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Melbourne International Coffee Expo

Australian Coffee Championship dates revealed

MICE organisers are excited to unveil a new structure for the Australian Coffee Championships.

Over the space of three nail-biting weekends, Australia’s best baristas will compete in the national finals of the Australian Specialty Coffee Association (ASCA) Brewer’s Cup, Huhtamaki Cup Tasters, Pura Latte Art, Barista, and Coffee in Good Spirits Championships.

The winners of these events will earn themselves a shiny new trophy, bragging rights, and the chance to represent Australia on the world stage.

“If there’s one thing the Australian coffee community prides itself on, it’s our level of barista talent. The country has excelled in all categories of competitions in the past three years, particularly in 2015 with both Sasa Sestic and Caleb Cha winning the World Barista Championship and World Latte Art Championship respectfully,” MICE Show Director Simon Coburn says.

“This goes to show the high standard of our national championships, and the incredible talent it attracts. These national events are Australia’s launch pad to the world.”

March is a notoriously busy month in the 2016 calendar year – notably the Formula One Grand Prix and Melbourne Fashion Festival taking place – but when it comes to coffee events there are key events you can’t afford to miss. Lock the following dates in your calendars now, or risk missing out some of the hottest coffee competitions in town.

  • 4 – 5 March 2016

To kick-start the national coffee championship party, ASCA will host the Australian Pura Latte Art Championship in conjunction with the Melbourne Food and Wine Festival.

Queensbridge Square and its iconic red steps alongside the Yarra River in Victoria will be transformed into a latte artist’s playground. Baristas will pour artistic designs in a cup in pursuit of accuracy, top scores, a national win, and maybe a shot of claiming back-to-back world titles in Shanghai for the World Latte Art Championship (WLAC).

  • 10 March 2016

ASCA will present the Australian Coffee in Good Spirits Championship in a day and night mix of competition and cocktails. Venue TBC. This event promotes innovative recipes and mixology skills that showcase two of the greatest beverage combinations – coffee and spirits.

  • 11 March 2016

Veneziano Coffee Roasters will host the ASCA Australian Brewers Cup Championship, and Australian Huhtamaki Cup Tasters Championship at its River Street venue in Richmond, Victoria.

The Brewers Cup competition promotes manual coffee brewing and service excellence.

In the Cup Taster’s event, speed, skill and accuracy is the name of the game. In a timed atmosphere, competitors will distinguish the odd tasting coffee out of a triangulation from eight flights of coffee. Get ready for some serious slurping happening here. Earmuffs are optional, rowdy crowd support is essential.

  • 16 March 2016

The Royal Agricultural Society of Victoria (RASV) will host the Australian International Coffee Awards ceremony to honour Australian and international champions for their roasting excellence. In a nutshell, this competition is about roasting beans to perfection for the categories of espresso, milk-based, soy-based, filter (including pour over, plunger and siphon), and batch brew coffee.

  • 17 – 19 March 2016

In one of the most anticipated coffee competitions of the year, MICE will host the Australian Barista Championship, and a roasting competition on site at the Melbourne Showgrounds.

The Barista Championship aims to promote excellence in coffee across three core areas. Baristas will prepare four espressos, four cappuccinos, and four original signature drinks to exacting standards in a 15-minute performance set to music.

The question on everybody’s lips is: who will replace Sasa Sestic as the next Australian Barista Champion?