Specialty Batch X Australian Government at COP28

The 28th Conference of the Parties (COP28) brought together global leaders to discuss and develop strategies for mitigating and adapting to climate change. Within this context, the Australian Pavilion aimed to demonstrate Australia’s innovative approach to sustainable environmental practices, underscored by its collaboration with Specialty Batch Coffee. This case study delves into how Specialty Batch Coffee leveraged its expertise to enhance the Pavilion’s offering, creating an exemplary coffee service that resonated with the event’s international audience.

The partnership between Specialty Batch Coffee and the Government of Australia was initiated by the Australian Embassy in Dubai, which recognised Specialty Batch’s strong market reputation and Australian roots. The Embassy recommended Specialty Batch as a solid candidate for the coffee service, starting a dialogue in mid-September 2023 to prepare for the event. The collaboration was marked by a shared commitment to quality and sustainability, aligning with the ethos of both the Pavilion and Specialty Batch Coffee.

Malcolm Turnbull

Challenges and Solutions

Despite the challenges of catering to a diverse international audience and maintaining stringent environmental standards, Specialty Batch Coffee’s thorough planning and adaptability ensured a seamless operation. The company coordinated closely with the Pavilion’s staff to manage setup, supply deliveries, and adherence to the event’s rigorous schedule.

Julia Gillard

Detailed Planning and Execution

Contractual Framework and Logistics

A detailed supply agreement was drafted to outline the extensive provisions required for the event. Key elements included:

  • Event Details: The coffee service was scheduled from November 30 to December 10, 2023, with operating hours from 9 AM to 12 PM and 1 PM to 4 PM each day.
  • Site Requirements: Specifications for counter space, electrical needs, water supply, and cleaning facilities were meticulously outlined to ensure seamless service delivery.

Equipment Selection and Setup

For the Australian Pavilion at COP28, Specialty Batch Coffee meticulously selected and tailored its equipment to ensure optimal performance and aesthetic integration into the Pavilion’s design. The core setup included:

cop28-setup-1 cop28-setup-2 cop28-setup-3 cop28-setup-4

Synesso S200 Espresso Machine: A centrepiece of the coffee bar, this 2-group espresso machine was chosen for its reliability and precision in espresso extraction. Customised to match the Pavilion's colours with elegant maple wood accents, it served not only as a functional piece of equipment but also as a visual statement aligning with the Pavilion's aesthetic values.

Grindie Solo Espresso Grinders: Two units of this grinder were selected for their consistency and quiet operation. Known for their durability and precision, these grinders played a crucial role in maintaining the quality and consistency of the espresso shots throughout the event. Their quiet operation was particularly important in the context of the Pavilion, where numerous presentations and discussions took place, ensuring that the coffee service could proceed without disrupting the proceedings.

Ice Maker: To cater to the preference for cold beverages, a high-capacity ice maker was included in the setup. This allowed the team to serve a variety of cold coffee drinks, which was especially appreciated by delegates looking for a refreshing beverage in the warm Dubai climate.

Operational Details

The agreement stipulated the provision of two baristas dressed in smart casual attire, adhering to a specific dress code to reflect the professional environment of the Pavilion. These baristas were compensated at an hourly rate that reflected their expertise and the high standards expected at the event.

Additional Equipment and Supplies:

  • Cups and Accessories: To handle the high volume of service, Specialty Batch provided a range of cups and accessories:
    • 400 x 8 oz hot cups with lids for regular coffee and tea servings.
    • 150 x 4 oz cups specially designed for espresso and piccolo latte.
    • 100 x 10 oz cold cups, accommodating the demand for iced beverages.
    • Wooden stirrers and PLA straws were chosen to complement the Pavilion’s sustainability goals, ensuring that all disposable materials were eco-friendly.
  • Milk Options: Understanding the diverse preferences of an international audience, Specialty Batch offered several milk options including Jersey Whole Milk, Low Fat, and MilkLab Oat Milk. This variety ensured that all guests could enjoy their coffee just the way they like it, with options catering to both taste and dietary needs.
  • Brewing Accessories: All necessary brewing accessories, such as tampers, milk frothing pitchers, and cleaning equipment, were provided to ensure that baristas could maintain the highest standards of coffee preparation. Each piece of equipment was chosen not only for its functional quality but also for its ability to meet the high throughput required during the event.

