Saturday, May 18, 2024

Top baristas and roasters battle for coffee supremacy in national tournament

All around Australia, talented baristas and coffee roasters are firing up their steam wands and honing their latte art in preparation for the most exciting event on the 2024 cafe calendar: the MILKLAB Barista Battle and Roaster Royale at the Melbourne International Coffee Expo on 12-14 May 2024.

At this year’s premier coffee event, specialty roasters and baristas from across Australia will showcase their skills, blends and palate by creating unbeatable coffee experiences using MILKLAB pairings in the inaugural Roaster Royale and much-loved Barista Battle competitions.

For the 7th consecutive year, MILKLAB is the Platinum sponsor of the Melbourne International Coffee Expo (MICE). MICE is considered the premier and most dynamic coffee-centric event across the Asia Pacific region.

The two ‘do-or-die’ competitions for baristas and coffee roasters at MICE will be as follows –

  1. Roaster Royale – a new competition for Australia’s coffee roaster community to develop a one-of-a-kind espresso roast that pairs best with MILKLAB Oat milk. The winner will be announced at MICE 2024 and will receive $10,000 in prize money, a trip to Papua New Guinea plus a generous 12-month MILKLAB Roaster partnership.
  2. MILKLAB Barista Battle – the popular competition is on again in 2024, attracting baristas from across Australia to share a video of their finest latte art pour. Unedited videos are to be uploaded to Instagram or TikTok with @milklabco and #MILKLAB2024BB tagged in the post. The competition will culminate in Melbourne where finalists will showcase their latte art skills at MILKLAB Lane. The winning barista will receive $5000 and the opportunity to become a MILKLAB Master Barista valued at $2000.

MILKLAB Marketing Manager Natalie Latimore says the success of MILKLAB’s range can be attributed to an ongoing commitment to collaborate with Australia’s baristas and roasters.

“MILKLAB’s range was made with baristas, for baristas and that’s why it is the preferred milk for cafes in Australia. We continue to work with baristas and roasters to ensure the texture and taste of the MILKLAB range elevates the coffee experience.

“Events like MICE provide us with opportunities to connect with the people on the ground who are immersed in Australia’s coffee culture and attraction to hot or iced coffee beverages.

“It’s also about providing opportunities for roasters and baristas to take the spotlight and be recognised for their dedication to producing amazing coffee experiences that can be considered works of art. The Barista Battle and Roaster Royale is another way we are collaborating with industry experts to further develop coffee culture in Australia.”

At the Expo this year, MILKLAB Lane will exude Melbourne’s iconic trendy coffee culture vibe. Reminiscent of the streets of Melbourne, MILKLAB Lane ‘hole-in-the-wall’ style cafes and funky coffee carts encourage guests to enjoy a unique coffee experience, paired with the smooth tastes of MILKLAB’s plant-based and dairy milk range.

The Laneway will feature live DJ tunes, daily workshops on coffee art techniques by latte art experts Victor Vu, Ming Wan, and Junnie, a Battle the Master challenge for skilful baristas, and networking events.

In keeping with its commitment to sustainability, MILKLAB Lane will be made from sustainable materials including saveBOARD, a low carbon building material made from upcycled tetra packaging.

“Sustainability is important to MILKLAB. We are excited to partner with saveBOARD to use upcycled milk carton packaging for the build of MILKLAB Lane to highlight the ways in which recycled materials can be used to reduce waste and environmental impact,” Ms Latimore said.

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