Droves of coffee-loving Sydneysiders came out of the woodworks and took over The Rocks to soak up the sun and the heady scent of freshly roasted and brewed beans at The Rocks Aroma Festival.
The cobblestone paths of The Rocks teemed with visitors to The Rocks Aroma Festival on Sunday 21 July, with thousands roaming its intimate laneways sampling some of the best brews, fine foods and entertainment in Sydney.
Presented by Sydney Harbour Foreshore Authority, the festival atmosphere was complemented by a gorgeous sunny winter day, as tens of thousands of visitors huddled over thousands of cups of coffee, from 24 boutique roasters offering a wide array of beans and blends.
One of the biggest events of the day was the creation of the world’s largest coffee mosaic. Volunteer staff members from the Foreshore Authority broke the Guinness World Record with a massive portrait of Dame Edna Everage made of 8,000 carefully arranged cups of coffee. Now that’s taking ‘latte art’ to a whole new level!
Highlights also included the micro roasters on show at the First Fleet Park. Visitors sampled coffees direct from the coffee merchants and producers who brought along boutique and Fairtrade beans. Among the most popular were Mayan Coffee + Xocolat, where massive lines of visitors formed for their gourmet coffees and chocolate drinks.
Queues also ran all day at Cadman’s Cottage, where gourmet small batch, single origin and organic coffees were the order of the day. The brilliant brews were perfectly complemented by the famous French pastries from Baroque Bistro Patisserie and La Renaissance Patisserie.
It wasn’t all about coffee at the Aroma Festival. George Street, already famous for its cafes, was packed all day as it hosted tea tastings, specialty coffee roasters and wickedly good chocolatiers, pâtissiers and cupcake bakers. Visitors were served steaming cups of tea, handmade treats and chocolates, and too-good-to-eat cupcakes from The Cupcake Bakery.
Sydney’s cafe and live entertainment cultures collided at the Overseas Passenger Terminal forecourt, where Sydney met Paris and Rome. La Toosh captured the essence of the Parisian lifestyle in a remarkable experience that combined food, art, performance and music. Meanwhile, Bar Coco added the Italian touch with espressos and specialty gelato.
Campbells Cove was transformed into a Middle Eastern haven as stalls serving Turkish street food and traditionally made coffee and tea created a warm Arabian atmosphere. Visitors lounged on cushions on the harbour front while sipping on apple tea and strong Turkish coffee as belly dancers and musicians performed on stage.
Stall holders showed visitors the tricks of the trade on the MCA Lawn, showing them the key to brewing cafe-grade coffee at home. Visitors were shown the best grounds for different brewing methods as well as the latest technologies to make the ultimate cup.
This year the festival offered an impressive array of activities and workshops in the week leading up to the big day. The coffee-curious took part in an espresso tasting with boutique roasters Pablo & Rusty’s; enjoyed insider’s tips from professional chocolate makers and learned how to make pour-over coffee at home.
And it’s not over yet! As part of The Rocks Aroma Festival, the inaugural ‘Aroma Cup’ has The Rocks’ many cafes and baristas currently going head to head in a public vote for the makers of the best coffee, with a member of the public in for the chance to win an ECM Casa IV coffee machine plus accommodation and dinner for two in The Rocks, valued at $1,700 – Just for voting for The Rocks’ best drop! Voting continues until the end of July!
Sydney Harbour Foreshore Authority is proud to manage The Rocks: traditional land of the Cadigal people and the birthplace of European settlement in Australia. While preserving The Rocks’ unique heritage, we produce large scale and intimate quality events, outdoor markets, and educational tours. The Rocks: it’s a perfect blend of culture, cuisine and a myriad of experiences worth savouring.
For more information visit therocks.com