Sticky Blends: Add Some Spice to your Life

Sticky Blends is a small business based in Geraldton, WA that was born back in 2018 after the owner was inspired to share “her love for flavor with the community around her” 

The response to this inspiration was a line of drink pastes that would be not only delicious and easy to use but also free of additives and non-beneficial ingredients that we see a lot in our everyday foods.

Since starting with just two main drink pastes, Sticky Blends has successfully grown and now offer a fabulous selection of six different drink pastes in total.

  • Masala Chai (Vegan)
  • Turmeric (Vegan)
  • Chili Cocoa
  • Dandy Masala
  • Matcha
  • Beetroot

Sticky Blends: The Power of Spices

Throughout time, spices have been known to provide anti-inflammatory & heart healthy benefits to those who use them.

Common spices like ginger, cinnamon and turmeric, are some of the most well-known spices to have been used for medicinal purposes throughout time.

Sticky Blends drink paste is a perfect way to get a variety of spices into your body with no additional bad ingredients. 

Activating The Spices

One of the things I noticed when looking through the (short!) ingredient list, was that pepper has been added into the turmeric sticky blend.

This may not seem like a big deal, but just because you add turmeric to a drink, doesn’t mean your body is actually absorbing the spice (this is the issue with turmeric lattes!)

Alot of spices out there can be really good for your body, but they need to be “activated” in order for you to benefit from them. 

Turmeric, in this case, can be activated by a number of things, including pepper.

So, not only are you getting a healthy spice blend in each spoonful, but you are also actually getting to reap the benefits of the spices due to the other ingredients in the blends!

For full transparency and ease of access, you can find all of the ingredients for each item are listed on the Health & World Being website.

Ingredient Transparency

Each ingredient used in the drink pastes are certified organic with common ingredients being ground ginger, black tea, ground cinnamon, star anise and cardamom pods.

Beyond being organic, the two original drink pastes, Turmeric and Masala chai, are both additionally certified vegan products.

The pastes additionally stay low calorie and low in sugar with the Chili Cocoa drink paste boasting only 114 Kj (27 Cal) and around 5.6 g of natural sugars per 9 grams (about 1 serve) used.

Thoughts on the Chili Cocoa Drink Paste

I came across the Sticky Blends booth one morning at the Kalbarri Holiday markets.

As an avid chocolate lover, I decided to try the Chili Cocoa drink paste.

The paste itself is much thicker than I expected so the recommended boiling water is definitely needed when dissolving the paste into your drink of choice.

Alternatively, if you’re more of a cold drink lover, you can mix the drink paste into boiling water and then refrigerate it for later to use as you please!

I ended up using the paste in a few different ways:

  • Mexican Hot Chocolate
  • Mocha
  • Chili Cocoa Tea

I Initially added the drink paste to my coffee and was greeted with very bold chili flavors. After a bit of research, I found I had used twice as much drink paste as I was supposed to, which explained the spiciness. 

After properly following the instructions and only using 1/2 tsp per 8oz of milk/water, the chocolate and chili flavors were nicely balanced, providing a much “warmer” feeling drink.

Flavor Notes:

  • Strong chili
  • Mild chocolate
  • Hint of cinnamon (specifically in tea form)

This drink paste is absolutely delicious added to coffee, hot chocolate, or on its own. The cinnamon in the spice mix added a layer of warmth and comfort that would be perfect on a chilly night. 

If you want a bit more of the spice kick I initially experienced, try adding 1 tsp of the paste to your drink of choice.

Summary: My Recommendations & The Future of Sticky Blends

The Future of Sticky Blends

After speaking to the creator of Sticky Blends, the future looks bright for the company as they hope to keep expanding in the coming years.

Thankfully, this is not a case of, “you need to be located in western Australia to purchase this product!”

Sticky Blends does have an online store through the Health and World Being website. You can bulk buy or just pick one or two you want to try.

You can also follow the Sticky Blends Facebook page to find them at markets around the coral coast in WA just like I did.

My Recommendation

As someone who drinks tea occasionally but doesn’t dabble with strong spiced flavors, I was very impressed by the Chili Cocoa drink paste I tried.

I think the company has accomplished exactly what they had hoped by creating a delicious and clean product.

It was a step outside my coffee comfort zone but the most important thing for me is being able to add the benefits of the spices to my morning routine.

I would definitely recommend trying out the chili cocoa drink paste if you want to add an extra kick to your favorite drink or just love a warm drink on a cold night.