This carefully curated selection of equipment and supplies ensured that the coffee service at the Australian Pavilion was capable of delivering high-quality beverages efficiently, contributing significantly to the overall success of the Pavilion’s hospitality offerings. The attention to detail in equipment selection highlighted Specialty Batch Coffee’s commitment to excellence and sustainability, aligning perfectly with the themes of COP28.

Specialised Coffee Requests

Specialty Batch Coffee crafted an elaborate coffee menu that was thoughtfully designed to cater to a diverse range of tastes while showcasing the depth of Australia’s coffee culture. A highlight of this menu was the inclusion of a special coffee blend from Papua New Guinea, a move that was part strategic and part celebratory of the robust relations between Australia and PNG. At the request of the Australian Government, and in a bid to feature a unique product that resonates with both black and milk-based coffee drinkers, Specialty Batch was tasked with sourcing an exquisite PNG coffee.

The process of selecting the perfect coffee took four weeks of diligent sampling, undertaken by Specialty Batch’s expert coffee quality team. This meticulous process was essential to ensure the coffee not only met but exceeded the expectations for flavour and versatility. Ultimately, 200 kg of green coffee was secured directly for the Australian Pavilion. This coffee, sourced from the esteemed Kaw Kaw Mountain, was known for its rich notes of chocolate, roasted pecans, and vibrant citrus—flavours that are robust enough to stand alone in a black coffee and sophisticated enough to complement milk-based beverages.

To guarantee the utmost consistency in taste and quality throughout the event, all coffee was strategically roasted in four batches over a 10-day period leading up to COP28. This careful roasting schedule ensured that each batch reached its peak flavour profile, perfectly timed for the event’s commencement. The brewing protocols were meticulously planned to maintain this consistency, allowing each cup served at the Pavilion to reflect the high standards of Specialty Batch Coffee and the exceptional quality of the PNG beans. This level of detail and dedication in the coffee offerings significantly enhanced the coffee experience for the Pavilion’s visitors, leaving a lasting impression of Australia’s commitment to quality and international collaboration.

Sustainability Initiatives

Specialty Batch Coffee implemented several eco-friendly practices to align with the environmental themes of COP28:

  • Eco-Friendly Supplies: The use of recyclable cups, organic sugar dispensers, and the separation of coffee grounds for recycling underscored the commitment to minimising environmental impact.
  • Daily Operations and Waste Management: Detailed planning ensured that coffee grounds and other materials were recycled or repurposed, reducing waste and promoting sustainability.

Operational Excellence and Client Feedback

The coffee service successfully managed a high volume of attendees, serving over 10,000 cups of coffee. The operational strategy, which included daily roasting to ensure freshness and quality, was highly effective. The service received accolades from attendees, with positive feedback from dignitaries such as former Prime Ministers Julia Gillard and Malcolm Turnbull, who praised the quality of the coffee and the smooth operation of the service.



Our collaboration with the Australian Government at COP28 not only underscored Specialty Batch Coffee’s commitment to quality and sustainability but also significantly bolstered our ties.

By adapting our services to meet the event’s unique demands, we ensured seamless operations under the international spotlight. This adaptability was particularly noted by several dignitaries, who praised our ability to provide uninterrupted coffee service during presentations, thanks to our exceptionally quiet GRINDIE grinders.

The success of this partnership paves the way for future collaborations, showcasing our shared commitment to excellence and sustainable event catering. This case study celebrates our achievements and stands as a testament to our exemplary standards in sustainable event catering.

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