Dunsborough…. sniffing out coffee for survival

Oh my oh my… lordy what a treat. One of my most spectacular joys on holidays is finding coffee. No, not your Starbucks kind, gooood coffee. For any Americans, I will give you a run down. Australians and New Zealanders have very particular coffee pallettes. Australia is the only country in the world where Starbucks have closed stores. Say what? Yep, shut those down. That is not good enough for us.

Being a barista (for those that don’t know, it’s the guy ‘on the taps’ the guy who presses the beans and gets it into the mug) in Australia and New Zealand is respected. We chat to our baristas and tell them our life story. They become like family and we get greatly distressed when someone else is on the taps!

We, Australia invented the flat white. Well, New Zealand but like a true Australian I will claim what they do well as our own! (it’s a neighbourly rivalry thing we have going) There are cafes with huge machines everywhere throughout the major cities. Less so outside of these areas, but it’s on the rise. Australians may not be the highest consumers of coffee per head but we demand quality. If the coffee is burnt they will know. If the milk is too hot they will tell you. If your coffee is too watery they will call you out. You’ll watch in fascination as people line up for longer than twenty minutes for their daily dose. If you charge $6 but the coffee is amazing – no one will complain! If you charge $6 and its dirt- you will be told.


With all that explained, imagine being in a small town in Western Australia and finding the most whimsical of little places. In my sleep deprived state I honestly punched myself. I thought I had fallen down a rabbit hole. Here I was in a small town standing in front of jars of sweets shabbily arranged on moss covered tree cuttings. Scattered in between the jars are mushrooms and rabbits, an occasional owl, tea lights and other fantasy objects. I’m in such awe of the fabulousness of this place, I nearly miss the scene in front of me.

In marched local after local, each of them addressed by name and not a single person gives an order. This little shop has everyone’s orders memorised. In come mums on their way to drop their kids to school. Miners on their way home after a night shift. And the smell. The scent of roasting coffee is mouthwatering. I thought I might be in heaven!

Hot Chocolatte is a must if you’re in the area. You don’t need to be a coffee fanatic. Their hot chocolates are to die for. If you’re a coffee snob like me,  when you’re away from your regular haunts, this place will at least bring you comfort. After the comfort of anticipating an amazing coffee there is the delight of truely finding something so carefully and lovingly crafted. The coffee helped me survive my jet lagged kids and that’s some magic right there! Unknown to me at the time, the week was going to a lot more sleep deprived and further wonderful trips were made in desperate effort to get through my state of sleepless haze. I have the fondest memories because of the joy this place brought every morning to the locals and myself. It was worth every minute of the 15 minute drive from our resort to town to get my wonderful hit.


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