Recently I wanted to find the best coffee in Cairns so I headed straight for my old friend Google. I was horrified when it suggested I might want to search “where’s the closest starbucks”…..what?!? The Cairns and tablelands region has some amazing plantations, roasterys and coffee shops – why would I need a starbucks?!
So I had a brainwave, I am going to write a series of posts based wholly and solely on the Cairns coffee scene. Let’s face it coffee is just about the most popular and hipster thing out there at the moment but that doesn’t mean the average person has to settle for sub par coffee.
In this first post we will explore the Mareeba area plantations and roasterys where you can get some of the best coffee beans in the area. Read my home coffee machine review so you can make the most of those delicious beans and read on to find out where to get hold of the best coffee in Cairns.
Coffee Works, Mareeba
With stores across Far North Queensland, Coffee Works is one of the most popular Coffee roasters in the Cairns area. All of their 43 varieties of delicious coffee are hand roasted in small batches by a master roaster.
Coffee Works began as the personal dream of a local couple and a single market stall at Rusty’s market in Cairns. From there, it has grown into one of the most popular attractions in the area and is much more than a simple coffee shop and café. Coffee Works, Mareeba houses a coffee memorabilia museum, gift shop, roastery and for a small fee you can enjoy unlimited tastings of their delicious coffees, teas, chocolates and liquors.
The gift shop is full to the brim with eclectic and interesting household décor items, novelty gifts and edible delights. It is a real treasure trove of interesting and unique items and there is guaranteed to be something for everyone.
The unlimited free tasting area was, unsurprisingly, a particular favourite of mine and I could have spent all day gorging myself on all sorts of delights. There was a great selection of hot and cold brew coffees to try with a variety from their huge selection of hand roasted coffees. If you are not a huge coffee lover, and are simply being dragged along by someone else, there is still plenty to keep you satisfied too. Coffee Works have a great selection of teas on offer and the all of their chocolates are hand crafted in their own chocolaterie. Coffee Works chocolate definitely has a distinct Far North Queensland influence and showcase flavours such as macadamia and coconut.
The memorabilia museum is also a great experience and a very interesting way to spend a bit of time walking off all that chocolate. It is a fairly small attraction but it really is crammed full of interesting bits and pieces, collected by Coffee Works, some which date back to 1700’s. You’ll be provided with a handheld phone system which will talk you through each display and has plenty of interesting facts. There is also a beautiful collection of teapots from all around the world, which is well worth a look. The cafe itself serves good food in my opinion but the price tag is a little higher than I would usually expect. It is a great little café if you are around the area or visiting the rest of Coffee Works but I’m not sure I would drive a distance out of my way to eat there. That is just my personal opinion though and I have read reviews from others who think the food is fantastic. Personal preference I guess, or maybe I just ate there on an off day.