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Australia's MICE brings record coffee crowds to WBC.

It was only the second time organizers held the Melbourne International Coffee Expo in Australia, but one of the newest shows in coffee--MICE--is definitively here to stay.

With record visitor numbers in addition to an online crowd of thousands cheering on competitors in the four-day 2013 World Barista Championship (WBC), Australia's undisputed coffee capital was boiling and brewing for a lot more of consumers' daily favorite latte.

"The attendance numbers exceeded all of our expectations with 11,366 people, and the interest we've seen here in Melbourne for the World Barista Championship has been fantastic, it's all been very exciting," said John Murphy, managing director of Prime Creative Media, a publishing group that has been involved in sponsoring coffee events in Australia for years, and which was the chief organizer of the MICE and 2013 WBC.

"We will certainly consider other opportunities like the WBC, which add value and expression to the MICE experience, and Prime Creative Media will continue to host MICE 2014 and beyond each year," Murphy said.

U.S. Barista Pete Licata showed that consistency pays off by taking home the trophy as the world's 14th Barista Champion after four days of competition between 54 baristas from across the world.

"I am truly humbled by the experience," said Licata. The win marked a particularly sweet victory for Licata, who first started competing as a career barista in the U.S. in 2006 and came in second in the 2011 WBC in Bogota, Colombia. His signature drink was prepared as a non-alcoholic coffee cocktail, using chilled palm sugar triple syrup, orange peel and lemongrass mixed with an espresso shot over ice. U.S. coffee lovers should soon be able to try it out at the Parisi Artisan Cafe in Licata's home town of Kansas City.

In only its second year, the World Brewers Cup continues to gain popularity. The 2013 world title went to another American and career coffee brewer, Erin McCarthy. Unlike the WBC, the World Brewers Cup highlights the "the craft of filter coffee brewing by hand" and promoted manual coffee brewing excellence.

That regularly brewed coffee is making a comeback was evident throughout events and exhibitor stands at MICE. For years the boom in coffee consumption across the world has been led by Italian-inspired espresso coffees and the growing varieties of cappuccinos, lattes and macchiatos.

"Now we are really starting to see filter coffee or drip coffee, coming back. As the consumer becomes come educated about coffee and learns more about the different brewing styles we really see that they are also starting to re-discover drip coffee which gives you a whole different coffee experience," said Nick Maslin, of Red Star Coffee Roasters in Melbourne.

The MICE exhibition hosted over 150 companies. Drip-coffee and new technology and equipment for brewing filter coffee were the leading items trending at MICE this year.

Officials from companies across Latin America, South-East Asia, Japan, Europe and the U.S. participated in MICE and represented every aspect of the coffee industry from roasters to growers, traders, equipment suppliers, cafe owners, baristas and ordinary coffee enthusiasts and consumers from across Melbourne.

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Title Annotation:New & Notable: Tea & Coffee Reports Brewing Worldwide; World Barista Championship; Melbourne International Coffee Expo
Comment:Australia's MICE brings record coffee crowds to WBC.(New & Notable: Tea & Coffee Reports Brewing Worldwide)(World Barista Championship)(Melbourne International Coffee Expo)
Author:Wallengren, Maja
Publication:Tea & Coffee Trade Journal
Geographic Code:8AUST
Date:Jul 1, 2013
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