The Australian Specialty Coffee Association (ASCA) is gearing up to host a full fortnight of Australian Coffee Championships in March 2016. Over the course of three weekends, Australia’s best baristas will compete in the national finals of the ASCA Brewer’s Cup, Huhtamaki Cup Tasters, Pura Latte Art, Barista, and Coffee in Good Spirits Championships. To kick-start the national coffee championships, ASCA will host the Australian Pura Latte Art Championship in conjunction with the Melbourne Food and Wine Festival, from 4 – 5 March. Latte artists will be invited to showcase their skills in an open-air event on the iconic red steps alongside Melbourne’s Yarra River. On 10 March, ASCA will present the Australian Coffee in Good Spirits Championship in a day and night mix of competition and cocktails. The following day, on 11 March, 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 following week the celebration will continue when the Melbourne Showgrounds opens its door to the Melbourne International Coffee Expo (MICE2016). MICE will play host to the Australian Barista Championship, and a brand new onsite roasting competition, from 17 – 19 March. “We know that MICE visitors want to watch all that goes on in the competition arena, but often find it difficult with so much happening at the show,” said Show Director, Simon Coburn. “Hopefully with the competitions spread out over the fortnight there’ll be no reason to miss any of the action.” Simon says the decision to hold the competitions over two weeks came about because Hotelex is taking place so soon after MICE. “We sat down with ASCA and decided that there really wasn’t enough time for the Australian winners to prepare for the competitions in China,” says Simon. “We’re really happy with our collaborative solution and we’re looking forward to trialing this new format.” The winner of the Australian Pura Latte Art and Australian Huhtamaki Cup Tasters Championship will go on to compete in the 2016 WLAC and World Cup Tasters Championship from 29 March – 1 April 2016 in Shanghai, China at Hotelex. The winner of the Australian Barista and Brewers Cup Championship will fly the country’s flag in Dublin when Ireland’s capital hosts the World Barista Championship and World Brewer’s Cup from 22 – 25 June 2016 at World of Coffee.