It's a beautiful, warm, sunny day in Melbourne as I write this, and the "Celebrate The Bean" part of the Melbourne Food and Wine Festival, www.melbfoodwinefest.com.au, is on as I write. This is a coffee festival for the consumer, with stalls (the white tents) on the upper level for domestic machines, and the lower level for commercial machines and roasters.
There are consumer "seminars" on growing, home roasting, espresso, domestic machines and more, and it's PACKED with people! Below is a pictorial record of the event.
The Coffee Academy at William Angliss College display booth.
Breville (thermoblock) machines and grinders
Gaggia, the Carrezza is on sale for US$200.00.
DeLonghi Machines..they're still selling the rebadged Solis 166 cheaper than I can buy it!
Krups was displayed by Andronicus, a Nestle brand.
..and next door were the Nespresso machines & capsules.
Then it was downstairs to the "Commercial" section, where the local roasters were selling their wares for A$1.50 (US$0.75) per cup. You can see why Australian espresso culture is more like that of Italy than the USA, these guys are about a third of the companies in the local Melbourne market!
Crivelli Coffee were showing the Vibiemme E-61 machines.
Eureka Coffee are local growers and roasters.
Gravity Coffee pack in "Illy style" tins.
Organic Coffee claim to be Australia's only organic certified roasters.
Monte Coffee had the La Spaziale machines on display.
Segafredo Zanetti, one of the "multinationals".
Amanti were displaying their "thermoblock" commercial machine, dual hopper grinder and lever tamper.
Robert Timms is an old Australian brand now owned by a Multinational food company.
Jasper Coffee are one of the few truly "Specialty" roasters in Melbourne.
Finally, the Grinders coffee stall. They represent Grimac machines. Their original Lygon Street store was the first place I ever purchased coffee beans, over 30 years ago!
The gentleman in the picture above is Giancarlo Gusti, who actually sold me that first bag of coffee beans! He has been roasting and blending in Melbourne since 1962, originally selling to the large local Italian community, then to Uni students, and now all over Australia. He is what we call "a lovely bloke" and has the sort of respect from his peers, the public and the local food industry that someone like Don Schoenholt has in the USA.
I don't know of anywhere outside Australia where these sorts of consumer oriented events are held, but I reckon they're a good thing!