Austin Sugarworks Cafe Sugars
Sugar cubes are so like, square, man
Reviewed by Kate Thornberry, Fri., Jan. 27, 2012
If you're looking for a fun, inexpensive way to make a baby shower or other party unique, consider picking up some of Austin Sugarworks' delicately molded cafe sugars. Cast in the shapes of flowers, fruits, animals, and architectural details, these exquisite, one-serving sugar sculptures are enchanting. Made of superfine cane sugar, they're formulated to dissolve instantly, even in icy beverages, and can also be used to decorate cupcakes and cakes.
"I had seen a similar product in France," says Elayne Crain, owner of Austin Sugarworks, "but I discovered on my return that it is nearly impossible to find anything like them here. So I thought, why not make them myself?" That began a long phase of trial and error, but by November 2010, Crain was ready to hit the market with her version of the continental confections. "My sugars are a bit larger than their Parisian counterparts because American coffee mugs and tea glasses are larger than the French ones." Crain explains. "Also, my flavored cafe sugars are made with natural, vegetable-based colorants and pure extracts only; nothing artificial."
At present, Austin Sugarworks makes cafe sugars in vanilla, lemon, lime, orange, rosewater, ginger, lavender, peppermint, and cherry, as well as the ever popular plain sugar. If you order for a special occasion, Crain can make the sugars in the combination of flavors and shapes you desire. "I've made baby booties, baby bottles, and hearts to order for bridal and baby showers," she says, "in addition to the traditional shapes like roses, fruits and flowers."
Crain always carries a few cafe sugars with her for personal use in iced tea, in which granulated sugar is notoriously slow to dissolve. "I originally thought of this product as being something people would want for personal use," says Crain, "but so far my sales have been driven by weddings, showers, and other get-togethers. Although just lately, my cafe sugars have started to be embraced by serious tea drinkers. After all, if you care about drinking wonderful tea, it stands to reason you might care about using wonderful sugar in it!"
Packages of six cafe sugars are $3.79. Party packs are $20. Available at Wheatsville Food Co-op, Breed & Co., and from the website.