The serving size is an additional bonus as you can get around 200 servings from one jar of the paste, making it a great “bang-for-your-buck” 

As for the other drink pastes, I would recommend giving them a try as well as I have confidence that they will be great based off of my experience 🙂

Note: I’ll update this review if I have the chance to try more of the product line!

That’s all for today guys! As always, I hope you have a fantastic rest of your day and thank you for reading todays review. Happy Procaffinating!

Have you tried Sticky Blends before? Leave a comment to share your experience!

The Chocolate Mill In Mount Franklin: A Haven for Chocolate Lovers Everywhere

Happy (late) World Chocolate Day!

World Chocolate Day falls on July 7th of each year and as an avid chocolate lover, I’ve decided to dedicate this post to one of the fantastic chocolate stores I visited recently: The Chocolate Mill, located just a short drive outside of Daylesford, in Mount Franklin, Victoria

A location that will definitely be making it onto my list of top hot chocolate shops to visit while on holiday from Melbourne… the chocolate mill embodies everything that a chocolate lover dreams of. 

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History of The Chocolate Mill

The Chocolate Mill’s narrative unquestionably exudes passion and grit.

The idea for this charming business began to take shape in 2000 and persisted until the store’s official opening in late 2003.

After purchasing the mill in 2000, the original owners Chris and Jen Weippert invested everything they had into constructing the chocolate shop, even choosing to live in a shed on the Mill’s land to try and save money.

The chocolate mill made a big impression right away after opening in late 2003. The owner’s passion endeavor won the Goldfields award for best new business just a year later.

The wonderful café I had the privilege of visiting and will be mentioning in this blog launched in 2006 and has remained open until today, though under the new owners Nicki and Adrian Straton. 


The First Impressions

The chocolate mill is tucked away in the Goldfield Region, off of the Midland Highway just outside of Daylesford, in Mount Franklin, Victoria.

I was disappointed to see that the café and shop were not found in a traditional Dutch windmill, but rather in a traditional wood style home with a wire-creature-filled front garden.

There were 4 huge tables with family-style benches to sit on in the café, which was extremely reminiscent of the café’s minimalist appearance. The interior also immediately reminded me of a wood cabin after entering.

I was reminded of concession stalls at sporting events or ice-skating rinks at the area of the cafe where you place your order, however the menu was obviously superior.

On the left-hand side of building, the chocolate shop was packed full of a variety of chocolate sweets and treats, clearly showcasing the talent of the chocolatiers.

Hopefully you might be able to see the employees hard at work when you go, as there are glass panels peering into the kitchen behind the counter. 

The Hot Chocolate Cafe

Getting into the good stuff now a.k.a the café and all the delicious chocolate treats, the obvious highlight for me was the hot chocolates.  

A variety of hot chocolate flavors are available at The Chocolate Mill Café, including:

  • Milk chocolate
  • Dark Chocolate
  • White Chocolate
  • Spicy Chili Dark Chocolate
  • Vegan Dark Chocolate (prepared with soy milk)

I opted for my personal favorite, the classic milk hot chocolate, while my boyfriend got the white chocolate as he is completely obsessed with white chocolate everything for some reason (sorry white chocolate lovers)

Sitting at $7.00 per hot chocolate, the price is definitely on the higher end compared to other cafes in the area, but it did not disappoint in the slightest and was worthy of the slight investment.

The hot chocolates came in big white handless mugs, and had a very strong, rich chocolate taste.

Now, all of the chocolate and hot chocolate at the mill is made with 100% Belgium chocolate, which is a huge plus as it is some of the best chocolate in the world, providing the unmatched richness found in this hot chocolate.

If you’re not familiar with the powers that Belgium chocolate holds, check out this article covering why Belgium chocolate is one of the best!

Additionally, a portion of the cup’s rim was covered with some cooled melted chocolate, giving you an extra chocolatey hit as it melts from the hot chocolate as you drink!

Family Friendly Tip: The cups were quite sizeable so if you’re visiting The Chocolate Mill with children and want to save on cost, one hot chocolate could easily be split between two kids.  

Lastly, if you’re looking for anything other than hot chocolate, the café has a variety of coffees, teas, and other chilled drinks in addition to a number of delicious looking tarts and cakes that unfortunately I did not have the opportunity to try. 

The Chocolate Shop 

Like I said before, the shop portion of The Chocolate Mill is absolutely stocked. According to this article by Daylesford Life, the Mill manufactures around 12,000 (!!!) chocolates A WEEK. 

Beyond being made of the fantastic Belgium chocolate we discussed before; the chocolate is certified fair trade according to the Mill website.

This is a HUGE bonus as the fair trade certification helps ensure that the farmers maintain a living and fair wage among other things. 

