Last week the Melbourne International Coffee Expo (M.I.C.E) 2012 kicked off is campaign to have a proper coffee expo in the heart of the roasting homeland – Melbourne. The event was held at Axil Coffee Roasters in Hawthorn with a packed crowd of 250 people, the M.I.C.E Media Launch was a rare opportunity to showcase the country’s best coffee talent from the last five years, including Matt Perger, 2011 Australian Barista Champion and third place winner of the 2011 World Barista Championships; Ryan Tan, 2011 Singapore Barista Champion and 2011 World Third Place World Latte Art Champion; Scottie Callaghan, 2010 Australian Barista Champion and 2010 Third Place World Barista Champion; Dave Makin, 2008 Australian Barista Champion and 2008 World Second Place Barista Champion; and Erin Sampson, 2009 Australian Latte Art Champion and Third Place World Latte Art Champion.
The event was as much a launch of the expo as it was to give credit to the emerging Australian barista competition scene which has emerged as one of the strongest in the world. Our competitors regularly place within the top 3 when competing on the global stage.
Organisers had invited the country’s best coffee talent from the last 5 years to go head to head with international coffee names in a Barista Battle to officially launch the M.I.C.E 2012. In the past coffee has had to play second fiddle to other foodie events by teaming up but not getting the exposure they deserve. 2012 will be the first ever dedicated coffee event and it will also host next year’s Australian Barista Competition.
So in addition to some eats and drinks that Axil Coffee Roasters supplied we were all on hand as the world’s top baristas showed off their skills in what was termed “a cut-throat, elimination-style Latte Art SMACKDOWN”.
It was a great idea which pitched well known coffee roasters/suppliers/cafes against each other. 3 minutes to make the latte which would be judged on art alone by a panel of 3 being commentated by a guy who was crawling on the ceiling with excitement. In a close final round, Ryan Tan was victorious over Matt Perger with his tulip design and was crowned the overall winner.
I encourage you all to get behind the M.I.C.E 2012 team as Melbourne deserves to have this dedicated coffee event and it will only keep happening with the support of the masses.
May 4th-6th 2012, Melbourne Showgrounds