If Belinda Carlisle was living in this day and age, her hit song ‘Heaven is a Place on Earth’ may very well have been about society’s love of coffee – even more relevant upon wandering into Wagga Wagga’s Blessed Bean.
This is a place so wonderful that it’s food has clearly been cooked at the hands of angels, the chefs who don white aprons only lacking a halo above their heads.
Aptly named, the arrival of this café in southern NSW certainly puts the university town back on the map, and it’s a refreshing delight for travellers stopping off for a quick bite before dashing interstate across the border. For the tired and weary, it’s here that energy is ingested via a new holy trinity – coffee, cake and gourmet sandwiches.
Worth lunching on include the pulled pork roll (served with fennel slaw and caramelised apple) and The Rueben (slow cooked corn beef, sauerkraut, russian dressing, gherkins and Swiss cheese), both dished up with a side of crunchy chips.
If you’ve got the room following these generous portions, have an afternoon nibble on either a daily made muffin or brownie, absolutely essential as a side to one of their legendary coffees. Think 100 per cent Arabica coffee ground into several heavenly blends.
The local gem not only dishes out fine food and drink – it’s becoming an epicentre for food education with cupping classes (that’s cup tasting for short) this October. An ideal opportunity to become your own coffee aficionado, classes focus on everything from aroma to texture.
The Bean’s community engagement doesn’t stop there. They’ve begun taking expressions of interest for barista and latte art courses online, ready and willing to share some of the best tips for whipping together the perfect blend and topping it off with the finest of coffee art – though I’m aware something I’d create would probably remind you of Picasso or Pollock.
Definitely up there with some of the greatest urban dining spots around, it’s truly wonderful to see what a whole lot of country heart can come up with. Here’s praying that a new joint isn’t far from opening up a little closer to home.