There were too many items to count, but my favorites consisted of these lovely, molded chocolates, coming in a variety of shapes, many of them being animals.

The variety chocolate boxes, in my opinion, are equally beautiful and would make a wonderful gift, especially if you are unable to choose just one chocolate item (which is fair if you are super indecisive like me).


The shop website also states that they are

happy to assist people with specific dietary requirements, for example different coeliac requirements, religious dietary requirements, nut or lactose allergy or intolerance.

truly showing that there is something for EVERYONE at this chocolate store.

If you don’t see yourself planning a trip to Daylesford anytime soon, do not despair! You can visit The Chocolate Mill’s online shop to take a peek at what treats they have and get them delivered straight to your door. 

Cost Breakdown & Summary of The Chocolate Mill Experience

As I mentioned before, the hot chocolates were $7.00 each, a bit expensive but definitely worth it. I decided not to buy any of the chocolates from the shop because I am currently living on a backpacker budget, but I can only image how good they are.

Cost: Overall, we spent $14.00 during our trip to The Chocolate Mill. 

I definitely recommend stopping into this chocolate haven if you’re in the Daylesford area, whether it be for school holidays or just a quick vacation from Melbourne.

Although the Mill isn’t flashy and doesn’t resemble a typical café, their hot chocolate is the perfect solution to these cold, wet, winter days and is worth the short drive from the town. 

You will also be sure to find a treat in the shop, and even if you don’t (for some reason), it is still an experience in its own to see all the different designs and creations the chocolatiers have to offer. 

As of now I don’t believe they do kitchen tours to show how the chocolate is made, but I hope they consider it in the future as that would be something I would definitely take part in! 


McDonalds Birthday Cake Latte: A Big Birthday Disappointment

Welcome back to bit of a McDonalds coffee review! We are doing a mini review today of the limited edition Birthday Cake Latte

In honor of McDonalds 30th birthday (which is surprising - it feels like they’ve been around forever) they’ve come out with a limited edition birthday cake latte. I was so excited when my coworker suggested I try this drink for a review since I’m a massive fan of birthday cake ice cream. ESPECIALLY, if there’s actual cake in the ice cream. It really doesn’t get too much better than that. 

For this drink, like most, you can order it hot or iced. The iced version being much more extravagant than the hot. Essentially, the hot latte is the basic McCafe latte, with birthday cake powder mixed into the espresso and steamed milk.

If you decide to order the more extravagant iced version, you will receive the espresso shot mixed with the birthday cake powder, cold milk and ice, along with whipped cream, white chocolate shavings on top and some raspberry sauce on top. (See it just sounds way better) 

For this review, I am only talking about my experience with the hot version of the latte since it’s just too cold in Australia right now to be having an iced coffee in my opinion. 

My first impressions are pretty minimal for this drink. I opened the cup to see if there was any whipped cream or toppings but unfortunately with the hot latte, it just looked extremely basic, really nothing out of the ordinary.

The taste however, was so strange for me. It didn’t taste like birthday cake in the slightest, it almost had a nutty/coconut taste to it. Additionally, I ended up having a weird after taste left in my mouth, which I assume is from the extra sugar from the birthday cake powder.


Overall, I wouldn’t recommend this drink if you’re after a flavored latte. I think the idea had so much potential to be a great drink but I would definitely say to go with your tried and true favorite drink to avoid wasting any money.

Here is a brief comparison of calories (assuming full cream milk) and cost between the normal and birthday cake lattes:

Small Latte 140 Calories
Birthday Cake Latte 206 calories (hot)
273 calories (iced)

Savor the Flavor: A Mini Taste Test of Cafe Vivaldi's Menu in Tamworth

Located on 390 Peel Street In Tamworth, NSW is Cafe Vivaldi, a café with a promising history of reviews. 

My boyfriend and I visited this cafe as we were driving through the area one day and got hungry. Unfortunately, when we arrived to the cafe, the kitchen was already closing but the manger was nice enough to have them cook up some burgers for us last minute.

The dining room look quite large from the front and consists of a number of wooden tables and chairs towards the back, creating a cozy atmosphere easily.

Because they had already started closing the dining area when we arrived, we opted to sit outside at the street dining.

I wasn’t the biggest fan of the outdoor seatings as the tables were placed on a decently busy street with cars parked pretty close by, but the provided heaters and umbrellas helped create a more relaxing and cozy atmosphere.

We ordered the spicy veggie burger and one of the veggie halloumi burger and as meat eaters usually, the burgers were surprisingly great!

