Thousands of discerning coffee and chocolate lovers were enticed along to the third annual Indulge Coffee and Chocolate Expo 2017 at Exhibition Park yesterday.
With some of Australia’s and the regions finest coffee and chocolate suppliers participating in the expo, this event is a one-day sensory overload in all things coffee and chocolate said Indulge Coffee and Chocolate Event Manager Stephanie Hodge.
“This was our biggest year so far. We did start three years ago with only about 12 exhibitors. This year we had almost 40 and we’ve had a number of exhibitors travel from regional NSW to be here and showcase their wares,” Ms Hodge said.
“Ever since I have been a little girl, I have grown up loving chocolate. So experiencing all these varieties is a match made in heaven for me,” she said.
There was something for everyone, including chocolate-coated strawberries, chocolate tea, chocolate kebabs and waffles on a stick, as well as a range of local and regional coffee producers.
Ms Hodge was also excited to announce that Australia’s first Mushroom Coffee was on offer at Indulge 17.
Chocolate-lovers Kylieann and her son, Ethan, attended Indulge 17. Ethan said he wanted to try all the chocolates at the Expo.
“I liked the waffle on a stick. It’s waffles with melted mini-marshmallows and chocolate on it,” said Ethan.
“We came along ‘cause I think we have a lot of great producers around the region and just wanted to sample lots of different chocolate and coffee,” Kylieann said.
“I’m a chocolate lover. It makes you feel happy and it always brings a smile,’ she said.
Lazy Su, an Asian eating-house base in Braddon, designed two cocktails especially this event, a chocolate cocktail called the Black Forrest and an Espresso martini.
“People always have a good time drinking coffee and chocolate,” said Lazy Su Bartender Ryan.
“It makes them feel good, it’s a little bit naughty, a little bit nice, a little bit sweet,” Ryan said.
Stephanie Pratt enjoyed cocktails with her friend Harriett Osborne at the Indulge 17 Lazy Su Cocktail Bar. Ms Pratt said that she heard about the Indulge Coffee and Chocolate Expo online and it looked like a fun thing to do on a Saturday with a friend.
“I’m having a delicious espresso martini. It’s a perfect combination of coffee and alcohol. So, it’s a really good combination to get you going,” Ms Pratt said.
“I’m a chocolate person. [I’m drinking] a Black Forest cocktail from Lazy Su. It’s creamy, chocolate and cherries and sweet and delicious,” said Harriet Osborne.
Rhonda Mohr said that she was addicted to both coffee and chocolate. Coffee adds to my day and the world looks a little brighter she said.
“Any time of the day is for a good chocolate,” said Ms Mohr.
Ms Mohr highly recommended Coco Noir Patisserie. “The one to die for is the tiramisu. It just melts in your mouth with all the flavours,” she said.
Coco Noir Patisserie is a Belconnen home-based dessert catering business.
“We mainly do French patisserie. But most of our desserts are custom made,” said Coco Noir Patisserie spokesperson Mariah.
“We custom make a lot of cheesecake. We get very unique flavours. Our popular one is Tim Tam,” she said.
Enigma Fine Chocolates displayed a full range of truffles, all hand-made in Lyneham.
“We have 18 to 19 different truffles, seven of which we’ve won awards for recently at the Australian Food Awards,” said Enigma Fine Chocolates Owner and Chocolatier Stuart Strutt-Shotton.
Mr Strutt-Shotten said there is something magical about chocolate. “It’s got a bit of magic to it, a bit of sensuality to it, there’s a lot going on with it. People just keep coming back for more.”
Emma Elliot travelled from Dubbo to showcase her family-owned dairy farm’s, The Little Big Dairy Co, award-winning milk.
“Naturally, chocolate and coffee milk is something everybody loves to grab a hold of,” said Ms Elliot.
Bathurst-based Morish Morsels returned again this year to sell their gourmet pies and sausage rolls. They are also known for their award-winning, hand made chocolates, cakes, biscuits and sweet breads.
“It’s all made by hand, so you taste it in the product,” said Morish Morsels spokesperson Chris Ringrose.
Local artist James Patrick has two artworks on display; one entirely painted using coffee and the other a sculpture, recreating the Thinking Man, by suspending coffee beans from a coffee mug.
“The main reason why I decided to paint with coffee was to show people that you don’t need the best paints, you don’t need the best materials. It’s more the idea,” said Mr James.
“I’m definitely a coffee person. I think it’s like a sort of meditation. Drinking coffee, it’s not something you ‘scull’, it’s not like you eat it, [and] it’s not something fast. You sit. You relax. It’s warm. It’s like a ten-minute meditation if you want to think of it that way,” he said.
The Creative Element CEO Erica Hediger said the reason for participating in the Indulge Coffee and Chocolate Expo was an excuse to play with chocolate and sugar.
“Chocolate is really a fun one. Because there are some really good crystalline structures, so there’s good science behind it. It also tastes really good,” said Ms Hediger.
“We are doing custom infused sugar syrups for coffee or ice cream using laughing gas. Which is pretty awesome,” she said.
“And we are also doing 3D chocolate moulds. So you get to paint with edible colours.”
Local musician Simon Anau, entertained the crowd with live music and talked about his love for chocolate.
“You will never catch me without chocolate. Right now I’ve got chocolate in my pocket, sneaking it and having it on my break,” Mr Anau said.
The RiotACT photographer Jack Mohr captured the all the action today at the Indulge Coffee and Chocolate Expo 2017. So grab yourself a coffee and some chocolate and enjoy the photographs.
Are a coffee or chocolate lover? Share some of your favourite coffee and chocolate venues in the comments below.
Doug Dobing is a modern communicator, journalist and content creator with a passion for people, politics and social justice. You can also hear him talking about local current affairs issues on 2XX FM 98.3 SubjectACT. He loves AFL and is an AFL Canberra photographer. You can find him on Twitter @DougDobing.