It may seem strange to have a coffee festival set amongst bars and hotels claiming to be the oldest ones in Sydney, but Aroma Festival is a popular one in our calendars. The festival is the largest of its kind in the Southern hemisphere and it has been held on the last Sunday in July for almost two decades. It’s an event that sees boutique coffee roasters, chocolatiers, tea-sellers and gourmet providores coming together to celebrate their love of coffee and the stuff that goes well with it.
In 2016 over 60 stallholders were selling their wares in First Fleet Park, Circular Quay West, George St, Tallawoladah Place and the Overseas Passenger Terminal forecourt. Visitors could sample a variety of different coffees like single origin, organic and fair-trade kinds, by family-run and speciality roasters alike. There was a stall selling Ethiopian coffee claiming that this was where the humble bean began through to Southern Indians brewing special filtered coffee and a lot of Italian cafes selling your standard lattes and espressos. It was almost like a meeting of the United Nations!
The Festival also played host to a number of food trucks and pop up bars (where the espresso martini was a must!) There were also roving performers, DJs in First Fleet Park and a special La Toosh stage set up on top of a small French creperie. Local indie artists- Microwave Jenny, All Our Exes Live in Texas and Lolo Lovina provided a perfect soundtrack to compliment the drinks and the beautiful view of Sydney harbour. There was also a special stage where latte art competitions between home and expert baristas took place. The aim was to design the best picture in chocolate, in just under 3 minutes.
Melbourne is renowned for its café culture and it has recently played host to ideas like rainbow lattes and deconstructed coffees. At Aroma Festival in Sydney these new fripperies were not available. Instead it was all about good quality and great tasting coffee made by experts in the area. For those wanting to learn more, there were lots of different workshops available for home baristas and coffee aficionados to learn about cupping, brewing and the like. The Aroma Festival was all about enjoying a humble little bean in its perfect, liquid gold form so let us all stop and raise our mugs to toast coffee in all its finery…
Originally published on 26 August 2016 at the following website: http://www.theaustraliatimes.com/magazine/gourmet/issue/408/#45
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