Plan your visit to MICE2023

Melbourne International Coffee Expo

August will celebrate MICE’s 10th anniversary. It’s time to plan your visit and discover 10 things to see and do at the must-attend event  for the Australian coffee industry.

It’s not every day you get to celebrate your 10th birthday. For most people it would consist of cake, birthday candles, and a crossover to your teenage years. For the Melbourne International Coffee Expo (MICE), it’s a celebration of all things coffee.

This year marks 10 years of MICE solidifying connections, testing new equipment, and providing a platform for the entire coffee supply chain to unite. It’s for this reason that the world will descend on MICE from 17 to 19 August in 2023 to celebrate.

“Celebrating this milestone event with the community of largely talented, inventive, and quality-based individuals and companies that represent the best of the industry is truly an honour,” says Lauren Winterbottom, MICE Show Director.

“We can’t wait to show everyone why MICE has evolved to become an exciting part of the Australian and world coffee community fabric.”

This year’s event is supported by some big names in the industry, including MICE Platinum Sponsors Milklab and BeanScene magazine; and supporting sponsors Coffee Tools Distributing, and made by Fressko.

The list of exhibitors rolls over to more than 100 businesses representing all directions of the coffee industry and supply chain – green bean traders, roasters, equipment manufacturers, ancillary suppliers, dairy and dairy alternative providers, and so many more. With that in mind, let’s break down the top 10 things to see and do at the biggest coffee event in the Southern Hemisphere.

1. Richest Barista competition

MICE2023 will introduce the Richest Barista competition, a knock-out format, fast-paced competition designed to exhibit incredible barista talent to the global coffee industry and all the coffee lovers. Baristas will have the chance to win a share of a $40,000 prize pool, which is the richest cash prize on offer for a barista competition final anywhere in the world. The winner will receive $25,000, runner-up will take home $10,000, and third place will win $5000.

Over the three days of MICE2023, baristas will compete in three intense head- to-head rounds, Barista, Latte Art and Cup Tasting, that test their overall practical and sensory skills.

The winner will be the last barista standing who has achieved excellence in all rounds of coffee preparation and tasting.

This year’s line-up of competitors features 2022 World AeroPress Champion and former Australian Latte Art Champion Jibbi Little of Jibbijug, two-time Australian Brewers Cup Champion Devin Loong of Ona Coffee, and Australian Brewers Cup finalists Simon Gautherin of Zest Specialty Coffee, but Lauren says the shortlist of competitors is an open field.

“The great thing about this year’s competition is that it’s anyone’s game to win. Because the three different rounds embrace three different skillsets, it will challenge even the most established of baristas and likely unearth the talents of someone on the verge of making their industry break-through,” she says.

2. Product Innovation Awards

The MICE Product Innovation Awards recognise the best innovations from exhibitors in 2023. The Awards offer the chance for exhibitors to showcase their newest products to the wide-ranging MICE audience. Finalists in the Ancillary Electrical Equipment category are the NanoFoamer PRO by Coffee Tools Distributing, ULTRA RO by Puretec, and Rhino Coffee Gear Spinjet Spray Assembly & Actuator Star 3-EDP by Bombora Coffee + Water Supplies. The finalists for Coffee Preparation Equipment are the Linea Micra by La Marzocco Home, Toddy Go Brewer by Bombora, and Franke Mytico by Franke Coffee Systems.

Finalists in the Coffee Accessories category are The Good Cup by Roastar Coffee Packaging, Trimatt ColourStar AQ V by Trimatt Systems, and BioPak Certified Home Compostable Coffee Cup and Lids Solution by BioPak.

3. Roaster’s Alley

Coffee roasters will be presenting coffee in front of thousands of industry stalwarts and coffee lovers. MICE2023 gathers more than 12,000 attendees from across the world, with more than 38 per cent of attendees being café owners looking for the best coffee to offer customers. Roasters that have already signed up for this year’s exhibition include DC Specialty Coffee Roasters, The Bean Cartel, True Artisan Café, Boston Bean Coffee Company, and Monte Coffee Presented By Bean Alliance.

4. Origin Alley

MICE2023 will have a national and international traders and growers dedicated section committed to exposing the organisations’ products and services.

Visit Minas Hill or Southland Merchants for a taste of Brazil, the Federacion de Cafeteros de Colombia (Cafe de Colombia) to try a Colombian coffee, or Australia- PNG Economic Development Program to discover what tasting notes Panama holds. Origin Alley exhibitors will talk you through their stories with the opportunity to experience in first-person what they have achieved since their inception.

“The biggest advantage will be the chance for baristas and roasters to engage with the producers and learn about their skills and farm development that results in the product they use each day,” Lauren says.

5. Get techy with the latest equipment

Every year, espresso equipment suppliers gather at MICE to showcase their best products to cafés, roasters, and coffee lovers. If you’re in search of top-quality equipment for your café, join MICE2023 and connect with leading brands and distributors, including Coffee Works Express, Espresso Company Australia, Franke Coffee Systems, La Marzocco, Nuova Simonelli, and more.

6. Help your hood

Discover MICE charity partner StreetSmart Australia and show your support by helping CafeSmart fight homelessness. The fundraising campaign sees hundreds of roasters and cafés come together to help raise funds and awareness for local grassroot homeless charities.

Over the past 12 years, the event has helped raise and distribute more than $2 million across more than 1000 projects tackling homelessness. Speak to CafeSmart staff to see how you can get involved in the 2024 event.

7. An educational experience

MICE always provides an opportunity to learn something new, whether it be developing sensory tasting skills, an understanding about green coffee, roasting techniques or the latest in equipment innovation.

“MICE is a great place to sharpen our skills and deepen our knowledge as coffee professionals,” Lauren says.

8. Go green

To meet rising consumer demand for sustainability, MICE2023 is going green and will feature a range of environmentally friendly initiatives to reduce waste created during the show.

Australian born waste diversion service Reground, social enterprise Co-Ground, and food rescue organisation OzHarvest will all operate modified versions of their services at MICE to optimise efficiency and effectiveness for the trade show’s setting.

9. The vibe

MICE is well and truly established on the global coffee event’s calendar. While it’s a wonderful business opportunity, visiting Melbourne is also a chance to explore what makes this unofficial coffee capital so prominent. Take the time to visit the city’s iconic laneways filled with hole-in-the-wall coffee shops, be exposed to the craft of coffee making in the suburban fringes and walk away with a greater appreciation of why this largely consuming nation celebrates quality in every cup.

10. Melbourne Coffee Week

When the doors close to the expo each day, it’s definitely not the end of festivities. The Melbourne Coffee Week is a week-long celebration of coffee in the lead up to, and including MICE.

Many industry players celebrate the Australian coffee scene by holding or participating in registered events, such as new product celebrations, coffee cuppings, latte art smackdowns, the Monin Cup Challenge, showroom events, and industry talks from international guests.

“For us Melbourne Coffee Week is our best opportunity to meet with both important players in the Australian coffee industry and the consumers who enjoy the fruits of our labour at the end of the coffee value chain,” Lauren says.

To get your tickets, visit internationalcoffeeexpo.com

This article appears in the August 2023 edition of BeanScene. Subscribe HERE.

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