.
Art Deco in Perth
White Countess Astor Cinema
Beaufort Street for coffee and gourmet food