Blue Mountains Coffee Trail
Coffee is one of the most
consumed beverages in the
world. Its energising effect
and its captivating aroma
make statements like, ‘Let’s
grab a coffee’ or ‘I need my
caffeine hit’ very much part
of our culture today.
Coffee’s stimulating effect appears to have been
discovered in Ethiopia, spreading through the Arab
world, with coffee houses being established in the
Ottoman Empire in the 1500s. Coffee then spread to
Italy and throughout the rest of Europe and on to
Indonesia and the Americas. Today coffee has become
a vital cash crop for many developing countries with
over one hundred million people worldwide
dependent on it as their primary source of income.
There are two main commercially grown species of
coffee: coffea canephora (commonly known as
‘robusta’) and coffea Arabica. Arabica is more highly
regarded and accounts for three quarters of the
coffee cultivated worldwide.
Although traditional coffee harvesting and processing
still occurs in some areas, more commonly crops are
strip picked, where all berries, regardless of ripeness
are harvested simultaneously.
The next step is the roasting process. During
roasting, caramelisation occurs as intense heat breaks
down starches in the beans, changing their colour
from light to very dark. The degree of roast has an
effect on coffee flavour and body. The darker roasts
are generally bolder. The lighter roasts are more
complex and therefore perceived stronger flavour.
Coffee beans must be ground and brewed to create
the beverage that we know and love.
Individual’s coffee preferences are as varied as the
individuals themselves – black or white, sweetened or
not, even served cold!
Espresso based coffee can be presented alone as a
shot or a long black. Milk can be added and
presented as a latte, cappuccino or macchiato.
Whether your preference is one of these or something
else you’ll find it in the Blue Mountains.
If you want to consume your coffee with breakfast, or
a mid morning or mid afternoon break or as a fitting
end to lunch or dinner you’ll find it in the Blue
Mountains.
Although cafés haven’t existed in the Blue Mountains
for 500 years as they have in other parts of the
world, the explosion of coffee shops in the region
leaves the local and visitor spoilt for choice.
If your choice is to drive to the mountains, and you’d
like to break the trip, try Mountain Blue Café in either
Glenbrook or Springwood. The atmosphere is bright
and clean, the staff very friendly and the service
prompt and efficient. They serve an enjoyable cup of
coffee made to your taste and have a good selection
of light meals and sweet treats!
If you choose to travel by train, the cafés of
Wentworth Falls, Leura, Katoomba and Blackheath are
within easy walking distance of the stations.
If you are partial to excellent pastries and good
coffee Conditori Patisserie Schwarz is a must.
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Barista Gab De Campo at Cassiopeia in Lurline Street, Katoomba
Enjoy your coffee and pastry inside or choose an
outdoor table on a beautiful fine sunny day. But
beware, it’s difficult to leave without buying another
pastry for later.
Leura village is full of wonderful places to enjoy a
coffee. If you have a sweet tooth, particularly if
chocolate is your passion, then Café Madeleine is not
to be missed. I have it on good authority that the
white chocolate cheesecake is ‘to die for’. The white
chocolate in this cheesecake is also Fair Trade
Certified. If you like wine with your meal – and good
coffee as well – try the Leura Garage Café Restaurant
and Bar which is located right opposite the railway
just two minutes walk from the station. They pride
themselves on sourcing as many locally grown
products as they can including locally roasted coffee.
Signage in the café encourages local producers, large
and small, to leave their details. If you’re spending an
evening in the mountains, try sharing a bottle of
locally produced wine and a pizza at the Leura
Garage.
Further down the hill you’ll find ‘the bored husband’s’
bench seat. Don’t stop there. Go through the short
arcade to the end and you’ll find Fresh Espresso &
Food Bar Leura. You’ll find another Fresh in Main
Street Katoomba. Both locations sell freshly roasted
and blended coffees and a delicious selection of
meals and sweets.
Leave the Mall and go through to the car park. More
shops await you there. Walking past the nursery,
you’ll find a sign that leads you to Lily’s Pad Café
and Takeaway. This café is tucked away between
Grose St and The Mall. The selection of food here is
delicious, hearty and fresh. Try a bowl of baked
kumera wedges or one of the fabulous pies with
fresh green salad or perhaps a roast vegetable salad
is more to your liking. Finish your meal with a great
cup of 2FD Direct Trade coffee from PNG. Whether
vegetarian, vegan, coeliac or a meat eater, your
requirements will be met at Lily’s Pad Café.
the charm of the tearoom is the perfect setting to
experience either a Devonshire tea or High Tea (coffee
is an option).
Coffee shops also abound in Katoomba. Small and
intimate on Katoomba St is True to the Bean
espresso and waffle bar. The aroma of the coffee
mixed with the smell of cooking waffles is hard to
resist.
Further down Katoomba St is Elephant Bean Café.
This ‘humble’ coffee shop serves, amongst other
things, wonderful toasted sandwiches on organic
sourdough bread accompanied by dressed salad
greens. The menu highlights its selection of coffees
which are roasted and ground on the premises.
The Katoomba St Café is well worth a visit. A great
coffee is a wonderful accompaniment to a meal of
freshly sourced ingredients served by welcoming staff.
As you walk down Lurline St and head towards Echo
Pont and the iconic Three Sisters you’ll pass a
number of cafés. Christopher at the Hotel Blue Coffee
Shop will go out of his way to make you feel
welcome and to satisfy your coffee requirements.
Across the road is a specialist coffee roaster,
Cassiopeia (also in Macquarie Road in Springwood)
which boasts a stylish retro-look roasting machine
and some exquisite varieties to enjoy onsite or take
home.
The Victory Café in Govett’s Leap Rd Blackheath is
one of the best known cafés in the mountains. Its
coffee and selection of sweet and savoury food are a
great way to either begin or end your exploration of
two levels of fabulous antique stalls that are housed
in the same building.
Finding new cafés and eateries is just one of the
pleasures of visiting the Blue Mountains. The ones
mentioned here are only ‘the tip of the iceberg’! If
you have had a great coffee experience please let us
know by emailing us at: sfbm@slowfoodaustralia.com.au
If old world charm is more your cup of tea then visit
Bygone Beautys on the corner of Grose St and
Megalong St. This is ‘an antique emporium and
tearoom’. The collection of teapots on display and
www.scenicworld.com.au/bmapp
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