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Some elements aren't working as we'd hoped - some avatars didn't survive the transition, and we're still having issues with attachments that weren't added as inline images, but we're hoping to have that all sorted out soon.

MICE 2015

On a plane tomorrow to Melbourne for a few days to attend MICE  :thumb:  meeting up with a few forum members while down there which will be nice to put a face to a name.

So the next week will be spent over caffeinated  ;D

Comments

  • Enjoy. While this represents a nice day out, all things coffee, networking with like minded people etc, unfortunately there are enough that view this event (and some others) as a nice way for the promoters to "robin hood" the earnings of others in the coffee game out of their back pockets, and into theirs. Do we need this? What does it do for the "industry" (which industry, roaster, cafe, equipment importers). Does attendance at these kinds of exhibitions bring a return on investment to participants, that can be measured either by direct sales at the exhibition, or over a period of months afterwards? I have seen enough stand holders there in the past and shaken my head at the wonder of what they are doing there. What do they hope to achieve by presenting at the exhibition? These are legitimate thoughts, concerns, for all industry participants (be they stand holders or visitors) to ponder. What does it do for you, and is it worth the spend...not just the cost of the stand, there is cost of preparation, accommodation (all staff), transport of stand and staff, meals for staff etc... but also the considerable work in preparing for, transporting your stand to, setting up, being there, pulling out and transporting back and time spent afterwards to sort it all away and get bacl top normal. Is it worth all that, for just a corporate name building excercise without requisite direct sales...bang for buck? I have no doubt the general public (on their day of entry) enjoys the exhibition, but my post is directed to those that participate on a corporate (be it ever so small) level.
  • I know a small(ish) supplier of equipment to the speciality coffee industry who sells out every year because of mice - and he even picks up orders for europe and the middle east due to visiting dignitaries! i just go there for the coffee and to mingle and to gape at the machines! p 
  • on 1426139242:
    i just go there for the coffee and to mingle and to gape at the machines! p
    Ditto! :thumb: Pretty sure I can see where FC is coming from in his "legitimate" remarks on MICE, but totally disagree on all points I'm afraid.  :angel: All corporate participants/exhibitors rock up growing somewhat every year IMO. Robin Hood? Didn't he take from the rich and give to the poor?? ::) I can't comment on or answer your corporate aimed questions as I'm just an out of town interstate visitor, but maybe some will. For me an expo is an expo is an expo no matter what the subject/object matter may be. With this one.........LOTS O' all things Coffee  :exclaim: :exclaim: :coffee2:
  • Have fun at MICE, and make sure you post up some piccies for us!  :thumb:
  • I'm thinking about going on Saturday. That coffee/cake $30 online combo ticket sounds the go. Yum  :thumb: Sounds like a visit to Coffee & Cake Heaven to me .. you beaut  :thumb: Hmm? Was planning on going for a ride on my Aprilia (Vespa) Scooter .. just checked the weather .. possible showers :'(
  • I think it is a bit of both, I have asked the question myself when checking out the company's attending "what business does this bring you"  some I believe think they will appear to be more than what they are by attending thus creating some more interest towards their business in this competitive market, it may or may not work. Some by virtue of their current perceived standing in the coffee hierarchy attend to continue the perception. But a few that I do know personally generate a great deal of interest in their  product and resulting business makes it a must do event.  Add in a really good accountant and it probably works for quite a few attendees. For us it is a great tool as a trade visitor to gain information, talk face to face with business that may not have taken the time since being such a small player in the ever growing market.  I also like all the shiny things that I get to play with and get to cup lots of great coffees that normally wouldn't make it onto my bench so for the visitors I think there is a great deal of merit in the event.
  • on 1426156375:
    ...Robin Hood? Didn't he take from the rich and give to the poor?? ...
