The ‘Green Smoothie’ days are over and calories are back in fashion as cafés across Perth pull together aesthetics, flavour and creativity to make milkshakes as people have never seen them before.
Overflowing toppings and extraordinary flavour combinations stimulate both the eyes and taste-buds landing the milky drinks the title of ‘gourmet shakes’.
An increasing number of cafes are recognising the demand and lucrative nature of the craze with some customers forking out up to $20 for one shake.
Images and reviews of gourmet milkshakes are spreading rapidly on Facebook and Instagram.
Belmont’s Sapore Espresso Bar is a boutique Perth café that claims to have started it all, calling themselves ‘the home of Perth’s gourmet shakes’.
One year ago owners Mario and Jessica Fisicchia searched the internet for gourmet shakes in an effort to establish originality and found their only competition existed in the USA.
Armed with a glass jar, whipped cream and some edible decorations, the café owners experimented extensively to create the salted-caramel popcorn shake.
“I feel like we’ve been doing this for a really long time and it’s only in the last couple of months that the rest of Perth has joined in” Jessica Fisicchia says.
She says it’s the extra time, expensive ingredients and definitely the presentation that really make the shakes gourmet.
Northbridge cafe Babooshka is a recent addition to the gourmet shake craze with a Krispy Kreme and chocolate-coated bacon shake topped with pop rocks on the drinks menu.
The shake features four donuts in total, two on top and two inside the jar.
Babooshka head barista Anderson Chua is one of the masterminds behind the cafe’s gourmet range.
After recognising a worrying amount of waste in the cafe, Chua started using leftover items.
“We started with a marshmallow espresso one to use our old coffee beans, and from there we just got crazier and crazier,” Chua says.
“Whatever we think of we won’t hesitate to try.”
Northbridge café Tea for Tù calls its gourmet creations ‘cake-shakes’.
Blending its home-made cakes with ice-cream and milk creates a unique gourmet shake.
Tea For Tù owner Andrew Turner says social media plays a huge role in the popularity of their shakes.
“My friends are constantly saying they are seeing my cake shakes on their [social media] feeds,” Turner says.
Curtin University marketing tutor Elaine Sutrisna says the shakes are an example of the growing creativity in Perth’s café culture.
“In the age of social media, publicising meals is almost as important to people as eating them,” Dr Sutrisna says.
“The gourmet shake phenomenon will probably spread in popularity quite quickly.”
Cafes are continuing to capitalise on the demand, as more customers climb aboard the gourmet shake train.