The Melbourne International Coffee Expo (MICE) is an event for coffee lovers from across Australia and the world. This year, we had a small crew head down to sunny Melbourne (yep, it didn't rain the whole time). We geeked out on some of the latest coffee tech, enjoyed so many delicious coffees, and had a cracking few days enjoying the best of Melbourne's Cafe and hospitality scene. In this piece, we’ve compiled a few of the highlights from our Team trip.

MICE 2024

Sustainability in focus 

Excitingly, the coffee industry's push towards more sustainable solutions was on display, from coffee production practices and food packaging to the repurposing of coffee waste. It was great to have our friends at Huskee as the official cup partner at the expo. Lots of folks enjoying coffee from their new Renee range.

P&R coffee love

It was great to have conversations with our industry peers who acknowledge the efforts we’re putting in and work we’re doing setting the standards in ethical and sustainable coffee practices. A number of other brands are either on the journey to becoming B Corp certified or thinking more seriously about it. We’re really excited to see more coffee and coffee-related organisations seek out independent certifications.  


A common theme across MICE was automation solutions for coffee machines and the coffee production process. While the skill of the baristas most certainly has a place, the use of automation can and will ultimately enhance customer experience.

Coffee machine with Pablo & Rustys's Porter St blend

A world of coffee flavours

Our team noticed a rise in the quality and availability of coffee from places like the Philippines, Yemen and Tanzania. At Pablo & Rusty's, we source beans from all over the globe, and this trend of increasing quality in varied regions highlights the ever-expanding world of coffee flavours to explore. Maybe a Yemeni or Philippines coffee will make its way onto our Coffee program. Watch this space.

Coffee Cupping

Global green bean sourcing

Connecting with green bean importers from the new regions opens up exciting possibilities for future collaborations. At Pablo & Rusty's, we're always on the hunt for unique and delicious coffees to share with our customers.

Global green beans

Sensory exploration

An array of services and products designed to enhance the cafe and coffee experience were on display. These included ceramic cups with varied thicknesses of the rim design to impact the flavour and texture of the coffee and aroma kits designed to help roasters determine flavours across roasts.

Ceramic cup with coffee

Beyond the expo halls, Melbourne's coffee culture

MICE was a great spot to catch up with industry folks, but some of the most exciting discoveries happened outside the expo halls.

Specialty coffee scene

One key difference our team noticed is the prevalence of specialty coffee shops that primarily only do coffee in Melbourne. These venues offer coffee and a very limited selection of pastries, for example. It’s great to see businesses focusing and thriving, delivering limited but high-quality offerings.  

Team trying various coffee

Hospitality top notch

The Melbourne cafes impressed our team with their consistently high standard of service and hospitality. This is by no means saying Sydney or other regions in Australia are behind; however, we had some great experience in Melbourne. Of course, Sydney also has an amazing and world leading specialty coffee as well as hospitality scene.

Filter coffee offerings

Batch brew filter coffee seems to be a staple in pretty much every Melbourne cafe. It’s a trend that’s excitingly starting to emerge around Australia where venues are looking to provide different coffee experiences for their customers. Innovation in this space is also exciting with automation tools allowing cafes to serve higher volumes of delicious coffee with “low touch” models.

Minimalist branding, maximum impact

The focus on the cafe atmosphere and the absence of excessive branding resonated with our team. At Pablo & Rusty's, we believe the coffee and the customer experience are the real stars of the show.

Genuine interactions

The friendly and genuine service offered in Melbourne cafes really stood out, with the Team being looked after wherever they ended up. We were very privileged to visit a lot of great venues across Melbourne, now, whilst Sydney still sets the bar, it’s great to see Melbourne's coffee scene has come a long way. ;)

Team enjoying coffee at a Melbourne coffee shop

MICE 2024: A brief reflection

While the expo itself was a bit on the smaller side this year, the conversations and connections made at MICE 2024 were invaluable for our team at Pablo & Rusty's. The passion for specialty coffee, sustainability, and exceptional customer service is something we wholeheartedly share. We're excited to incorporate learnings and insights and continue our journey of sourcing, roasting, and brewing the most delicious and sustainable specialty coffees for you!

As a final thought - it would be great to see MICE move around to other Australian cities ;)

brewing coffee

Ready to explore the world of coffee?

Head over to our online store to discover our diverse selection of ethically sourced coffee, whatever your brewing preference. And if you're looking for the most convenient coffee solution, check out our Coffee Subscription and receive freshly roasted coffee beans straight to your door!