    Seemples...it about re distribution of "wealth" (for want of a better word), and it doesn't madder which way it goes, it just goes, while the expo promoter wins no matter what. The public has a great time (they weren't going there to buy anything anyway), the whole thing is a fantastic "show" on the surface where looks are important. There is no question that some of these exhibitions are certainly a great day out if you are a member of the public interested in all things coffee. From a trade point of view its a gamble on what return there is going to be on "investment", and they go in blind. Note also, that the well accepted psychology is one seldom gets the truth when asking trade / stand holders how the show is going or went for them. They always tell their opposition and anyone else that's asking, that it was fantastic, magnificent, run off their feet with the response from clients, couldn't keep up with demand, made a hundred sales, yarte yarte yarte. The person asking you how it went for you has just told how great is was for them, its designed to make you feel as though something is wrong in your camp, and you give the same back to them....no one is going to tell anyone else openly that things didn't go well for them. And the promoter wins no matter what...  ;D  
  • I tend to agree with FC (A.) on his observations and have held similar views for a long time. A few of the well established companies (who are also our suppliers) that have been exhibitors currently and in the past have told me as much recently - this is likely to be their last year - the cost and effort are just too high. Unless you are accustomed to doing similar events throughout the year, it's a huge planning initiative. As the Australian market is relatively large (per capita interest levels in all things coffee), no doubt there will be others stepping up to take their place in the exhibitor spaces. The Expo suits various types of businesses that rely upon demonstrating their offer. For equipment vendors (and not just espresso machines or grinders) it is a relatively important channel amongst the various go-to-market options. Some in the industry feel that an annual event is too frequent as it does not match the pace of innovation or transformation and suggest a 2-year event would perhaps generate improved returns for exhibitors. There are already 4 key events held every calendar year. Of course, sitting on the consumer side of the event the view would be different.
  • From a trade point of view. Yes, the annual event is too frequent. I know solid traders that have said words to the effect of: "...Not displaying this year, not worth it..." Other saying unless the situation is different this year, this will be the last time... and ....there is a school of thought that goes something like this: "....if it costs somewhere upwards of 10 thou overall to take part, not to mnetion all the preparation and work involved, may as well walk into a 40 kg a week account that purchases from a rival, and write them an on the spot cheque for the same amount to sign a simple contract to change over to you straight up from Monday morning..." Depends on any trader's opinion of what all this is worth to their business.
  • Got my tik online tonight .. it's coffee and cake  8)  :coffee2: If I can't find a 9.6+/10 in this joint .. something is seriously wrong. Then again .. how many can I try before -->  :coffee: Better not just be a Gloria Jeans/Hudsons coffee only ..  ??? Not usually into that much cake .. I'm sure I'll find something I like available to try out. A slice of flourless orange & poppy seed cake would be nice ... will keep my eyes peeled  >:D
  • Interesting thread guys.  Can't wait to see the pictures.  Completely understand where MyCuppa and FC are coming from.  ROI for these sort of events can't possibly favour the traders if the groundswell of numbers is drawn from eager onlookers.  Imagine if you couldn't get a ticket unless you could prove you were a coffee industry professional!?  Then the onus to promote good business practice would fall back on the promoter.
  • on 1426157870:
    Have fun at MICE, and make sure you post up some piccies for us!  :thumb:
    ditto, feel free to use this thread as a 'blog' of your experiences, and pics most welcome!
