MICE2023 to host Australia’s Richest Barista competition

Australia's Richest Barista

MICE2023 is hosting the Australia’s Richest Barista competition, challenging baristas from around the world to show off their skills and battle it out over three action-packed days.

Along with hosting an array of workshops, activities, a symposium and the global coffee community, the 10th edition of the Melbourne International Coffee Expo (MICE) is giving barista’s a chance to earn more than just some street cred.

MICE2023 will see Australia’s Richest Barista competition take place from 17 to 19 August at the Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre. Baristas will have the chance to win a share of AU$40,000 (about US$26,784) prize pool, which is the richest cash prize on offer for the final of a barista competition anywhere in the world.

“Australia’s Richest Barista a great opportunity for international baristas to join a world-class competition and prove their ability. Australia has some of the best baristas in the world, evident by Anthony Douglas’ recent World Barista Championship win,” says MICE Show Director Lauren Winterbottom.

“We want to offer an exciting competition format, while giving baristas a chance to walk away with a significant amount of money that will make a difference in their lives.”

The competition is designed as a fast-paced, knock-out style event that tests each barista’s sensory and practical skills.

“Day one will see baristas compete two at a time for 10-minute periods, preparing espresso, lattes, and alternative milk drinks. Each barista group will be judged by a group of judges using a scoring system that allows a winner to be immediately declared from each round,” says Winterbottom.

Half of these baristas will progress onto round two: the latte art smackdown. On this day, each barista pair will compete across three rounds, displaying a mix of traditional latte art and their own creations. The coffee will be judged blindly, and the best winner in two out of three rounds will proceed to the finals.

The final day will be a three-round cup tasting competition. Competitors will have to accurately and quickly identify which coffee out of the three groups, is the odd one out. The winner will be the last barista standing who has achieved excellence in all rounds of coffee preparation and tasting.

The winner will receive AU$25,000 (about US$16,740), runner-up will take home AU$10,000 (about US$6696), and third place will win AU$5000 (about US$3348).

“The competition is a way for MICE to support these incredible baristas and the coffee industry,” says Winterbottom.

Full rules and registration details are available on the MICE website. See the website for regular updates.

“This competition is designed to reflect the current requirements and skillset baristas demand in today’s competitive café market where standards are high, as is the expectation from customers,” Winterbottom says.

“We think it’s a fun and creative competition that will grow a global reputation in the years to come. You’ve got to be in it to win it.”

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This article was first published in the May/June 2023 edition of Global Coffee Report. Read more HERE.

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