Lindt Chocolat Café Darling Harbour

Coffee: 12/20
Whole experience (cafe + coffee): 24/40
Bean: Lindt

Saturday: A pleasant Saturday finds Nerd 2 and I looking for an afternoon coffee fix (well a tea for Nerd 2). Having stuffed ourselves at Zilver in Haymarket, I suggested a walk around Darling Harbour as perhaps a good move to walk off my growing dumpling belly.

Darling Harbour like most tourist centres around the world is void of good coffee options and to be honest, if one opened up, it would surely still get kicked about by the Starbucks and McCafes of this world.

Thus unsurprisingly, our walk finished at Lindt & Sprüngli, Master Chocolatier, more commonly known as the Lindt Chocolat Café to Sydney locals. Lindt is found in the well-placed Cockle Bay Wharf complex, better known as the place with the bird fountain or if you’re a kid of the 90s the place near Wallaby Bar… You can see Lindt by spotting the filled seats of tourists and locals alike all craving an out of the box Lindt chocolate experience.

Walking in you’ll be hit by a few realisations. First the range of Lindt stuff here, who knew they did more then just those balls?! Second by the kind of classiness of the place, a tough feat remembering we are in Darling Harbour here. And third, the thought is this some kind of a shop or is it a café?

We walked in and lined up. The line was slow and this allowed Nerd 2 to creep off and sample some of the macrons. By the time I got to the counter, so convinced was she by this sampling, we ended up getting two to share.

Having had an unknown quantity of Chinese food just previously, I went with a long black option, while Nerd 2 went a tea. A warning, be ready for a price shock at the till here (coffee sits at around 4 to 5 bucks!). We grabbed our assigned number and took a seat inside.

The coffee took a little while to get to us, and this gave us time to analyse the people around us. As predicted, this coffee shop houses mostly tourists, however, many locals either with children, or on dates were scatted around. Perhaps more of interest (and conversation) was the huge number of bugs, including mosquitos flying about, Nerd 2 it seems was far better then I at killing them, she racked up a far higher count.

As the mozzies continued their attack, our coffees (tea) + macrons arrived.  On arrival the coffee was well put together and quite neat, the creama well formed and a pleasing colour.

The aroma of this coffee is unsurprisingly quite cocoa and milkly in nature. It’s clear that some thought has gone into the beans selection to make these flavours. However, in saying that there is little depth to the drink aside from these two prominent smells.

Tasting was as expected more of the same, which was good thing. Milk chocolate flavours tended to dominant the drinks flavour however, there were hints of something like caramel (but this could have been from the macron, I was busy eating!)  – interestingly there was also some nice acidity to this drink which did worked a treat. While nothing spectacular, it all worked well and compliment the main reason people come here –the chocolate.

Nerd 2, at this point, would like to point out that they used leaf tea here, a major plus for tea drinkers over the usual 5 dollar a tea bag crap you can get at many great places.    

And if you must know, the macrons were great, the salted caramel one in particular was a bit of a winner as it complimented the coffee very well and balanced some of the acidity of the drink. And perhaps more importantly Nerd 2 total tally of dead bugs was 12, beating my 5 quite resoundingly.

Overall, having been to all of the chocolate cafes franchises in Sydney with by nerd hat on, I have to say Lindt stands out as the best Chocolate café franchise. It hits both the classy and fun boxes you need in a café such as this. The coffee, while nothing to crave over, works well with the product and is a very viable choice for someone wanting a chocolate experience of just one Lindt ball, rather then a chocolate explosion.  The only down side was the nightmare quantity of mosquitos, which really killed the total class atmosphere! But I still liked it.

1. Coffee score
Style (look and feel): 6/10
Experience (taste and smell): 6/10
Coffee total: 12/20

2. Cafe score 
Style (what’s it feel like): a classy, clean and net chocolate shop in a swamp (buzz)
Cool?: 6/10
Service: 6/10
Cafe: 12/20
Whole experience (coffee + cafe): 24/40

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