  • I attended for the first time yesterday. Gee .. the Showgrounds have improved since the last time I was there .. some 20 years or so ago. Lots of impressive shiny coffee machines and grinders on display .. and free piccolo sized coffees on offer everywhere .. take your pick. First coffee was from the Veneziano stand. After making me a piccolo latte .. they didn't have any sugar .. so I had to go back to the Procal stand where they all knew my next door neighbour who is a delivery Man for their milk/dairy products to get some sugar. No spoons so I had to go pinch one from another exhibitor. They were promoting their Yoghurt as well as making coffees using their milk. I didn't try their coffee but know their milk is up there with the best going around only it is only available in certain outlets. Their Greek style yoghurt that I tried is excellent. The Veneziano coffee was nicely made and had an unusual flavour .. although I had tasted it before ... Rating - 9/10 Next coffee was from a colourful stand promoting Indonesian beans .. which the Barista explained were a limited supply and cups of coffee would go for $120 .. yep, you heard it right. It was those beans that an animal similar to a Possum eats only the choice berries from the coffee plant for the fruity outer layer and then craps out the bean. Rating - 8.6/10 .. tasted like shit  :stir  .. nah, it was ok .. nothing super special there I thought. Next was St Ali .. and had to try one of theirs .. seeing I was considering getting some of their rather expensive beans not long ago. The beans were an Ethiopian single origin variety .. the body of this coffee was excellent .. only didn't blow me away Rating - 9.15/10 The body was way better than anything I can get on my PV Lusso .. and brilliantly made using the best equipment .. only my coffees rate better in the Moon taste test. Would have to be the beans .. I mean - it's not the equipment or the Barista .. so what else could it be? I'd had enough coffee by this stage .. so I went across to the cake exhibition to have some cake. This expo was disappointing, as I was expecting some samples of different cakes .. only other than the fancy cakes on display - it was more about selling accessories for cake decoration. I ended up buying an almond and orange cupcake and a lemon and coconut slice @ $4.50 ea. Seeing all the coffees were free .. I can't complain. The orange cake was brilliant .. but the lemon slice was way too sweet and lacked lemon flavour. After that .. my system was sugared out and too thirsty for any more coffee .. so I drank water and went back to the Pura stand for a chocolate Big M freebie.
    Andy from CS had a stand .. where a couple of Behmor bean roasters were on display. I assumed the bloke behind the counter was a Salesman, only it was Joe Behm himself over from the US. We had a great chat .. lovely person he is .. top shelf. Had a brief chat with Andy .. who apparently works 16 hours a day. I asked him whether he visits the Coffee bean plantations where he sources his beans. He does, but doesn't have the time - and mainly catches up with the growers when there is a coffee convention on where they can all catch up. Being a member of CS .. although I rarely visit the site these days .. I had to go back and say hi to the person who got it all happening. Also noticed Orphan Espresso was there .. who I check out for coffee accessories over in the US. They no longer stock parts for my PV Lusso. I met a lady outside when going out for a ciggy whom I noticed had one of those electronic cigarettes. We had a bit of a chat .. and later when walking around I noticed someone demonstrating a hand grinder .. and it ended up being her. Her name was Barb and she and her husband (Doug) are the owners of Orphan Espresso .. originally from Idaho in the US and now living in Taiwan. Their daughter still runs most of Orphan from Idaho, whereas Doug and Barb focus on the hand grinders from Taiwan. They have 2 types and are currently working on a new design which expands the range of the grind in the espresso range, which they plan on releasing later in the year. Their grinders sell for US$195 They are very well made with the burr made in Switzerland .. one being a lot lighter than the other which has a glass jar at the base. Doug explained the glass base is made in the US which can only be produced with the thread running the opposite direction - which is why they shifted the manufacture over to Taiwan .. and now live there. Apparently, after selling some 3,000 of these (glass base) hand grinders .. there had only been a problem with one .. and that was because it was dropped. The new plastic version is unbreakable if you drop it. The expandable espresso version will sell at the same price. Both are impressive .. only I liked the heavier glass model.
