Health Quarters Café – transforming your caffeine fix

Could this be the answer I’ve been looking for? It’s called the Maca Mocha and they’re flying out the door (or should I say window) at Health Quarters Cafe on Willow Street.

A shot of organic Excelso coffee is mixed with organic raw cacao—coffee and chocolate, a classic combo! Add to these maca powder. Maca is the root of a Peruvian herb that is traditionally used to increase stamina and enhance energy. It’s now believed these benefits are due to maca root’s ability to help keep the endocrine (hormone) system in balance. I’m up for that!

Reishi and Chaga mushroom powder are the final ingredients. These have no flavour but provide a dose of antioxidants while aiding digestion among other things. Functional mushrooms are gaining kudos among natural health practitioners who are discovering the power of these adaptogenic herbs the Chinese and Japanese have been using for a millennia.

So that’s it, your morning coffee with a triple dose of good stuff thrown in.  And this is the goal of Health Quarters Cafe according to Sebastian Abrahams. “The coffee shop is not just a use of the space, it is a key component of what Health Quarters is all about.  The menu,” Sebastian explains, “is created by nutritionists and naturopaths with a wholistic approach.”

Health Quarters Cafe is literally and figuratively a window into Health Quarters, a multidisciplinary fitness and well-being centre. Sebastian helped get the concept of the cafe up and running before handing over the reins to the ever-smiling Ariel who serves not only the Maca Mocha but an array of smoothies and healthy treats. For the caffeine addicts, Health Quarters Cafe is proving your cuppa jo doesn’t have to be a vice.

Ariel makes a delicious filter coffee using lightly roasted single origin organic beans from Excelso.  Sebastian say there are more health benefits from a lightly roasted bean and the filter process results in a less acidic coffee, making it gentler on the gut.

Josie from Excelso says, “When Health Quarters first came to us for their coffee supply, their main concerns were finding products that fit with their brand, focusing on health and well-being. When it came to coffee this came through in a desire to find coffee that was organic and fairly traded. While we absolutely respect and support the desire to aim for healthier, ethically-traded products, we also struggle with the expected certifications and the effect that they have on our industry as a whole.”

Josie says they made a big decision a few years ago to redirect their focus from finding certified organic coffees and instead digging a little deeper. This meant working with their suppliers and the farmers to find amazing products that are being grown without chemicals and pesticides by farmers that are being treated fairly and paid ethical prices (sometimes this is far above standard fair-trade pricing). “Often the cost of organic certification,” Josie says, “is far too high for farmers growing in poverty-stricken countries. We choose to support our suppliers based on their core ethics rather than certifications.

“Health Quarters chose to go with our River Blend. The River Blend is made up of three South American coffees. While these coffees do actually come with a collection of certifications—Eco Cert, Rainforest Alliance Cert, UTZ Cert—we have chosen to specify it as an ethically-traded blend rather than a Fair-Trade Organic Blend.”

That means getting your caffeine fix from Health Quarters will tick several boxes.

Health Quarters Cafe
67 Willow Street


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