Tuesday, 9 January 2007

Chocolate Coated Coffee Beans

At the end of last year, on a beautiful day for a ride to Roslyn Bay, over a coffee by the water's edge, I was introduced to a most marvellous confection: a single chocolate coated coffee bean, a tiny capsule of heaven on my saucer. My travelling companion, Aiden, told me of a magical coffee store far to the south where he had seen them previously. But could I get them in Rockhampton?
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I spent the rest of the year (ok, so that wasn't very long) searching in vain for a source of these wonders. Darrel Lea apparently occasionally stock them, but not any more. Same for Capricorn Roast. In desperation, I widened my search to Bundaberg (and my family thought I was there to visit them, shh, don't tell them!) but still my efforts bore no fruit.
Long long ago, in a better time, there was a gourmet food store in Rockhampton. But it closed, and with its passing the land was plunged into a period of darkness. Still, some spoke in hushed whispers of another store, one that yet survived. No phonebook told of this fabled store, and for a long time I didn't believe the rumours, but with the success of my quest hanging precariously in the balance I was prepared to turn to any small glimmer of hope. So, with Sarah faithfully at my side, I set out once more.
Far away we went, following the vague second-hand directions of Sarah's mum who spoke a traveller who claimed to have stumbled upon this store by chance in her wanderings, but who had not ventured inside. Over the mighty Fitzroy river, down Denham, and across to the far side of the Bruce Highway - surely we had gone too far then? - and still there was no sign of any gourmet food store. At the foot of the mountainous Range we were forced to turn back, resigned to the bitter taste of failure. But as we wearily turned around, Sarah, with her keen eyesight, cried "Stop! Stop!" - she had found it!
I was to be forgiven for missing it as we passed it the first time; the store had the confounding name of "Tables & Tots", and only in small unassuming print did it say "Gourmet Goodies". Excitedly, we went inside. The store was a confused jumble of furniture, tableware, and bric-a-brac piled on every available surface. But along one wall were exotic foodstuffs, and at the back of the store I found at last what I had been searching for: chocolate coated coffee beans... in no less than three mouth-watering flavours!
I immediately bought a small packet of espresso flavoured beans, which I prefer to the cafe latte flavoured beans I have just returned to buy after consuming the first lot. I have learnt that approximately 5 beans equals one shot of espresso - bear in mind that not all the caffeine from grounds makes it into the espresso. It's very hard to stop at just 5 beans, but so far I've been strong.
Thus ends the tale of my quest for the chocolate coated coffee beans!

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