Saturday, August 28, 2010

The Rocks Aroma Festival 2010: The Latin Quarter, MCA Lawn and The Continent

Welcome to The Rocks Aroma Festival 2010!

Once again, The Rocks played host to the annual festival of coffee, tea, chocolate and spice, which brought visitors on a taste sensation tour around the world this year.

Being the nosy person I am, I went to every stall to take photos and had a look at what they had to offer. Unfortunately, Mother Nature was not exactly on my side, as the sky was dark and threatening to pour at times. Bad lighting and when you don't have a pro camera, sigh. And, to make things worse, the batteries in my camera were draining off fast! So, excuse the poor photo qualities in this post...

Getting off at Circular Quay Station, it was natural for me to stop at The Latin Quarter at First Fleet Park first. Well, it was the nearest stop and was vibrant with the colours and smell of Latin America - Guatemalan roasts, Peruvian chocolate, as well as Bolivian and Brazilian music. Some of the stalls here were:

Casa de Sabor

Apparently, their best-seller is the award-winning Portuguese chocolate mousse, which is made from a family recipe. You would be able to find their products at Ogalo stores and there are recipes on their website. Oh, and I flicked a cute magnet from their stall to add to the collection on the fridge. Hehe...

Bacco Pasticceria
Sorry, photo too blur to be shared here but do visit their website and head to their cafe, instead! Located in the heart of the CBD inside the swanky Chifley Plaza, I don't know about you but after reading the info on their website (especially the part where their Executive Pastry Chef used to work in Shangri-La and was the Chocolatier for Lindt and Sprungli Cafe), I am so bought! Who wants to go with me?

Republica Coffee

Apparently, behind the stack of paper cups stands a very hot barista! Aiya, should have stood there longer! They were declared Best Fairtrade Business at the prestigious City of Sydney Awards 2009 and is now served on the Upper Class of V Australia. Bags of Republica Coffee is also now available at Coles, Woolies and Safeway.

Mayan Coffee + Xocolat

Their cafe and chocolate is located in Waterloo. You can also buy their products from their website.

✒ Fix Coffee

Cocolo Chocolate

Available in all good health food, gourmet and Fairtrade stores, Cocolo is made in Switzerland and does not contain refined sugar.

Byron Bay Chilli

Never knew that Byron Bay is also famous for chillies! Maybe I could include this in my year-end roadtrip itinerary. What began at the local markets 16 years ago is now an internationally famous range of hot sauces, chilli sauces, chips and salsa. Their Fiery Coconut Chilli Sauce recently won First Place Scovie for Best World Style Hot Sauce at the 2010 Scovie Awards in New Mexico.

Ghermez Cupcakes

They claim that they add a pinch of glamour and a dash of style to the classic delicious treat. Their cupcakes are made fresh early in the morning at their bakery and are hand finished using ingredients such as pure French vanilla extract, Belgian chocolate and fresh fruits. They have a new store open on George Street.

Barista Basics Coffee Academy

Having branches in Melbourne, Brisbane and Sydney, they are Australia’s leading coffee academy. If you are a student, a barista or simply a coffee fanatic and if you are looking for TAFE and VETAB accredited courses, you might want to check them out.

They have owned a coffee roasting facility, four espresso bars, consulted for some of the largest coffee companies in Australia, developed the first coffee art course in the world and written Australia’s first textbook on making coffee from a commercial espresso machine. They are the only dedicated coffee training facility in Australia that is an RTO (Registered Training Organisation) and which also offers a TAFE qualification upon completion of its Master Barista course.

One stall had this cute biscuits called alfajores...

... and this was where the vibrant music was coming from!

Moving on to the MCA lawn...

Chocolate Mint

They sold some quirky birthday cards, door labels and magnets. They even had board games that were related to chocolate!

Whisk & Pin

Whisk & Pin are manufacturers of gourmet muesli, cookies, baking mixes and dried fruits based in the Blue Mountains. They also offer gluten free and organic products and there are recipes available on their website.

