My Melbourne - love is no secret. If you read that post, you'll see I tried every trick in the book ( wrote poems, drew sketches etc ) to win a trip to Melbourne and blog my experience. Well, I didn't win the contest, but I came to know Melbourne's every nook and corner by heart, due to the extensive research I did. Two things I mentioned in my post were its inherent art and coffee culture. And I got to witness both, not in Melbourne but in Bombay itself. Yes, Melbourne’s Coffee Café culture came alive in Mumbai, India for the first time on 4Jun'15. Although, the art was quite unique and unexpected. It was all about coffee, coffee and more coffee - yes, the art that is and more. The immersive experience of diving in to one’s freshly brewed coffee was an experience delivered by Tourism Victoria. The afternoon featured an amalgamation of aromatic coffee and creative intriguing art. A glorious combination of Latte & Visual Art. The occasion was all about the beautiful and interactive coffee and art performance put together by the multiple world latte art champion St. Ali Barista – Ben Morrow and renowned visual artist Harun Robert.
Waiting for the show to begin. Mic check..sound check...
I love everything related to travel, hospilability and art, so reached the venue quite on time, infact much ahead of others. Over-enthusiastic moi :-) So, I noticed this dude who was preparing for what was going to be entirely his show, later in the afternoon.
We had a delicious high tea, arranged outside, and finally the event started. On this occasion Ms. Celia Ho, Regional Manager South and South East Asia for Tourism Victoria stated “Melbourne is known as the coffee capital of Australia and the cafes are made to inspire, invigorate and elevate your coffee drinking experience. They help you appreciate the beverage in an endeavour to enhance your experience while sipping a cup. Coffee culture is popular at the destination with home to more than 2000 cafés - and some of the world's best baristas. The event successfully captured Melbourne as a city which also promotes art extensively. We are thrilled to have been able to curate this phenomenon here in Mumbai.” Two videos were also played depicting the city & its cafes. Ms.Ho introduced both Ben and Harun to the audience, who soon took over.
It was interesting to see both the artists at work simultaneously, 'LIVE'!
Ben is an innovator in his field and has constantly expanded the possibilities of latte art. His talent has allowed him to remain at the forefront of competitive latte art for half a decade. Speaking on the occasion Ben said “I am fascinated and excited to be in India and would like to thank Tourism Victoria, for this this opportunity to promote the Melbournian Café Culture as well as showcase my latte art skills alongside Rob, a very talented visual artist from India .” He surely drew audiences in to a state of pure enthrallment with his creativity.
Harun Robert on the other hand took control of the coffee canvas and in synch with Ben, Rob designed one masterpiece after another nuanced with hints of Melbourne city and its penguins from Philip Island and City Circle Tram with the Flinders Street station at the backdrop. Spectacular displays left the guests spell bound. It was an event which was beyond a mug of coffee, it was sips of pure inspiration and passion.
From the desert eagle, cricket stumps/ball, baloons, cycles it was all there in Latte Art.
Over the past couple of years, the coffee culture has rampantly taken over Melbournians. For the discerning coffee drinkers, they still favour a cup of espresso and its variations. Some cafés even offer a tantalizing array of alternatives, including syphons, filters and French pressed coffee. Every day, on average, the Port of Melbourne handles 30 tonnes of coffee beans.
At the event Tourism Victoria personified the average consumer’s love for coffee by showcasing some vivacious renowned art and culture through two acclaimed coffee artists. Creativity took a heightened leap when the two engaged extensively with the Indian media and esteemed guests. The performance saw master latte artist Ben Morrow create beauty with cups of latte; or else known as latte art bearing signature elements of Melbourne such as the city skyline.
This was followed by a coffee appreciation session by Ben Morrow with beans from the eminent coffee chain St. Ali. The session not only engrossed the audiences through the mesmerising aroma but also gave them an authentic feel of Melbourne’s finest coffee experience. The roasted coffee beans are grown in different countries like St. Augustine, Columbia and Brazil with their flavours ranging from strong to mild. And all were freshly grounded before our eyes by the master.
Sniffing of the brew is done by slowly pushing the thick upper layer of the coffee with a spoon, while that part is later skimmed away.
A sip each...each coffee has a distinct taste and flavour.
PS : This is a Press Release ( with my inputs )
( Images - ©Mine. All Rights Reserved )