MILAN, Italy – Davide Cobelli, head roaster, trainer, competition judge, and well-established coffee communicator has appeared several times in the italian version of Comunicaffè to talk about quality coffee and its growth within the Italian sector. This time we invited Davide back to talk about his recent nomination to lead the National Chapter of the Specialty Coffee Association (SCA) – a role of great responsibility which he has quickly taken on. The challenge ahead doesn’t daunt him, in fact it dares him to rise to the occasion to better serve the specialty coffee community.
Cobelli, first of all congratulations – did you expect to be elected as the National Coordinator?
“When you put your name forward as a candidate, your heart hopes that you will receive enough votes to be elected. However when the names of the other candidates came out, I quickly realised the battle ahead given the high caliber and competent professionals of Andrea Lattuada and Alberto Polojac also being on the card.”
“So I wouldn’t say I expected to be elected but I had high hopes, knowing that the National Coordinator role has often favoured the incumbent.”
“It’s a role that can be quite uncomfortable as you are constantly under the microscope of the coffee community for the entire length of the office and it’s sometimes criticised, you need thick skin.
Those who take on this role do so for the common good, with mutual respect. The votes I received makes me understand that those in the community value my work.”
Why did you decide to be a candidate this year?
“Having fulfilled the role of SCA Italy Education Coordinator for 4-years from 2015 to 2018, I chose to put my name forward this year for National Coordinator as I feel I now come armed with new resources and knowledge that can renew the Association. Before now it wasn’t the right time for me to take on this role as I was very busy with setting up my new coffee school and roastery and I wouldn’t have been able to dedicate the time needed to fulfill it.
Over the past several months I’ve been thinking a lot about the key role that SCA Italy should be playing in the community, in this historical moment post-pandemic when there’s a lot to recover and improve.
I feel now that I can contribute, once again, to the specialty coffee community in Italy. It’s one of the largest chapters in Europe and is seen as a real driver that brings international attention.
I see myself as the guide, giving direction to restart with new ideas and, with my colleagues, we’ll be putting this into practice.
I want to be the motivator, by the side of my SCA Italy coordinator colleagues. I don’t want to be the one who makes decisions for them, instead I want to be central in bringing their roles together to collaborate, as well as managing the finances.
There’s a budget to be invested each year and I’d like each coordinator to have access to an amount so they can effectively achieve their own projects and defined objectives.
We’re here to promote the specialty coffee sector to ensure its ongoing growth within Italy, which still has a substantial majority that are unaware of the quality of this product.”
What would you like to say to the community that supports you?
Cobelli has clear ideas: “I’d like to start by thanking everyone that believes in the future of the cause and for trusting me as a professional who can lead the specialty coffee community to make it stronger.
This trust comes from the community’s thoughtful choice in me and I want to do what’s right for them.”
Cobelli, what’s the first task to take forward as the National Coordinator?
“I don’t want to second-guess too much, however I will endeavour to stimulate the coordinators to focus on serving the community.
The objective of our projects are clear however: to spread the word about specialty coffee in such a way as to break out of its niche and reach a much wider Italian audience. Make it a beverage that’s drunk by those who don’t yet know about it”.