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From bean to brew, there’s something for the entire crew

Pull on a warm coat, pop on your best boots and a silky scarf and bring along your senses to Maitland Aroma Coffee & Chocolate Festival, at Maitland Riverside Car Park, The Levee, August 13 and 14.

It’s the destination for discovering new release single origins and blends, delighting in gourmet food discoveries, or handy coffee making tips. Pick up all kinds of pleasure packages from the finest chocolatiers, winemakers and food producers that the Hunter and surrounds have to offer, while you leisurely cruise around the car park stalls.

As the sun warms your wintry scalp, be sure to savour the moment. Stand still, take a big breath in and savour those scents… of roasting coffee beans, piping hot chocolate, sizzling gozleme and woodfired pizzas with melty mozzarella. The selections are so good that it’ll be a case of deciding which food and drink to focus upon!

The cellar doors that come to you

Wintry weekends are wonderful for whiling away the hours and sipping quality wines from the Hunter and beyond. You don’t need to pull in at Pokolbin to find your next favourite big winter red or refined liqueur.

Whether you’re sold on a shiraz and semillon, or you find organics optimal, the bottles are open and the tasting glasses are neatly lined up at Maitland Aroma Coffee & Chocolate Festival. From Pokolbin comes Peterson House, Tamburlaine Organic Wines, and Drayton’s Family Wines. Further afield from Orange is fully certified organic & biodynamic winemaker Macquariedale and nearby Tranquil Vale brings estate grown semillon, chardonnay and shiraz. Liqueur lovers can sip on liquids from KissOFire.

SAVOUR THE FLAVOUR AT THE FLAVOUR STAGE

Always wanted to get closer to achieving a barista made coffee at home? Or be a better cook? This year the Flavour Stage welcomes back 2019 MasterChef identity Steph de Sousa, renowned for her spicy palette and sassy attitude. The Flavour Stage is packed with demonstrations from local chefs, home cooks, Levee business owners and stallholders covering savoury and sweet favourites. There will be tips to take home from Alina and Matt (The Cunning Culinarian), espresso mini bundts demo’d by Claudia Allen (Birch & Coffee Co.) and Floozy Coffee Roasters, James Carter (River Roast) and Mark Calderone (Mocopan) are talking coffee and there’s Coquun’s Signature Coffee Masterclass.

Love martinis more than latte art? Get along to see David Rozario from Mr Black. During his ‘Making Espresso Martinis at Home’ session, David will have you stirring, shaking and sipping like a pro.

Love a coffee at The Levee? There’s so much superb coffee, and it’s so close by!

Year round, right across The Levee, you can satisfy your craving for coffee that’s a class act. Within moments, or footsteps – whether it’s festival time, or otherwise – you can tune into the hiss of steam wands, the whirr of grinders, and the banging on knock tubes inside quality coffee establishments.

The Levee is home to a myriad of coffee establishments (…and equally passionate baristas whose nimble fingers are working overtime). Step inside and experience treats aplenty – everything from single origin beans and blends to the hottest, silkiest brews.

Over at Black Label Espresso, say hi to Matt where consistency is key and Delano specialty coffee is skilfully served up every time. Start your weekend off right at Birch Coffee & Co. where house made seasonal sweets and savouries are made with love and care that’s next level. Same with their coffees. They come from Newcastle micro-roasters Floozy, who take single origins seriously. Back at Burkey’s House of Espresso, you’ll receive a warm welcome from Brian, and a pour that will put hair on your chest.

Got a penchant for coffee and cycling? The Bikesmith & Espresso Bar is the local ‘hub’ for cycling and coffee culture. At this independent, family owned bike shop, workshop and espresso bar, pick up a spare tube, a new bike or have yours serviced…as well as order a slew of simple eats. Or aromatic beans. Or an AeroPress. Or a stylish titanium coffee mug…

Wander over and linger longer at cafe/small bar/fine dining Coquun where dishes are given added bursts of flavour by native ingredients and views of the levee are nothing short of spectacular. Tried the sticky date cheesecake at Lavenders Café? Equally partial to tapas and a great shot? The Spanish eggs are a favourite at CJ’s On the Levee where the popular spot is a sunny outdoor area overlooking the river. For a seriously good smoothie or juice, head to Hydration Maitland.

Boutique beer lovers and coffee drinkers, can while away hours at The Whistler. Love a licensed café by the river? Enjoy the morning sun on the deck at The Orange Tree Café. Stopping off to shop at Pender Place Shopping Centre? Take your pick of a good brew at Michel’s Patisserie and Fused Café.

Getting there

Heading to Aroma? It’s a short walk down to the Aroma Coffee & Chocolate Festival at Maitland Riverside Car Park, accessible via St Andrews Street, Maitland.

Written by Ella Legg
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