A Melbourne Cafe Care Package

John (a resident Chicagoan) and I have been exchanging care packages for a few years now. Receiving a big ol’ parcel from the other side of the world that’s brimming with (mostly edible) goodies is very good for the soul, and I highly recommend you find someone with which to take part in such trade. In previous correspondence, I’ve sent the likes of Arnott’s Tim Tams, Mint Slice and Shapes, Milo, Cadbury chocolate and Allen’s lollies. In return – Lucky Charms, Reese’s everything and Ghirardelli Squares abound. The Ghirardelli Squares, especially; I think John has found that these serve as a far more interesting alternative to packing peanuts. I’m very much inclined to support this notion.

This particular care package, however, has been quite a while in the making. For this one, I wanted to get a little more local than the same old ‘Aussie stuff’. I freakin’ love Melbourne, and that’s what I wanted to show off in this parcel. It’s no surprise that the care package very naturally took on a ‘Melbourne cafe’ theme. Cafes are the cogs of this city. An influx of Italian migrants after World War II sparked a passionate, inner-city coffee culture – and coincided rather nicely with the proliferation of the modern-day espresso machine. We’ve been working on a seriously good thing for decades. Heck – we’re one of the few places in the world to give Starbucks the boot.

And so, this little gift is my ode to the Melbourne cafe. John – enjoy! 

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Market Lane | Seasonal Espresso, 250g

Obviously, I had to provide the means for a good cup of Melbourne grade coffee. I’ve been a little infatuated with Market Lane coffee lately; over the past few weeks I’ve found myself sipping at both the Therry St and Prahran Market cafes. The coffee is smooth and delicious. I feel myself in the midst of my first true allegiance to a particular coffee roaster. Their cups brandish a simple philosophy: “We love to make coffee for the city that loves to drink it.” For you, John – I’ve included a bag of Market Lane’s Seasonal Espresso beans (Uh, yeah. You’re gonna need to buy yourself a coffee bean grinder. Merry Christmas!). As I meticulously bubble-wrapped every item in this parcel, the aroma of these beans almost drove me mad. I mean, listen to this – ‘Notes of ripe cherry, orange and chocolate fudge.’ Seriously. 

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 T2 | Melbourne Breakfast, Teabags 25pk

‘A deep and warming tea with a hint of sweetness, reminiscent of Melbourne. Full bodied with a touch of vanilla. An essential tea.’ Yes, Melbourne is a city of coffee drinkers – but we’re pretty damn solid on the tea front too. T2’s Melbourne Breakfast was the obvious choice here. I’m not sure if it’s just my Melbourne bias here, but this is one of my favourite T2 teas (there are over 200!). T2 popped up on Brunswick Street in Melbourne’s Fitzroy back in 1996, and is now a bit of a giant in the boutique tea world. The first U.S. store even opened in New York just a couple of months ago. So whether Melbourne or New York is next on your (extensive) travel list, John, definitely drop in to T2. So much to smell, sip and savour! 

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MörkMörk Original Dark 70%, 250g

This. Really, this is where John’s little Melbourne cafe care package sprouted from. The duo behind Mörk – one part Melbourne specialty coffee scene, one part Swedish chocolatier – combine to create the best powdered hot chocolate I’ve ever tasted. The pair take their hot chocolate seriously, using only the finest and purest ingredients: ‘cocoa powder, 100% cacao liquor from Sur del Lago in Venezuela and sweetened only with unrefined coconut blossom sugar’. It’s pretty sensational. Nothing like the sickly sweet stuff that’s usually the norm on cafe menus. My usual Mörk dealers are the lovely folks at Twenty & Six Espresso, though I picked up this sexy cardboard canister at the very cool Melbournalia on Bourke Street. 