    Seeing Admin has encouraged the blog thing .. I'll also add this.. Walking to the cake building .. I was walking beside a lady who was visiting the Reptile show. Her name was Vicki and has a business called 'Crocs and Critters'  Crikey, Vicky loves her snakes and Crocs .. and has them at her home .. has a 9ft saltwater crock in her backyard. her pets come inside the house too. I had to ask .. do they jump up on her bed? She said yes.  ??? Say that again? What does your partner/husband think of that? She replied - I don't have one now but my ex ..... ? She went on to say that one of the female saltwater Crocodiles likes to jump up on the bed and lie between them. Yep folks .. true story .. you are not dreaming - and her ex used to tease her --> the croc .. and crocs don't like being teased. I asked - do crocs know when someone doesn't like them? Yes they do they are very intuitive. I didn't ask what happened to the ex. Maybe he just thought two's company and three's a crowd  :rofl: Vicki does Parties. I asked whether she does the big cake .. you know .. where 2 or 3 huge crocs jump out? She said no. I then asked .. you could dress up as a croc and jump out yourself. She said she had thought of doing that one. Let me know if you'd like the Croclady to come visit your house  :question: Guaranteed to be a real hoot at your Party  :thumb:
  • Wow Moon, what a read and thank you. I don't know enough to get excited over most of what you wrote but I enjoyed it nevertheless. The Civet Coffee had me interested. In years gone by the Civets glands were milked for their funky, animalic tones for perfumery. I believe some natural perfumers still use the real thing but most is now the synthetic type  ;D. I'm sure the Civets find making coffee beans a far more pleasant experience than having their butts milked every now and again  :-|. As for a croc in bed, well the croc lady can have them all to herself, I'll stick to my 2 year old I think  :P. Seriously, I used to go nuts when the dog jumped on the bed, a croc has no chance in hell.
  • Enjoyed your extensive write up Moon. Careful, long posts are usually my own domain  :rofl:
  • I'd normally put a blurb like that in the Ponte Vecchio Lusso thread .. only it all happened on my MICE trip ..so I figured it belonged in here. Can't do it over in the other forum I hang out in. Even 1/8th of the length would get a tl;dr (too long didn't read) from posters. You get the 20 second attention spans over there. I figure there'd probably be more insomniacs around here due to excessive caffeine consumption .. so they'd be looking for something to do while they're up most of the night.  :stir
  • Great post Moon, sounds like your still on a caffeine high ;) I certainly have no problem with informative lengthy posts, as long as punctuation and paragraph breaks are used. What I wont bother reading is a solid block of text without breaks. :)
  • Excellent post Moony old chap!  Sounds like a great mini-break squished into a single day!  A most enjoyable read for the rest of us! 9.65/9!
  • Thanks Moon for your first-hand account [disappointed I couldn't make it this year]; the only thing I would take issue with is your portrayal of Andy from CS as some sort of visionary
    on 1426390191:
    Being a member of CS .. although I rarely visit the site these days .. I had to go back and say hi to the person who got it all happening.
    In fact Crema was the first coffee forum in Australia, whereas Andy's innovation was to commercialise a coffee forum - mine was intended to be a true 'forum' - exchange of ideas on coffee … in fact CS opened about a year and-a-half later, but from memory it wasn't even Andy's concept - he bought it off the guy who started it but as mentioned, it was certainly his idea to commercialise it! Thanks for the great update, did you take any pics?
  • on 1426416728:
    Thanks Moon for your first-hand account [disappointed I couldn't make it this year]; the only thing I would take issue with is your portrayal of Andy from CS as some sort of visionary In fact Crema was the first coffee forum in Australia, whereas Andy's innovation was to commercialise a coffee forum - mine was intended to be a true 'forum' - exchange of ideas on coffee … in fact CS opened about a year and-a-half later, but from memory it wasn't even Andy's concept - he bought it off the guy who started it but as mentioned, it was certainly his idea to commercialise it! Thanks for the great update, did you take any pics?
    Yes, I read somewhere, no doubt deleted now that the original CS was a Co-Op whose modus operandi was to purchase and proportion green beans for its members; being, that no one enthusiast wants their beans in 60 kg increments.  The Co-op imploded due to differences of opinion/personality clashes and Andy moved in with a good offer and good business acumen.  It's very interesting how the coffee forums, RSS feeds, Alt.coffee etc. have all had their controversy, angst and personality clashes.  On wonders if we changed the beverage to scotch would we all get along better?  Certainly don't change the drink to Rum... We'd need the cops called every second night!!