Both came with a fried chickpea burger base along with the base veggies of lettuce, avocado, tomato, onions and of course a some delicious sauces and a side of chips.

I would add a delicious, mouth watering, photo of our food at this point but unfortunately my food photography skills were extremely lacking so all I can offer is this attempt at a photo of my burger.

Accompanying these burgers was a flat white for me, unfortunately with no latte art but still equally as delicious. We also saw these gorgeous teapots left on a table next to us, so if you’re a tea drinker, you’re in for a treat! 


Overall Cafe Vivaldi is a great stop if you’re in Tamworth, having opened in 1997 they are clearly the pick of the locals. The staff was extremely welcoming and accommodating especially with us coming so close to when the kitchen closed for the afternoon.

If you don’t want to jump abroad the vegetarian train like us, they have an extensive menu spanning breakfast and lunch along with an equally impressive specials board so you are sure to find something you’re craving.

You can also check out their website here for some actually mouthwatering photos of the food, and for anymore information!

Coffee Lovers Rejoice: Gunnedah's Must-Try Outdoor Coffee Shop

I got the pleasure of visiting Campground coffee, one the coffee shops most recommended to me thus far, and it did not disappoint in the slightest. Located on the corner of Barber and Tempest Street, this small cafe boasts outdoor seating, fresh pastries and surprisingly, a number of retro clothing items available for sale in shops, and even more items (even rugs!) on the website.

The staff were immediately welcoming as I struggled to wake my non-caffeinated brain up when finding the till, I ordered my typical flat white, though I am also finding that considering I am writing a coffee blog I should probably start switching it up a little bit, and a lemon & dill bagel.

If you love places that supply their own bread and pastries, this would be a great stop for you.

The coffee shop shares a kitchen with Reverence Sourdough, a local bakery who provides them delicious looking treats and loaves of bread. They have a number of pastries out front on display and right on the counter, adding a rustic touch that I loved. They also had plenty of vegan and gluten free options as well for all my people with a restricted diet out there.

The coffee itself was fantastic, coming out with beautiful latte art, a first for me in Gunnedah, and had a bit more of an espresso flavor to it than some of the other coffee I’ve had, which was not an unwelcome addition.

The cup additionally was a decently large size, giving it a good bang for your buck! which is always important especially when backpacking / being on a budget.

Moving into the food, the lemon and dill bagel held up its end of the bargain as well. The bagel itself was made beautifully by Reverence, as it was perfectly crunchy and fluffy at the same time.

These bagels would definitely be in my kitchen back home if it was possible! Unfortunately, I didn’t feel the same way about the cream cheese. The dill and lemon part was fantastic, I honestly think you can’t go wrong with dill, I’ve put absurd quantities on my own bagels and it still wasn’t too much.

My main issue with was with the cream cheese itself as I found it to be a bit grainy or gritty rather than  smooth and creamy texture. I am assuming it is also homemade, maybe with a different base than normal cream cheese? Overall, the bagel was still enjoyable alongside my coffee.


With this cafe I feel like you can’t really go wrong by visiting, even if you’re the same same as me when it comes to loving a creamy bagel, Campgrounds has a decently sized food menu along with a large number of pastries as mentioned so the odds of you finding something delicious are high. Additionally, the customer service and coffee making skills are top notch. Just don’t come unprepared like me and not dress for the weather as the seating is outdoors and we’re headed into winter here in Australia so it has gotten a bit chilly!


Coffee & Food ordered: a flat white with a lemon & dill Bagel

Paid: A$17.50

Time spent: around 30-45 minutes


Bonus: If you love the outdoors, check out this camping themed coffee brand!

3 Reasons Why You Shouldn't Pass On McDonalds Coffee

Anyone who has been to McDonalds knows, it can be a hit and a miss.

That's just the reality of ordering fast food, sometimes it's suspiciously fantastic and sometimes you wait 20 minutes for absolute garbage (ugh)

But, one item I have found consistently great, especially since being in Australia, is the McDonalds coffee. I mainly drink flat whites, (if you aren't familiar with this coffee term check out my coffee guide here) and find Macca's coffee provides the perfect balance of smooth & flavorful coffee.

I have yet to have a drink that is bitter or acidic, two of my main pet peeves when it comes to coffee.

If you haven't experienced some great McCafe coffee yet, here are three reasons why you shouldn't pass on grabbing a cup of joe during your next trip to Mickey D's!

Updated: August 26, 2023

Reason #1: McDonald's sources from gourmet coffee roaster, Gavina

Good coffee comes from good coffee beans. There's no two ways about it!

