The De’Longhi Melbourne Coffee Week returns with a week of registered industry events to bring Melbourne back to life and prove it’s a coffee city that never sleeps.
For the last two years, Melbourne’s coffee community has been deprived of the in-person connections and gatherings that underpin what its culture is all about. COVID-19 has stretched the hospitality industry, but not broken it, and now it’s time to turn up the heat and bring the city back to life with not one day, but an entire week dedicated to, you guessed it, coffee.
From 24 September to 1 October, Melbourne Coffee Week returns, and it wants to see three years’ worth of events crammed into one.
“The De’Longhi Melbourne Coffee Week is a celebration of events and doing what the coffee industry does best – share coffee, connect, and party,” says Melbourne International Coffee Expo (MICE) Show Director Lauren Winterbottom.
“The initiative was established years ago as a way for companies and brands to showcase their industry event, contribute to an important charity, and help maximise the time and networking opportunities for national and international guests making their way to Melbourne for MICE. We want to see multiple industry events registered throughout the week.”
Events could be anything from masterclasses and lectures to networking over an espresso martini, a competitive latte art smackdown, or just a good excuse to hold a party.
De’Longhi is this year’s title sponsor of Melbourne Coffee Week. De’Longhi will host the opening night’s industry event party, and says it was important to get involved in the industry’s main comeback event.
“Coffee is a part of De’Longhi’s DNA, just as it is to the city of Melbourne,” says De’Longhi Marketing Director for Australia/New Zealand, George O’Neil.
“It’s exciting to be able to connect again in a series of events that celebrate coffee. At De’Longhi we are committed to elevating the coffee experience in the home,and helping consumers to achieve quality outcomes. We believe it’s important to invest in events that connect people together on coffee so that they may share knowledge and inspire each other. This is what Melbourne Coffee Week and MICE is all about. We are proud to be a partner that brings both consumers and industry professionals together to celebrate the wonderful world of coffee.”
Also kicking off Melbourne Coffee Week festivities is an inaugural golf day, an exclusive networking event of industry figures brought together by Nomad Coffee Group, La Marzocco and Prime Creative Media.
Taking place at Latrobe Golf Club on 26 September, the event will see limited participants tee-off for a morning ambrose event before a lunch gather of Australian and international guests.
“It’s not often that the world coffee industry comes together as one, and as such, for this year’s MICE we wanted to not only showcase our magnificent city of Melbourne – the coffee capital of the world – but also provide a great networking opportunity for those attending the event in a relaxed and social setting with all money after costs going through to MICE charity partner StreetSmart,” says Lance Brown from The Nomad Coffee Group.
All registration fees to Melbourne Coffee Week are donated to MCW official Charity Partner StreetSmart and its CafeSmart program, working to fight homelessness.
Each year during Homelessness week, hundreds of coffee roasters, green bean traders, cafés and coffee lovers fundraise for their local homeless charities. Over the past 11 years, the event has helped raise and distribute more than $1.6 million across more than 1000 projects tackling homelessness (see page 90).
“StreetSmart has been a proud partner of MCW and MICE for many years, receiving incredible support from the Australian coffee community for our CafeSmart campaign,” says Cynthia Mac Caddon, Partnerships Manager, StreetSmart Australia.
“We know the hospitality industry is a generous one, and to see how much the public gets involved each year is a great indication of the passion they have to ‘drink coffee and do good’ supporting grassroot homeless charities in their local communities. We are very excited to see everyone in September.”
MICE will be the headline act of Melbourne Coffee Week, taking place at the Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre from 27 to 30 September, in conjunction with the World Barista Championship (WBC) and World Brewers Cup events. The last time MICE hosted the prestigious events was 2013 and as the event has evolved since then into a world-class spectacle.
MICE was launched in 2012 with the purpose to unite the Australian coffee community under one roof and do business. Back then, that roof was the big-top tent of the Grand Pavilion at the Melbourne Showgrounds, spanning almost half the size of the playing surface of the MCG or the equivalent of 30 tennis courts. When MICE hosted the WBC in 2013, the sold-out event featured an extended walkway into the WBC arena, and the grandstands were filled with spectators and country flags as Australia’s homegrown talent Matthew Perger stood side-by-side with Pete Licata of the United States in the ultimate showdown.
On that day, nine years ago, Pete Licata was victorious. He became the 2013 WBC Champion and recalls his experience in Melbourne like it was yesterday.
“For me, winning in a country with such a love for coffee felt like I was truly at the top of the game. Winning against some of the legends who were in that year’s competition was even more of an accomplishment to me. I built connections which have taken me to where I am in life today, and while the country where the WBC takes place is not what defines the winner for that year, it does become a part of our DNA,” says Pete.
“When I heard that we were (finally) going to have WBC back in Melbourne in 2022, I felt the nostalgia of nine years ago. The thrill of announcements, the adrenaline of learning I won, and the journey I’ve been on ever since have flowed through my mind. I will be here to congratulate your future Melbourne WBC champion, whoever you are. You’re going to love what comes next.”
Beyond the WBC in Melbourne, coming to Australia is a bucket-list destination for many coffee professions, or as Pete describes it, “a coffee geek’s paradise”.
He endured a whirlwind experience on his first visit to Australia back in 2013, adapting to the time zone, getting ingredients prepped and focusing on the details of his competition routine. He says it wasn’t until after the competition, and subsequent visits, that he really got to experience the city in full. He now calls Melbourne home, working as a Research and Development Coffee Consultant with Veneziano Coffee Roaster’s parent company Nomad Coffee Group.
“The expectations of coffee here are high, the café scene is fantastic, and it is a great city to experience a coffee event,” Pete says.
Expectations of MICE2022 and this year’s De’Longhi Melbourne Coffee Week also remain high, with more events expected to fill the social calendar from 24 September to 1 November.
MICE General Manager Simon Coburn says it’s important to lock social events in as soon as possible to encourage further support and exposure, and to give travelling participants a planned itinerary.
“Now that we’re getting close to the event, travelling guests have booked flights, hotels and Airbnb reservations. They are committed to making the most of their time in Melbourne and we are just as committed to helping them maximise their experence in our wonderful coffee city,” Simon says.
Melbourne Coffee Week will conclude with the official MICE and World Coffee Events afterparty. When that time comes, it will be a celebration of a momentous week but more importantly, of the efforts of the Australian coffee community to host the world and prove that Melbourne is still very much one of the best coffee cities in the world.
For more information and to register an event for Melbourne Coffee Week, visit www.melbournecoffeeweek.com.au
For more information or to purchase a ticket to MICE, visit internationalcoffeeexpo.com
This article appears in the June 2022 edition of BeanScene. Subscribe HERE.