The Coffee Works: Destination Mareeba

Entry sign to The Coffee Works Mareeba
Coffee Works is a mix of the old and new

After driving through the parched savannah lands on the outskirts of Mareeba the arrival at coffee Works is Oasis like.

Thin stretches of well-watered grass and evergreen shrubbery line the entrance to this treasure trove of the delectable but within a few short steps this mirage is replaced by the smell of freshly roasted and ground coffee.Read more:The Coffee Works: Destination Mareeba




Greg Sciacca from Madella Coffee showing some of his prize beans.
Greg Sciacca, Madella Coffee showing some of his prize coffee beans

Something different in our coffee

With Australians embracing a coffee culture…wait scratch that…with Australians eating, drinking, living, breathing and worshiping at the altar of an all-consuming coffee culture, it’s of no surprise many of us look for something different in our coffee.

One very different enterprise in this space is Madella Coffee or as it’s sometimes known Madella by the River. This paddock to plate style business located at Mourilyan (near Innisfail) is owned and operated by third generation farming family Greg and Angie Sciacca who not only grow the Arabica variety beans, but process and roast them all within 15 kilometres (less than 10 Miles) of the paddock.  Read more: Something different in our coffee



Farmer Meets the Foodie meets 100 Mile Author
Farmer Meets the Foodie meets 100 Mile Author

Farmer meets the foodie

For most foodies sourcing fresh local produce direct from the farmer is akin to trying to find the proverbial needle in a haystack.  This was until the emergence of ‘farmer meets foodie’, a service which according to creator Erica Hughes, “Bridges the gap between the farm gate and the kitchen bench”.

Read more on: Farmer meets the foodie




Rainforest Heart’s winning product range

What are rainforest fruits used for today?

Tropical rainforest fruits are a bit of a novelty even within 100 miles of Cairns ‘where the rainforest meets the reef’, but a number of companies within the area are looking to change this.

Rainforest Heart bush orchard is the latest company in the area to investigate ways to utilise ancient, wet tropics species of fruit such as Davidson’s plums, Lemon Aspens and Lillypillies.

Read more on: What are rainforest fruits used for today?



Red tipped bananas or ecobananas

What is a red tipped banana?

Having the distinction of being one of Australia’s iconic fresh fruit products, the red tipped banana is one of those great stories of innovation and bucking the trend from farmers in Tropical North Queensland.

Most Australians and some readers from overseas will have seen the vibrant red tipped banana or ecobanana as its known standing out from the crowd in their local markets. This is no accident. Click here to continue reading what is a red tipped banana?


What is chocolate made from? Cocoa within 100 Miles of Cairns

Many of our avid foodies will know chocolate is made from cocoa, but how many of you know it’s a tropical fruit grown within 100 miles of Cairns?

Research shows the fruit (which comes in the form of a pod) only grows in tropical climates within 18 degrees of the equator, placing our coastal farmers in one of the world’s prime growing locations. Over the last 10 years a number of farmers…read more on: What is chocolate made from? Cocoa within 100 Miles of Cairns


Australia Day Breakfast on the beach comes in many forms
Australia Day Breakfast on the beach comes in many forms – 100 Mile Author

On Australia Day – Does Australia have a National Dish?

Australia Day…Whohoo! Three day weekend…time to get together with friends and time for the annual ‘Does Australia have a National dish’ debate?

First I acknowledge not everyone in the country celebrates this day but as long as you are peaceful and respectful of other’s opinions whilst representing yours I will listen and respect your right to do so.

Likewise those who are celebrating remember the celebration is called Australia day not I’m a redneck bogan racist day.

Click here to continue reading On Australia Day – Does Australia have a National Dish?


Sunrise over Sugarcane at Edmonton South of Cairns
Sweet Sunrise over Sugarcane (Cairns)

Sweet Sunrise

After suffering through the last couple of months of rain and drizzle there is nothing better than a sweet sunrise.

