MILAN – “It’s a world of specialty, darling!”. This is the kind of comment frequently heard now in the world of coffee, with the growth of the single-origin phenomenon and a new attention being paid to the entire production chain. But that also implies ongoing professional development and a knowledge in fields the barista is not always familiar with. So you just have to learn!
“Training,” says Mary Mauro, CEO of the Milan-based Sevengrams, “has always played a key role in what we do. We are well aware that what we are giving our customers is not a finished product. We can choose the best beans in the world, grown with the best farming techniques and processed and roasted in a way that does justice to its genetic qualities, but if the professional is not able to realise its full potential, then all the hard work that has gone before will have been in vain.
Every month we train baristas and catering professionals with a programme of SCA- and LAGS-certified courses. We offer our customers a special training package that gives them everything they need to ensure that we keep our promise, from the plantation to the end beverage in the cup.”
The firm offers tailor-made solutions, ranging “from the small specialty café to more traditional bars keen to offer a varied, innovative coffee menu based on high quality, right up to the big brands that require a complete service including training, branded products and coffee shop consultancy.” This is made possible also by the new Lot Zero roastery which works on small batches, hand selected and roasted by Chiara Bergonzi, the well-known trainer and international SCA judge.
Moves are also being made on the machinery front to ensure that customers are properly trained, as Andrea Mascetti, commercial director of the Rancilio Group explains. “We promote training schemes for customers and employees. We train up technical staff and issue certification, with specific courses devoted to operating, maintaining and providing assistance for individual products. For distributors we organise technical courses and seminars at their own locations. In all the world, our customers can rely on a first-rate technical assistance network, set up by us directly, because standardisation of the service is one of our primary objectives.”
And it is also important not to overlook the raw material itself: there are courses on the theory of coffee for company staff and themed workshops to explain technologies to key clients and roasters. “We invest in the professional development of all employees: quality coffee making, tasting, the coffee econmy, sales techniques, market studies and more. We follow young baristas closely, supporting professional schools and sponsoring special events and international competitions.”
Host “which for us is a tradition, a party, a special moment for us all to celebrate together the work done over the past two years and to move on to new horizons” will be an opportunity to present new products and new Rancilio and Egro technologies “although we can’t give any advance information about this as yet,” Mascetti says.
“Specialty Coffee is undergoing a profound change, starting from the work of the small artisanal roasters and continuing through to the curiosity of the end consumer, who is increasingly cultured and well-informed,” says Valentina Raciti, of Carimali’s marketing & communication department.
In a clear demonstration of the importance it attaches to the diffusion of a “coffee culture”, the company offered 15 staff members the chance to take part in barista and brewing courses, “an investment that tends to result in ever better qualified coffee professionals, who are able to share their ideas and knowledge with customers.”
At Host, Carimali will present its most recent innovations in espresso coffee machine technology: from small machines, with a fast, intuitive, user-friendly interface, suitable for small offices and B&B establishments, to those offering a considerable level of performance for the category, designed for breakfast rooms where the service needs to be quick and high quality. And there will be new design ideas, too, with machines produced in completely new colours.