McDonalds actually sources their 100% arabica coffee beans from Gavina Gourmet Coffee Roasters, based out of California, USA.

These beans are sourced from some of the best places in world, like Brazil, and other countries in the iconic coffee belt.

As I mentioned before, I have yet to have a coffee from McDonalds that is bitter or acidic tasting. This is because they use 100% arabica coffee beans. These beans specifically provide a smooth delicious coffee finish to the drink opposed to robusta beans which can have a more bitter taste to them.

If you want to learn more about Gavina Gourmet Roasters & the McCafe story, check out my other in-depth post!

Reason #2: It's affordable (P.S. you could get it for free!)

I will always recommend signing up for a restaurant's or cafe's loyalty program, even if you don't visit that much. This is because, even if you only visit once a week or even once a month, those visits add up!

McDonalds has their infamous rewards program via the McDonald's app that allows you to stockpile points from each item you order. You can redeem these points for a number of menu items including their delicious McCafe coffees!

The rule of thumb is that you will receive 100 Macca's points for every $1 you spend!

If you're not one to sign up for restaurant apps, the drinks are still very affordable with their drip coffee costing only $1.19 (USD) for a small and $1.39 (USD) for a large!

Espresso based coffees cost a bit extra, as expected, but still should be under $3 (USD) depending on which state or country you're located in.

Bonus Deals:

  • Drip & other coffees are known to grace the McDonald's dollar menu on promotion saving you even more money!
  • If you are 55+ years old, you are able to receive a senior discount on a small cup of coffee at participating locations

Reason #3: You Get a Massive Amount of Variety

Since McDonald's is a massive company that has been around for decades, they continuously have promotional or themed coffees. A good example of this is when they celebrated the 30th Anniversary of McCafe.

They released an exclusive limited time birthday cake latte. that was available iced, hot, or as a deluxe drink.

They also launched a caramel popcorn syrup, back in 2022, that could also be made into a float, latte, or iced coffee as well.

If I am being honest, my only experience with their promotional drinks was not the best (R.I.P the birthday cake latte), so I'm not sure how I would feel about a caramel popcorn latte but to each their own!

Even beyond the promotional drinks, you can find a wide range of iced coffees, lattes, and more both in their restaurants or in stores that carry the McCafe brand.


So now....let's be honest... do you actually have a reason to pass on a cup of McDonalds coffee? No!

Obviously, the decision is up to you, but I do highly recommend giving a cup of McCafe coffee a try. You might just find your new favorite inexpensive coffee stop!

If you're already a McCafe lover, comment below with your go-to drink!




Bitter Suite Coffee: A Hidden Gem for Coffee Lovers and Foodies

I am currently at the “Bitter Suite Cafe & Wine Bar” in probably one of the smallest towns I will ever live in, Gunnedah, NSW in Australia!

In a few months I will be back to being based in the USA but for now I am finishing up my Australian travels.

I am so happy that this cafe is going to be my first review. I was a bit hesitant to choose it over the other cafes in the area since the words “wine bar” typically mean more expensive, but it did not disappoint.

While the pricing and the coffee itself is pretty on par with other cafes, what makes this cafe stand out is the amount of personality contained in such a small area.

All of the seating is technically outdoors but under a covered greenhouse like ceiling so dining is still possible in rainier weather. This type of ceiling also creates the perfect natural lighting for your morning excursion.

The outdoor setup of the cafe also helps keep the volume at a reasonable level. Even with some music from the inside ordering area, and a fairly packed outside, maybe with around 20 people, the environment was still relaxing and could be an easy location to get work done if that’s what you’re here for.

The entirety of the beams connected to the ceiling have a variety of items hanging from them, ranging from potted plants to chandeliers and disco balls.

Even the table numbers have personality as they are uno cards glued to old tin containers.

The seating is very straight forward with basic tables and metal chairs for some. The cafe has also incorporated 2 couches and some smaller tables with mosaic tops in the back seating area.


Overall, this cafe I’m sure will be my favorite in this small town. The chaotic yet extremely green environment coupled with a nice breeze and sunlight creates the perfect stop for the morning.

Additionally, the size of the mug of coffee I received was substantially larger than other cafes I have went to. So you are getting a good value for the amount you are paying. The food also held up its send of the bargain with a deliciously soft sourdough bread and tomato relish being featured on the big breaky.

If for some reason you find yourself near Gunnedah in NSW, I would recommend stopping for a cup of coffee or some food!



Coffee ordered: A (surprisingly large) mug of flat white & a big breaky

Paid: A$28.50

Time Spent: 45 min-1 hour