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Little Wanderings - Melbourne Cafe Care Package 2

KeepCup | ‘Brew’ Glass Coffee Cup, Medium (12oz/340ml)

With all of these wonderful Melbourne beverages, it seemed pertinent to provide something from which to drink them. KeepCup is a pretty nifty little Melbourne invention, kickstarting a revolution of the reusable coffee cup. For one, they’re stylish; this positive aesthetic has played a huge part in KeepCup’s success and people’s desire to, you know, actually keep using them. And then there’s the design: they’re made to seamlessly fit in with standard volumes at cafes, plus fit right under the brew head of an espresso machine. Barista-friendly! The new ‘Brew’ series with a glass cup design is absolutely gorgeous, and I knew as soon as I saw it that John would be receiving one. I’m so jealous of this KeepCup, in fact, that I’ve decided I must absolutely buy one for myself. 

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Gânache Chocolate | Cafe Latte Pralines

What would a steaming hot cuppa be without a little something to nibble on? I stretched my mind far and wide trying to think of the perfect little sweet treat to include in this parcel – when suddenly it came to me. I’d seen these beautiful Gânache pralines photographed on blogger Iron Chef Shellie‘s Instagram account months back. What could be more perfect than handmade chocolates (cafe latte flavour, no less!) stamped with our iconic W-Class trams? 

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Make Me Iconic | Iconic Mini Tram

And lastly, a little extra dose of the W-Class tram for good measure. It’s the most Melbourne way to get to all of those excellent Melbourne cafes, after all.

I’ve received word that this care package made it safely to its destination on Christmas Eve. May these tasty tidbits from Melbourne keep you warm this Chicago winter, John! Those who follow me on Instagram will know that John, the scoundrel that he is, has already gone and one-upped me in the parcel exchange. Guess it’s time to start plotting again!

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  • http://www.youtube.com/phampants phampants

    BAHAHAHA! You finally called me out on my secret of using Ghirardelli squares as packing peanuts!

    This was truly an amazing parcel/care package exchange. I’m using the Market Lane coffee in my brand new Chemex coffee maker that I got for Christmas. But first, need to get a grinder. As for the tea, I know those will make a perfect morning cup when I’m not at work (and I’m so glad you got the one that said “Melbourne Breakfast”).

    Already used the love the keep cup. As for the hot chocolate…ALSKJDF:SIDG:OSIDG SO EFFING GOOD!!! The regular chocolates I haven’t tried yet. Waiting to compliment it with the coffee. But the mini tram is the perfect topping on such an amazing parcel.

    Not sure how I one upped you, but perhaps you should do a write up on that too. =D

    • http://www.littlewanderings.com Terri @ Little Wanderings

      Haha, I was just seriously blown away by all of the amazing new things in your parcel is all! Next round is going to have to be next level…

      Oh my god yes, Mörk is just so damn good. As they say, it’s a kind of ‘grown up’ hot chocolate!

      You’ll have to let me know when you have your first cup of Market Lane coffee! I’ve just looked up Chemex – wow, stylish! I think the packet said that this particular coffee is best brewed espresso-style, so it would be interesting for you to do a comparison in taste between your Mokapot and Chemex!

  • http://www.martasaurus.com Marta

    Oh man, YUM! I am so so so looking forward to enjoying all this in less than a month. I went through some hard coffee withdrawal when I returned to New York last time.

    Hey but I’ve got a logistical question: what service do you use to ship packages??

    PS: Happy new year!

    • http://www.littlewanderings.com Terri @ Little Wanderings

      Hey Marta! Most excellent – I look forward to sipping a Melbournian beverage with you soon!

      And I just use Australia Post, our regular ol’ government postal system. Always makes it to the States in 7-10 days (usually closer to 7 for me!).

      • http://martasaurus.com Marta

        Wonderful! Very good to know – thanks Terri!

  • http://www.notquitenigella.com Lorraine @ Not Quite Nigella

    Isn’t it lovely to have a relationship like that? I have one with Barbara from Barbara Bakes and Faith from An Edible Mosaic. They both have great taste and are so thoughtful! Happy New Year Terri! :D

    • http://www.littlewanderings.com Terri @ Little Wanderings

      It sure is, Lorraine! I love that you can have just as much fun putting together a care package as it is to receive one :)

      A very happy new year to you too!