On Tuesday at #WordstoGo14 in Adelaide, South Australia, we were invited to a tour of the Adelaide Central Market and following that some of us had been invited to take the Flavours of Campbelltown tour. I’d visited the Adelaide Central Market before but what a marvelous place it is. It’s right in the center of the city and was next door to the Hilton Adelaide hotel where I stayed.
A treat on our market tour was a visit from Callum Hann, Australian Masterchef runner-up and winner of the all-stars competition. This young man knows his food and he was charming to boot. He convinced me to buy some really wonderful honey and I was so pleased with my purchase until I realised I would have to haul that big jar around all day. Not a smart choice but I’m glad I carried it because it is fantastic. I’ll tell you about it ‘in my kitchen’ coming up soon.
Four years ago the Campbelltown City Council created the Flavours of Campbelltown Food Trail to support, highlight and promote local food producers. Until then, many of these marvelous businesses were local secrets. They began with just a few businesses and now they are at their max of 25 with a big waiting list. Businesses have seen tremendous growth from these tours.
Ursula Hickey, Manager for Economic Development is the woman in charge and she was also our guide for the day. The first stop on our tour was to JAVA Lifestyle Coffee and Tea emporium and before we got there Ursula told us that Mario Gabrielli, the owner, was quite shy and ‘would poop himself’ at the thought of talking to all these food writers.
I cracked up and went in to find that Mario and I pretty much see eye to eye. Physically. Both of us are built close to the floor. I gave him a hug and said he shouldn’t be nervous. He smiled and said he wasn’t nervous at all as he’d hired a professional coffee roaster to do the talking. He then introduced us to Dorcen Walters from Kommon Grounds, an artisan coffee roaster who did the public speaking. Artisan coffee like this isn’t done by computer, no sirree, it’s done by listening. And tasting.
Dorcen told us how he’d learned everything about coffee from Mario and they were a great team. He helps Mario out in the shop and between the two of them they roast 20 different blends of coffee every day. While Dorcen was talking, Mario poured a bucket of green coffee beans into the roaster so we could watch the complete roasting process.
Then Mario sat down with Tania from My Kitchen Stories and me and when Dorcen finished, Mario taught us all we’d ever want to know about coffee.
Mario’s father started the business with one espresso machine in 1956 in Glynde, so Mario has grown up with coffee all his life. Here we were, more than fifty years after that first machine was installed listening to Mario tell us why coffee blends are better than single origin coffees. He talked about the qualities of South American coffees (his favourite) compared to coffees from everywhere else. It was fascinating to listen to him.
Have you ever seen green coffee beans? They don’t look nor smell like anything you want. However once roasted, you could dance on the aroma alone.
I didn’t have my camera turned on when the beans went into the tray to cool but I did get one of them swirling around. I don’t have words to tell you how divine it was to hold my nose over those gorgeous buttons of coffee.
While Mario was talking about the coffee I had a quick look around and there are the historic antique coffee grinders and machines to showcase the history of coffee. JAVA also sells domestic coffee machines, plungers, thermometers and any sort of coffee equipment you might want. Coffee toys.
Each of us got a cup of coffee or tea and mine was a standard flat white that needed nothing to make it perfect. Then this dish of homemade Italian donuts appears before me and they are crunchy on the outside and soft and sweet on the inside and were the perfect complement to my coffee. I might have ignored Mario while I ate one.
JAVA sells their coffee in bulk or you can step into the shop for coffee and something wonderful to eat. I think I’d prefer to do both.
Don’t like coffee? JAVA has over 40 different types of tea in the shop from traditional black tea to some very unique and exotic ones.
JAVA Lifestyle Coffee and Tea
Shop 2, Centro NewtonNewton, SA 5074
08 8356 4884
Hours, M-F 7am-5:30pm