  • on 1426416728:
    the only thing I would take issue with is your portrayal of Andy from CS as some sort of visionary In fact Crema was the first coffee forum in Australia
    I asked Andy whether CS was the first coffee forum and he acknowledged with a yes. Naughty boy Andy  :pan I watched The Little River Band story on the Sunday program .. and it was a sad one for the original members of the band not being acknowledged and able to perform under their LRB name in the US where they had many hits. I can certainly understand being the first coffee forum in Australia is a significant achievement, and something to be very proud of. Being the first commercial forum in Australia is fine .. but not the very first coffee forum in Australia. Seems like Andy chooses to leave the 'commercial' bit out From my perspective .. I started with CS when researching Coffee machines and grinders .. and then discovered Crema and Home Barista in the US. I read relevant info from each of the forums .. so I am grateful to each of them. At the expo .. I was chatting with Joe Behm - the Behmor roaster guy .. seeing I'll probably end up getting one myself at some stage .. and didn't get to at least say hello to Andy as he was busy chatting with others. After walking off .. I had pangs of guilt as I felt that being a member of his forum .. it was a little remiss of me not to at least meet and say hi to Andy seeing I had personally benefited from his forum. I felt it was the right thing to do .. so I went back and did that. It was the same with Orphan Espresso. If there were anyone who I had had dealings with or visited their website a number of times, seeing they were there - It was an opportunity to meet them.
    on 1426416728:
    Thanks for the great update, did you take any pics?
    No .. I didn't. I prefer not to be like the snap happy Asian tourists - not that there's anything wrong with that ... it's just not really me - which probably means I won't be out taking pics of Cafes to enter the forum bean competition. I saw your post about posting pics .. only I didn't figure I was going to be the only one on the forum apart from 'cosmic_couple in the OP who would be showing up. Fingers crossed the cosmics play the tourists eh ..  :thumb:
    Dry Bean Yeah, I know exactly what you mean with breaking up the paragraphs. My sister sent this long block of solid text in an email .. which was hard to read.. and blokes,who do this i find annoying. and then theirs those cats who don't use capitals,and spaces. get the picture  :tearhair:
  • on 1426416728:
    ... the only thing I would take issue with is your portrayal of Andy from CS as some sort of visionary In fact Crema was the first coffee forum in Australia...
    Yes, Crema Form was operating way before CS Forum, and CS was originally started by someone else, who sold it on. I am not sure however why people keep making a distinction (between the forums) by using the word "commercial".  The difference in CS is that it is a vehicle that funnels clients and income into the forum owner's real time business. Both Crema and CS  forums have commercial sponsors, but the difference is this forum does not funnel clients or income to the owner. Without trying to dissect down any further, the simplest view then would be that CS Forum is a business, while Crema Forum is not, although they both have "commercial" sponsors...
    on 1426425664:
    ...I asked Andy whether CS was the first coffee forum and he acknowledged with a yes. ..After walking off .. I had pangs of guilt as I felt that being a member of his forum .. it was a little remiss of me not to at least meet and say hi to Andy seeing I had personally benefited from his forum. I felt it was the right thing to do .. so I went back and did that....
    re: "...I asked Andy whether CS was the first coffee forum and he acknowledged with a yes..." If your question, and the answer, were as simple and accurate as stated, then I am afraid the "yes" answer is very disappointing. re: "...after walking off..." I wish there were more clients, indeed forum participants like you. From a sponsor point of view, you have no idea how much help and advice goes into this stuff, and how many people just take your advice and run....without saying a simple thank you, OR...very often taking the advice from you and "running" elsewhere to buy opposition gear.  Regardless, glad you had a great day out Moon.
  • on 1426454777:
    From a sponsor point of view, you have no idea how much help and advice goes into this stuff, and how many people just take your advice and run....without saying a simple thank you, OR...very often taking the advice from you and "running" elsewhere to buy opposition gear.  Regardless, glad you had a great day out Moon.
