The Art of Coffee: Five Perspectives from Industry Experts

21 November 2023

The Art of Coffee: Five Perspectives from Industry Experts

21 November 2023

The world of coffee is much more than just a cup; it’s a universe of flavors, aromas, and traditions intertwined with passion and expertise. In this exploration of the art of coffee, we’ve engaged industry experts from our Caffè&Caffè locations in Como, Lecco, Padova, and Monza, to reflect with those who, behind the counter, turn every bean into an extraordinary experience.

What is the role of a bar in spreading coffee culture?

Angela Cuomo, manager of the Como Coffee Shop in Via Luini, discusses this:

The frenzied rush to satisfy everyone and reach everywhere often makes customer interaction formal and fleeting. That’s why, between coffees, we dedicate time to deepening our daily craft, transferring product knowledge to our customers. The preparation of drinks, hot or cold, is one of those special moments where we entertain not only international clientele but also Italians. An increasing number of young people are drawn to the “unconventional” coffee world, extending beyond traditional moka and the beloved espresso. Especially in the afternoons and evenings, we receive numerous orders for filter coffee, like V60 and French Press.

For over 20 years, our venue has prioritized single-origin coffee, offering customers a wide selection and enabling them to choose their preferred “Puro,” while explaining the differences from each country and offering a true sensory experience. To amplify coffee culture, we regularly organize events and initiatives. Our roasting sessions have been particularly successful, where alongside Caffè Milani’s roasters, we show and explain the transformation of a raw coffee bean into an espresso, highlighting how different origins influence the sensory characteristics of the final blend, releasing unique notes.

How important is training in the artful preparation of coffee?

Maurizio Bianchi from Caffè&Caffè in Lecco, with over twenty years of experience, emphasizes the crucial role of precision and training in coffee-making to achieve excellence in espresso and filter coffee preparation.

These two concepts are fundamental and make a significant difference in distinguishing ourselves from many, often improvised, venues.

Grinding, Blend, Barista’s Hand, Maintenance, and Coffee Machine are the commandments for a good espresso.

Therefore, courses that teach how to move skillfully and disciplined behind the counter, teaching the right rules for enjoying a coffee worthy of its name with customers, are essential.

What best practices can be adopted to promote sustainability in a coffee shop?

Alberto Calore from Caffé&Caffè at Santo in Padova says:

From my perspective, the key is “optimization.” In our sector, there’s often a tendency to keep displays full to attract customers, but this leads to considerable waste. We’ve always conditioned our customers to find everything immediately available. However, we believe it’s our duty to educate on the fact that true quality requires time.

For our Milk Drinks, we don’t use giant pitchers where the same milk or ready-to-pour plant-based drinks are continuously heated, as is too often seen in venues. We steam milk only in the required amount, in the best possible way, and as needed. Similarly, we grind coffee on the spot to ensure the best quality and minimize waste.

Collaboration with quality partners is essential, as care for the product and the use of reliable equipment significantly reduce environmental impact (carbon footprint). We prefer zero-kilometer products, like milk from a local small farm. The pastry shop that supplies us is part of a social work rehabilitation project from the Padova prison (Giotto). The beverages we serve are organic and non-industrial, while our teas are carefully selected and prepared only with high-quality leaves. Naturally, our prime raw material is Caffè Milani’s coffee, with its single origins and award-winning blends.

Let’s talk about customer care as a distinctive element with Carlo Brenna, owner of the venue in Como, Via Milano

About twenty-five years ago, Caffè Milani, thanks to the intuition and dream of Dr. Milani, created a line of coffee shops outside the traditional schemes.

With the Caffè&Caffè sign, the first specialized coffee shop was born in the historic center of Como, the city where everything started for our company in 1937. Besides coffee in all its facets, the magic words of this concept, which today counts 7 locations across Italy, are: quality, professionalism, assortment, and friendliness.

The Customer is fundamental for us; they are the judge of what is done daily inside the venue and are essential for everything to work at its best.

The aesthetics of the coffee shop and the quality of the products are not enough; customer care is the detail that makes the difference for us, and every day they must feel at home, not just a number, like in other realities, but a person who accompanies us daily with their presence and trust.

How important are creativity and innovation?

For Mario Colombo, owner of Caffè&Caffè Monza, creativity and innovation are fundamental for our business development. Creativity is mainly useful in our menus, which we can define as real recipe books. As coffee is our predominant note, we use espresso as the base for our creations.

With the addition of simple toppings or real ingredients and raw materials, like hazelnuts, almonds, walnuts, citrus fruits, and spices, we create combinations that enhance the taste of coffee. This dedication to ingredient quality translates into unique tasting experiences.

Innovation for us extends to the vast world of brewing, or alternative extraction methods to espresso, increasingly appreciated by coffee lovers. A crucial moment in our Caffè&Caffè is the tasting of various single origins, prepared with different methods like V60, Aeropress, French Press, and Cold Brew, the undisputed king of cold coffees. Our constant attention to everything around us allows us to explore the multiple possibilities of the coffee world. The means at our disposal are many and enable us to transform a seemingly simple drink into something always new and different. Diversifying extraction techniques results in an ever-evolving offer, enriching the experience for anyone wanting to savor coffee in unique and surprising ways.

These coffee experts, through their insightful reflections, reveal how each cup of coffee can evolve into an exceptional experience. It’s a sensory journey that goes beyond taste, embracing traditions, the authentic essence of the craft, and the dedication of those who contribute to making each tasting magical.