Coffee Experience Wrap Up


The Coffee Experience drew a total crowd of over 4821 from around Australia over the three days at the Royal Halls of Industries, Moore Park. Coffee lovers were treated to a packed agenda of SCAA coffee classes, machine demonstrations, coffee tastings and nail-biting barista competitions. The level of energy and expertise showcased at this major specialty coffee event was second to none as connoisseurs enjoyed the vibrant atmosphere amidst bustling crowds. Australia’s current champions, Ona Coffee’s Sasa Sestic – world barista champion – and Caleb Cha – world latte art champion mingled with previous winners and new challengers bursting with new enthusiasm and ideas.


Everybody told us that Zest had a great stand. We were humbled by the amount of attention we enjoyed. We had set out to make a stand that offered a real engaging experience to all coffee enthusiasts. Plenty of action, plenty to taste and cupping sessions to get deeply involved in. We lived our mantra ‘education brews appreciation’ as our team shared the secrets of great coffee with throngs of interested admirers. Our cupping table pumped as James Craig, our Q grader and champion roaster, delightfully expounded on the do’s and don’ts of sensory analysis.


On the front bench our line-up of new microlots shone under the lights and delighted guests as the copper kettles and V60’s dished up bowl after bowl of exceptional filter brew. Everyone’s favourite was the Ethiopian Guji so don’t be shy to order yourself a bag of that before this small but extraordinary lot is finishes up. The washed Kenyans and the Sumatran Wahana also performed at their best for the crowds. We promised ‘phoah’ experiences and we delivered…


The matt white Linea PB flanked by a white EK43 and two white Compak’s really did look handsome! But did it work hard! Queues stretched to the doors at some stages as people lined up to taste our most progressive blend, the fruit bomb Composition VII or the deep chocolate Corcavado (other end of the spectrum) as an espresso or through milk. Smiles flashed and positive responses flowed as our barista team pumped the equipment to its max!

100% CACAO

Wow, did this get some interest. Our latest products brought the raw elements of the cocoa plantations of Equador and Venezuela onto the bench at the Coffee Experience. Anton enthralled and schooled his guests with the intricacies and tastes of 100% cocoa – beans, nibs, liquor and powder. The favourite taste was the full bitter blast of 100% cocoa with hot milk delicately sweetened with a mysterious blob of disappearing fairy floss… We owe the idea of this crowd pleaser to our friends at Hash Café who have grown this circus trick into a remarkable taste phenomenon in Melbourne. The real magnet – visual antics aside – is the taste. Chocolate has never been this good!


The competitions certainly entertained and enthralled the guests and we would like to thank ASCA for the excellent and well organised show they brought on. Most of the judges and administrators do this on a volunteer basis and the Australian specialty coffee fraternity owes them a big thank you. Zest congratulates all the winners and wishes them all the best in their future endeavours.


Another stand of particular interest was Espresso Mechanics where the striking Black Eagle gravimetric espresso machine and the sophisticated Methos One grinder were in action. This equipment certainly sits at the cutting edge of extraction technology and we recommend all serious specialty venues to take a look at these beasts. Something else caught our eye at this stand – the Brita sparkling water tap. That’s right, wonderful lightly carbonated water on tap. A standard fixture in top cafes of the future? We think so…

What’s next? MICE in Melbourne next year? Yes, we’re looking forward to another round!