Royal Melbourne Showgrounds
Warning: This post is Strictly Not Brunch (SNB). Caffeine addicts feature heavily in the making of this blog.
For a simple commodity that is grown and treated within the various regions of the coffee belt, there are multiple opinions and standards as to how to obtain coffee ‘the perfect cup’. We want coffee our own way. Some like it extra hot, while others like it weak. There are the tall take-away cups that could be mistaken for beer steins and the small ones that look like a sample. Some like it bitter, while others like sweet. Milk, Soy, Black, White, Filter, Aeropress, Siphon and dare we say it … instant. Whether you are a hipster or just average Joe who loves the old fashion espresso, there was much to celebrate at the recent Melbourne International Coffee Expo (MICE).
The expo hit our shores back in May and two months on the event lingers in our mind. Some of Melbourne’s best and brightest coffee brewers were present, showcasing their brews to coffee enthusiasts and curious first-time attendees.
The good people at Lavazza coffee invited us to come and check out the expo and try out their new coffee machine.
We arrived just in time for the demonstration and took our seat in front of our shiny and compact coffee machine by Electrolux. We were warmly welcomed by the Lavazza team as they started to go through the company history. The first ever to pioneer and commercialise roasted coffee, Luigi Lavazza made history in Italy all the way back in 1895. The company remains family owned and operated to this day, four generations later!
In front of us lay eight colourful coffee pods, starting from the weakest blend on the right (decaffeinated) to the most intense flavours on the left. What was interesting to learn about these little pods was how they came to be. Once the beans leave their country of origin, they are never touched by human hands. Interesting fact – the beans are roasted in Italy, using hot air convection – meaning they are roasted in the air and never touches the ground! Once roasted, they are ground and sealed fresh in four layers of foil per pod, meaning they last for up to two years without going off!
With all that learning we were getting fatigued, but Movida Bakery came to save the day with some beautiful mixed donuts. Miss SL had a salted caramel donut that tasted more like lemon curd. Mr LB had the mixed berry donut which hit the spot and had a subtle blueberry flavour.
It was on to making our coffees as we switched on our machines. It was quick to warm up. We started with magicamente pod. Taking the second pod from the right, using the machine was simple – we simply put the pod in the top, pressed the ristretto option (first button on the left) and watched the magic happen.
The coffee was smoother than we expected. It was certainly no Proud Mary, but for your everyday at home experience, it was certainly better than having an instant coffee (which is considered blasphemy in our books!). Within seconds we had a hot shot of coffee.
We then experimented with milk frothing, making some lattes and designing some art. It was fun and easy to do. The only thing missing in this was a thermometer to identify when the milk hit the optimal temperature of 69 degrees.
The machine is self-cleaning so that’s another bonus – the only thing as a user we’d have to do is empty the disposal tray which has the discarded coffee pods! The good people at Lavazza have provided us with a coffee machine to try at home so we will be publishing a product review on our sister site The Modern Connoisseur in the upcoming weeks. Keep an eye out!
After the coffee making class we wandered around the festival a bit and tried a few different samples. There were swarms of coffee lovers milling about, creating an exciting, rich and vibrant atmosphere. MICE was a great day out and definitely caffeine induced!
Final thought: “A great expo to amp up on caffeine”