For me, wintery days means one thing, visiting my favourite coffee and chocolate places in Maitland. There’s nothing better than the aroma of a freshly made espresso as the cup’s warmth spreads through my hands. You can’t say coffee without the word chocolate slipping off the tongue a second later. Luckily you can rug up and dive into a huge range of both.
For caffeine aficionados Black Label Espresso at The Levee is a cracker of a hole in the wall coffee joint. Flocks of people wait out the front as the team make their morning brews strong and fast.
For a more leisurely approach and river views I stop in at Coquun. Their friendly staff go the extra mile, so all you have to do is sit back and watch the Hunter River meander by.
Coffee culture meets arts culture at Seraphine Café. Set inside the stunning Maitland Regional Art Gallery this stylish café has a menu that is to die for with sensational baristas using Four Coffee Roasters beans. Sip on a drinkable delight before heading into the gallery where you’ll be amazed by an array of world class exhibitions.
For all things natural, especially if you like matcha lattes, Organic Feast in East Maitland is for you. After eating here, I always feel radiant and healthy, ready to take on whatever the day throws at me.
If all these café recommendations were not enough there’s also The Cabin Collective who hand roast their coffee beans over fire in house, The Cunning Culinarian who use boutique coffee from The Little Marionette paired perfectly with an eye watering brownie and The Rigby with its rich, comfortable interiors that will have you not wanting to leave the comfort of your long black and waffles with white chocolate.
But there’s more chocolate where that came from. Chocolate lovers rejoice, Maitland has what you need to leave your sweet tooth satisfied.
Icky Sticky in Lorn is a patisserie with an Instagram that makes you want to eat your phone. You’ll want to snap up at least one or, like me, a dozen of their many desserts. I highly recommend the Chocolate and Raspberry Mousse cake if you’re feeling extra indulgent.
If you like your chocolate in liquid form Birch & Coffee Co in The Hatch at The Levee has the creamiest and richest hot chocolate around. Their ever-changing sweets menu also means you can try something different every time and never be disappointed like the time I tried their mouth-watering little lemon yogurt bundts.
Maitland is also home to some very special makers that create chocolates too beautiful to eat…well almost.
Edwin at True Café and Chocolate in Lochinvar is a lover of all thing’s decadent. Along with his homemade artisan chocolates there’s also his handmade ice-cream and hot chocolate. I like to spoil myself by combining all three.
Then there’s Donna at Donarch Fine Chocolate who creates award winning confection that make me feel like I’m walking the streets of Belgium with a chocolate box. Pure bliss.
Heaven for your taste buds continues at Myrtle and Pepper Fine Chocolate. They use native Australian flavours in their wide selection of exquisitely designed chocolates that look like they belong in a gallery. A hot tip is to treat someone special to a glorious gift box of chocolates. You might need to buy two though as that special someone probably won’t want to share them.
My coffee and cocoa desires culminate each year at Maitland’s Aroma Coffee and Chocolate Festival. During August, this free event sees Central Maitland’s Riverside Car Park overflow with those seeking brilliant new flavours. With countless food stalls this is also the perfect lunch opportunity perhaps paired with a local wine. Chocolate lovers and caffeine fiends will not only have their bags bulging with treats from the artisan stalls but their taste buds tingling from a day of indulgence.
After visiting Maitland you’ll be on a caffeine high and in a chocolate coma. You could sample all this in moderation but why would you?