    Cheers for that  :) and I'm glad I went along. The highlight for me is meeting people that you have a connection with. In my case .. Barb & Doug from Orphan Espresso, the guys at Procal dairy, Joe Behm - Behmor roaster, meeting Andy & the Croclady from the Reptile show. I had followed threads written by Jack from Sorrentina and had contacted him a number of times to discuss the Ponte Vecchio Lussos. I must admit that I was disappointed at not purchasing a coffee machine through him .. after all the work he had put in over time.. and of course being a nice bloke, which certainly counts with me. Supporting forum Sponsors is also important .. which is why I like to come back to purchasing beans from Jeff @ mycuppa .. because of all the work he puts in on the forum. Both Jeff and Jack are great coffee people .. and when you see the calibre of people like these .. you like to support them so that they stick around. Unfortunately, it was a timing issue which led to my decision to purchase my machine from Italy. As with the forum owners, and members -  I am grateful for all the information and advice that people share to assist others, like myself.
    What I personally would have liked to have seen at the expo .. were stalls selling beans. Grinders and Dimattina were there .. only a store with hessian bags or containers with an assortment of blends and single origins from different regions/Countries on display would have added to the atmosphere. For example - above each lot of beans a board explaining where the beans are from and some other information to engage as well as inform potential customers about the coffee process. People could then walk up, browse, and and choose samples of different beans, which then get weighed up and bagged .. similar setup to what you often see with shops at markets selling nuts. What else I thought was lacking .. was outdoor settings of tables and chairs under canopies for people to catch some sunshine and interact with other coffee lovers. There were however, separate Cafes around the show grounds .. only there needed to be some  areas directly attached to the pavilion. There were open doors where you could go outside .. but nowhere to sit down and drink your coffee and chat. A couple of shops did have tables available .. but the problem with those was that the atmosphere was similar to having a coffee in a shopping centre food court. It appeared as though the promoters of MICE did nothing extra to make it nice in there .. and simply provided the space for the traders - and left it all up to them. Coffee is an opportunity to socialise .. and I thought it could've bean done better.
  • HI guys, for the record, here's the press release with official details from comps: Australian Capital Territory’s Sasa Sestic has been named Australia’s best barista. Sasa, who works for Canberra-based coffee company Ona Coffee, impressed the judges with his stellar performance to win the prestigious crown of Australian Barista Champion. State barista winners from across the country travelled to Melbourne to try to take home the prestigious national titles. In a tight race to the finish, Sasa won first place in the Australian Barista Championship, Think Tank Coffee’s Craig Simon won second place, and St Ali’s Matt Perger won third place. Sasa is no stranger to the competition scene. He has competed in national coffee competition for the past seven years, making his first barista championship win even more precious. “It’s a very special moment for me. This win has been seven years in the making. It’s a proud achievement for me personally, but also for Ona Coffee, my family, and the entire coffee community in Canberra,” says Sasa. “It’s a dream come true.” In this competition, participants have 15 minutes to prepare four espressos, four cappuccinos, and four signature drinks to a panel of six judges. Sasa’s routine highlighted the importance of the relationship between coffee producers and consumers. For his coffee, he used Las Nubes – Sudan Rume varietal coffee from Colombia. Sasa will now represent Australia on the world stage at the World Barista Championship in Seattle, United States in June. In front of a crowd of supporters, Caleb Cha of Cafenatics in Victoria took out the Australian Pura Latte Art Championship. Ben Morrow of Plantation won second place and Barry Newell of Blue Sky Coffee won third place. In the Australia Brewers Cup competition that celebrates the art of coffee brewing, Dane Oliver from La Cabra Coffee Roasters took the title using a Geisha coffee from Cerro Azul, Café Granja. Auction Room’s Michael Sinclair won second place and Toby Wilson of Sample Coffee Roasters won third place. Harry Hyun-suk Ko from De Clieu won the Australian Huhtamaki Cup Tasters Championship, which awards the professional coffee cupper who demonstrates speed, skill, and accuracy in distinguishing the taste differences in specialty coffees. Frankie Shi of Tulip Shi won second place and Aaron Lee of Dukes Coffee Roasters won third place. Celebrating the art of coffee with alcohol, Lucas Woods of Coffee Lab took out the title of Australian Coffee in Good Spirits Champion. Mikael Jasin of Operator25 café won third place and Chris Wood of Clement Coffee won third place. The winners of these championships will fly to Gothenburg, Sweden to represent Australia on the world stage in April.
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