Saturday 04 February 2023

Coffee seeks ideas to head off global shortage at #hackoffeethon2017

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MELBOURNE, Australia – Is the world about to run out of coffee and could technology be used to avoid it? Can technology create more sustainable outcomes for coffee producers around the world, reducing environmental impact and improving efficiencies from crop to cup?

Fuelled by single-origin filter coffees, thought leaders from the coffee and tech industries will spend two days solving challenges in the coffee industry during the inaugural Griffiths Bros Coffee Roasters #hackoffeethon2017 in Melbourne on October 13 and 14.

“The coffee industry is facing real and significant challenges as coffee consumption grows around the world and we need to start addressing them,” the managing director of Griffiths Bros Coffee Roasters, Peter Patisteas, said.

“The hack will give roasters, baristas, retailers and others in the coffee industry a chance to get on the front foot by working with thinkers in the tech scene as they explore how technology can be used to address challenges and create opportunities.”

Described as “a meeting of like-minded peeps who want to explore how technology can have a profound and positive impact on the coffee industry”, the hack will be held at the Eastern Innovation Business Centre in Mulgrave.

Participants – coders, designers and hackathon enthusiasts, baristas, café owners, students and other academics – will come together with a team of mentors including coffee scientist Dr Monika Feteke, and representatives from HA Bennetts coffee importers – to seek solutions to a range of sustainability challenges spanning the coffee lifecycle, from plantation to transport to roaster to cafes to the consumer.

Key among them is the future of coffee itself as farmers in coffee-growing regions face a perfect storm of increasingly hot, dry weather, higher levels of pests and disease and rising fertiliser prices.

The two-day hack kicks off at 3pm on Friday October 13 with registration and a keynote address from global sustainable energy leader Tesla, before participants are given a briefing and the data sets for the challenges at 4pm. There will be six challenges for each briefing, each challenge designed to take about 20 minutes. A question-and-answer session will be held around 6.30pm before teams begin their ideation process into the evening.

On Saturday, teams continue to sharpen their ideas before pitching to the judging panel, led by Peter Patisteas, a representative from Planet Ark, and Amy Frangos, chief disruptor at GUD, at 6pm. Each participant or team has five minutes to pitch their ideas before the judges announce the winners at 8.30pm.

Prizes include a year’s supply of free coffee and a barista masterclass to the winning team valued at $3,000. There is also a Kickstarter team bank account up for grabs valued at $1,500, alternative brew kits (Chemex, V60 Pourover, Cold Brew) valued at $1,300; and a dinner for six at Kisumé restaurant valued at $1,000.

Participants may have an opportunity to work with people they meet at the event to further develop their ideas.

To register, visit and click on the ‘register’ tab, then register through the Eventbrite page. Registration costs $10 for an individual or $40 for a team of four to six people.

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