This series of photos were taken over a sugarcane paddock in full flower at Edmonton just south of Cairns. Want to see more click here to read more…Sweet Sunrise




Fermented Vanilla beans from Broken Nose Vanilla
Finished vanilla beans

Before the kitchen…vanilla

Using Vanilla beans in Australian cooking seems to be the current leaning in our collective kitchens.

Evidence of this is the ubiquitous scraping of vanilla innards appearing on a host of cooking programs. Chef after chef explains how this scented bean will bring your icecream or panna cotta to life, as well as enriching your savoury favourites.

While this step by step dance routine teaches the basics, to understand vanilla you need to go back to the farm gate to see how the bean is produced.  Continue reading Before the kitchen…vanilla


Reflections from the picnic area

Reflections on the Lake

If I were a betting man (which I’m not) I’d bet London to a brick your 2013 was absolutely back crack crazy busy…mine too!

Now with the year about to launch into full swing again it seems appropriate to reflect on what’s important and while I’ve decided to give up on the inevitably broken New Year’s resolution, it’s safe to say spending time with family will always have top billing in my life.

This said I also have a strong desire to share with you the little piece of paradise in which we live. Continue reading Reflections on the Lake


Coffee Works Museum
Coffee Works coffee

Coffee Capital or Capital Coffee?

Having a proud Italian heritage and growing up in Mareeba, now the coffee capital of Australia, meant I had no choice but to adopt this black ambrosia as my number one drug of choice.

It’s my culture… at least this is what I tell my Doctor whenever there is discussion on cutting back. Luckily we’re back into a medical research cycle which says ‘coffee is good for you’, so hopefully she’ll reside somewhere other than on my hairy yellow back when it comes to this subject.

Ironically, while coffee has been an integral part of this Gen X’s day since my Northern Italian Grandmother first poured me a cup at age six, Australians in general are relative newcomers to consuming the tropical bean. It wasn’t until the 1980s when a popularity explosion of almost all things Italian occurred that we saw the proliferation of pizza, pasta and of course coffee. Australia’s answer to Continue reading Coffee Capital or Capital Coffee?

Friesian calves grazing between Yungaburra and Malanda

We broke the chain

Don’t buy that one…buy the other one it’s cheaper!

Spend more than two minutes and twenty two seconds in an Australian Supermarket and this is what you’ll hear. The modern day catch-cry of crazy busy suburbanites, ducking into a homogenous, one stop shop to buy ingredients for hastily prepared evening meals.

Decisions on which duopoly’s edifice to grace, between picking up the kids from day care and collapsing in front of the TV, is now most likely based on price and which was better at strategic store placement, rather than the quality of their wares.

This crisis of time is understandable given modern pressures.. continue reading the full article ‘We broke the chain’


Schooling Rainforest Bounty Style

When taken as a collective it’s a safe bet to say Australia’s palate has evolved over the last thirty years… well most of it! Bastions of the meat and three veg remain but not many within my circle of friends and family.

Having a best of both worlds (Northern and Southern Italian) heritage it’s hard for me to imagine living like that but even 10 years ago you would have worked hard to convince me I’d be eating Indonesian food made from Australian rainforest fruits… continue reading ‘Schooling Rainforest Bounty Style’


Daintree Estates Chocolate

Selling chocolate to Belgians is like selling bicycles to the Chinese but this is the delicious coup d’état performed by Daintree Estates, an inventive Tropical North Queensland company.

The fledgling company founded in November 2011 sold both their 70 per cent Dark and Milk varieties to… continue reading ‘Daintree Estates Chocolate’



Coffee Works steak sandwich

Half-Time Treat

The Atherton Tablelands or Cairns Highlands as it’s known in tourism circles is one of my favourite food destinations.  Unmistakeably though, it can also be as quirky as… continue reading ‘Half-Time Treat’





Bet on the Brangus

As a parochial, middle aged, Far North Queensland male I take pride in being able to barbeque a piece of steak to what I consider perfection, but mine is the last piece of the food puzzle where a difference is made.

Sure, I can very easily create something as tasty as old gumboots by simply… continue reading ‘Bet on the Brangus’