Did you know that some of Australia’s best coffee is grown right here in our own backyard?
The Golden Bean Award for Australian/NZ Grown Coffee (Milk based) for 2019 was awarded to Tamborine Mountain Naturals by Tamborine Mountain Coffee Plantation. It’s the highest single honour a bean can receive from the largest competition in the world.
Australians are great coffee drinkers. In fact, our coffee consumption is a major factor in café culture and success. It’s estimated that over 384 Olympic sized swimming pools of coffee are consumed by Aussies every year.
So, it’s surprising that very little of the coffee drunk in Australia is actually grown here. 99% of it is imported from regions around the Equator, such as Africa, Asia and South America.
The coffee we do grow in Australia is small volume specialty coffee, ‘mild yet with a complex flavour profile, medium to low acidity with a natural sweetness’.
It’s the perfect description of the house single origin coffee we taste as part of a Coffee Tasting Board at Tamborine Mountain Coffee Plantation, having taken the short drive from the Gold Coast to check out this local producer.
With 650 coffee trees on just an acre of land, Tamborine Mountain Coffee Plantation is a long way away from the Equator, however coffee is thriving in its nutrient-rich soil.
A Crop-to-Cup Tour gives us a tour of the plantation and processing facilities. We learn that growing coffee outside its natural habitat is not without difficulty. As well as the commitment to grow a pesticide and spray-free crop, there are climatic variations to contend with. Liam Smith, Producer at Tamborine Mountain Coffee Plantation says the team must work harder than usual, hand picking the crop to maintain quality.
“We’re replanting a rainforest canopy so that our coffee beans achieve ripeness without getting burnt,” says Sam Williams, whose family bought the property late in 2016.
As we tour the plantation, we see that it’s just one of the improvements the family has made to the property. Vegetable gardens flourish around every corner, there has been a refurbishment of the café, the addition of a cocktail bar and a new deck added to overlook the lush picnic grounds.
At the new Brew Bar behind the restaurant, you can do a ‘taste tour’ of coffee from around the world, all roasted on site, before being given the opportunity to make your own blend.
Then it’s time for lunch. With Paul Frazer (ex-GOMA) on board as Head Chef the café menu has been revitalised with an ‘all day brunch’ menu on offer.
From Smashed Avo ‘your way’ to a Japanese Karaage rice bowl, Okonomiyaki to Rice flour baby squid with Asian salad and nuoc cham dressing, there are lots of enticing modern dishes on the single page menu. Clearly labelled food preferences are outlined for each dish with allowance for tweeking make this a place where everyone can find a tasty meal to suit their palate, all under $20.
Tamborine Mountain Coffee Plantation is worthy of a trip on its own, however it would also be suitable to visit as part of a day trip or holiday. From a tour and meal to a brew sampling with the café’s Coffee Tasting Board, from a celebratory brunch with cocktails on the deck to cake and coffee beside the fire, the Tamborine Mountain Coffee Plantation experience has the flexibility to meet a variety of needs. All this, just a short drive from Brisbane or the Gold Coast.
Tamborine Mountain Coffee Plantation, 64 Alpine Terrace, Tamborine Mountain, Qld Ph: 07 5545 2777
Open daily 7am – 3pm (4pm on weekends)
NOTE: Crop-to-Cup tours operate on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays at 12pm
The estate’s signature beans can be purchased on your visit or at the online store.
Good Food Gold Coast dined as a guest of Tamborine Mountain Coffee Plantation.