The Coffee and Chocolate Expo has returned this year, and after its dismal début last year, I visited with very low expectations. The organisers must have listened to the numerous complaints, because they have returned with a bigger and better show this year. With 4 giant tents housing a number of different exhibitors, here are my 7 reasons why you should give the Chocolate and Coffee Expo at Monte Casino a visit.
7. The Coffee
As a non-coffee drinker, I’m probably not qualified to comment on this, but there were a fair number of coffee stands selling everything from beans to grounds, to a fresh cuppa joe. Fairtrade coffee beans seem to be the new hipster social cause, and for the people who want to relive a Jack Nicholson moment from the Bucket List, there is even a stand selling Kopi Luwak coffee (coffee made from the beans that a civet cat has eaten and, uhm, well defecated for your enjoyment?!) If you are in the market for a new coffee machine, there are plenty of different types on display, and if you tweet @MONTECASINOZA and @Coffeechocexpo with a selfie of you at the Expo (using the hashtag #coffeechocselfie) you stand the chance to win one.
6. The Chocolate
Artisan, handmade, homemade, sugar free, dairy free, big, small, shaped like shoes, moulded into bars, steaming in a cup – the types of chocolate on display will even have the non sweet tooth looking for their next fix. I bought 3 giant slabs from Chocola J – a dark chocolate flavoured with lemon and pepper, a milk chocolate dotted with hazelnuts and a white chocolate covered in pistachios. There are also numerous baked goods featuring chocolate of some kind (think cupcakes, pancakes, croissants and macaroons)
5. The Shopping
It’s lucky that this expo is being hosted at Monte Casino, as you won’t find it difficult to find an ATM. Although some vendors do accept credit cards, there are a large number who only take cash. Besides for all the chocolate and coffee goodies on display, you can also buy things like fudge, toffees, ice cream and sweets. The Body Shop also has a stand, selling all their chocolate scented products (and all the prices are marked down – chocolate lip balm for R30, ok if you insist)
Image shamelessly stolen from the Coffee and Chocolate Expo Facebook Page #sorrynotsorry
4. The Beer
They have beer on tap, including a Chocolate and Espresso Flavoured Ale.
3. The Cellphone Charging Station
Solar powered with connections for all phones, a very popular hangout towards the end of the day, when you are sitting at 2% battery power with a selfie that NEEDS to be tweeted.
2. An Almost Free Burrito
If you are looking for some lunch or dinner, head on over to the 5 Star Chef food truck. They are selling Burritos with either a chicken mole (a rich chocolate, nut and chili sauce), beef brisket or bean filling. If you want an almost free burrito, sign up with the Snap Scan app, and use the promo code written next to the Snap Scan sign on the truck. You will get R50 credit and since the burritos cost R60 – it’s practically free. If Mexican ain’t your thing, there is also a stand selling burgers and another one with pizza (including a chocolate and marshmallow one)
1. The Chocolate Kebab
The number one reason to visit the Coffee and Chocolate Expo this year is the Chocolate Kebab stand. A pancake filled with melted nutella, fresh cream, nuts and fruit and shavings from a giant chocolate kebab. It’s a ridiculous novelty, but it made me so happy. Apparently they also have a store at Clearwater under the escalators. Watch the video below to see the amazingness.
Tickets to the expo cost R95 (R60 for the lighties, free for the toddlers) and you can visit from 18 to 20 July. You can buy tickets from Computicket and at the door.
Disclaimer: I attended the expo as a guest of Monte Casino. All views expressed are my own.