Nougat Limar

What started out as a hobby in 2000 has now grown into an international business.


The cherries looked fresh and juicy! And of course they would as Snowgoose is a boutique company, which for over 15 years has provided premium quality fruit boxes to present as gifts.

Sparkle Cupcakery Sydney

I like the black and white concept of their website, as well as their shop in Surry Hills.

Past the MCA and down the waterfront, The Continent follows the European flow with Italian blend coffee, artisan chocolates, hand-picked olives and music from Barons of Tang that had me grooving...

Heck, even the kids were enjoying themselves!

How cute is that?! Aw...

The stalls at The Continent included:

Coffee School

Another coffee school that has branches in Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane.


Located in The Rocks, it is proudly owned and run by a family of master coffee roasters and blenders from Roma, Italy.

Forsyth Coffee

They not only produce outstanding coffee blends, they are active in the coffee industry, operating their own cafe and judging in National and International Barista Championships. They also provide nationally accredited barista training for their staff and the profession. And they supply coffee, coffee cart & espresso services to both the corporate world, markets and home customers. Anyone fancy a trip to Naremburn for some of their award-winning blends?

Arte Caffe

They are an artesian coffee roaster located in Hornsby. All the coffee is roasted on site using a 30kg European-made Joper coffee roaster.

Kali Premium Chocolate & Chamellia Organic Tea

Based in Melbourne, Somage Fine Foods is the parent company that sells these two brands of chocolate and tea. I was taken in by how the tea is packed. If you notice on the packaging of the tea leaves, it tells you all the details of its origin.

Parana Caffe

The long queues on both ends; one end to order and pay, the other to collect them hot cuppas from the hotties behind the espresso machine!

Danes Gourmet Coffee

They are currently holding their Home Barista Championships. Check out their website for more details!

Grinders Coffee

Grinders Coffee was established in 1962 in Lygon St, Carlton by two Italian coffee roasters Giancarlo Giusti and Rino Benassi. With commitment to technology and growth, Grinders Coffee has moved on from humble beginnings to a coffee roasting factory in Fitzroy in 1998 and in 2004, to a state of the art coffee roasting plant in Fairfield.

Segafredo Zanetti

Everyone knows this brand. No intro needed.

Gumnut Chocolates

Combining tradition, innovation and imagination to lovingly make, drizzle and dip the finest quality handmade chocolates and biscuits, Gumnut Chocolates has been tantalising tastebuds for over 30 years. Their beautifully packaged products are available within a day or two of manufacture for optimum taste and freshness. They also supply cafes, gourmet food stores, specialty chocolate shops, restaurants, caterers and individuals.

Pukara Estate

Pukara Estate’s Extra Virgin Olive Oils are amongst Australia’s best, winning over 50 awards in shows nationally, including the prestigious Australian Olive Association National Show. The Estate produces distinctive, sophisticated and flavoursome Extra Virgin Olive Oils of the highest quality.

And I met a long-lost friend at this stall - Shu Yi, whom I totally forgotten to take a photo with!

Coco Chocolate

Coco produces chocolate in its own Edinburgh & Sydney kitchens, which opens their doors twice a month for a chocolate school.

Olympus Grove

They manufacture a premium range of antipasta, hand stuffed imported Greek olives and stuffed sweet peppers.

However, the highlight of the day would have to be this masterpiece:

Yes, this portrait of Marilyn Monroe. But wait, take a closer look...

... an even closer look...

... yes, those are coffee cups you are looking at! There were 5,200 cups of coffee variations ranging from short blacks to flat whites in total prepared by Grinders Coffee and Riverina Fresh.

And they broke the world record by doing that! Kuddos to the 12 team members who put it up in over 4 hours!


carol said...

thanks for this detailed post with all the stalls name :-) hope i cna be there next year

Chrys said...

No worries!

Oh, let us know and we'll come support you!