Mareeba's best kept secret
The small Cairns Highlands community of Mareeba, nestled in the heartland of Australia's coffee growing region appears to have a rather well kept secret: the world's largest and most significant collection of coffee making treasures ever assembled.
This rare cache of over 2,000 coffee artefacts covers six continents and some exhibits date back as far as the early 18th century. This collection is on permanent display at 136 Mason Street in the annex of the Coffee Works and boasts over 150,000 visitors each year.
You can imagine my excitement when I discovered this remarkable "Coffee Museum" which is the result of 37 years of extensive research and countless trips around the world by the owners to trace the origins and history of every piece.
The art of coffee making over the ages is fascinating - this unique exhibit illustrates the humble coffee bean's journey throughout the ages and man's ingenuity in extracting and enriching its flavours and aromas.
At the museum, you will see the first of every kind of coffee machine. There are pieces that the original manufacturers do not even possess. Some of the pieces are the very last of their kind left in the world.
The museum has talking pots and theatrical audio visual presentations to entertain visitors as they explore a realm of 'themed rooms'. Special self-guided tours using individual audio guides are included in the entry fee and provide visitors with a personal commentary narrated by the original collector, Ian Bersten.
For hundreds of years man has developed a multitude of coffee makers in his quest for the 'perfect cup'' ...from the ugly to the ornate, from the simple to the intricate, from the common to the quirky ... and now they are all on display in one place in Mareeba.
This is a must see experience for all coffee lovers!