The hot air balloons floating above the skyline of Melbourne this morning immediately indicated that the day was going to be a winner — those guys only go up if the conditions are perfect! Today’s event, run by the Melbourne Food and Wine Festival (MFAW), was a wonderful example of achievement in both quality AND quantity. As the longest, Longest Lunch ever, with 535 meters of table catering to 1504 people, it truly was an epic event.

In this, our third year partnering with the Melbourne Food and Wine Festival, we were excited to be back under the trees on the banks of the Yarra; the sun was shining and everyone was relaxed in the balmy 24 degree heat. As usual, we served up some delicious espresso coffees to all the guests, with two stations pumping out some tasty Dark Horse. This year, in addition, we decided to do something special; in keeping with the water theme of MFAW, we decided to offer all the diners an individual serve of cold brewed coffee made from our spectacular Yirgzero from Ethiopia.

Cold brew is becoming increasingly popular in Australia, but it is rarely delivered on this scale. Preparation for this treat started months ago with Olivia Carson, one of our lovely coffee specialists, researching the best brew parameters for bulk cold brew preparation — a whopping 120 litres worth! Through the ingenious use of large tubs, muslin cloth and a triple filter action system, we ended up with a rich floral brew of one of our favourite coffees of the moment — the defect-free Yirgzero. This service was the culmination of an incredible meal featuring an entree of smoked Hiramasa kingfish salad by Adam D’Sylva, a main of Duck Tucupi by Jaques Reymond and a dessert of carrot cake by Stefano de Pieri. Our limited run Cold Brew was served out, chilled, alongside the dessert course and was a welcome taste refresher for the diners. As always, it’s inspiring to be working alongside such passionate professionals and to have our coffee served in such a unique location!

Thanks to the team at the Melbourne Food and Wine Festival, Peter Rowland Catering and Bank of Melbourne for helping us deliver such a fun coffee offering. Thanks too to all the guests whose excitement about and appreciation of brews made it all worthwhile. Can’t wait for next weekend when we’re running a full brew bar, rotating single origins and our unique house blends at the Langham Melbourne Master Class!

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