MilkLab Barista Battle Series Final to take place on 23 March

One lucky and talented barista will win an all-expenses paid trip to Peru in the final of the MilkLab Barista Battle Series at the Melbourne International Coffee Expo (MICE) on 23 March. 

Freedom Foods Group is a Platinum Milk sponsor of MICE. To mark the occasion, Freedom Food Group’s dairy and plant-based milk alternative brand MilkLab hosted four preliminary competition rounds consecutively at café venues across Melbourne in the lead up to MICE, including Code Black and Dimattina.

On Wednesday 21 March, Stovetop in Carlton will hold the final heat before the finals. Registration will open at 5pm, and commence at 6pm.

For the chance to compete and win at trip to Peru, baristas must be first in best dressed at the host venue at the registration time.

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Eight baristas will compete in each round with two baristas at a time going head-to-head. They will have five minutes to complete three beverages, divided into the following categories:

1. Latte art. Competitors will use MilkLab Soy to produce a nominated latte art design. Judges will look for a harmonious balance of rich, sweet milk and espresso, and critique the design based on visual foam quality, contrast, harmony, size, position, and creativity.

2. Signature drink. Competitors will have creative licence to produce a freestyle latte art design using a “new member of the MilkLab family” (soon to be revealed). Baristas will be critiqued on their creativity and skill to use the new flavoured product to create a latte art pattern. The beverage may be served at any temperature above 50°C.

3. Flavour round. Competitors must create a beverage using MilkLab’s Lactose Free milk. The judges will be looking for taste and tactile balance such as sweetness, acidity, bitterness, full-body, smoothness, and coffee as the core flavour. This beverage must feature latte art.

Three sensory judges will assess the drinks and vote the best of the pair through to the next round until just two finalists remain.

Freedom Foods Group Brand Manager Jannah Picone says the competition is also a way for baristas to see how versatile MilkLab’s suite of dairy and plant-based products can be.

“Most latte art smackdowns use full cream milk, but we’re inviting baristas to use MilkLab’s alternative milks to see how well they texture, stretch, and enhance latte art,” Jannah says. “The feedback we’ve had from baristas thus far has been really positive.”

The top two highest scoring baristas from each round (eight in total) will compete in the MilkLab Barista Battle Series Final at 2pm on 23 March at MICE. A champion will be crowned and win two tickets to origin.

“Baristas dream of getting to the original source of coffee, so what better prize than to see the bean to crop process first hand?” Jannah says. “But they’ve got to be in it to win it.”

For more details on competition times and locations, follow @milklabco on Instagram. 

For more information on the MilkLab range, visit and visit the MilkLab stand #49 at MICE. 

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