FLORENCE, Italy – Fluid – Specialty Coffee & Sharing will be inaugurated on 25 May, the innovative coffee shop conceived and created by Le Piantagioni del Caffè, the renowned coffee roasting company from Livorno devoted to specialty and premium quality coffee, and Idea Food & Beverage, the Milan-based strategic marketing consulting company.
Fluid – Specialty Coffee & Sharing
The specialty coffees from Le Piantagioni del Caffè are coffees that can be traced back to their estate of origin, which have obtained the highest scores during tastings carried out according to the SCA (Specialty Coffee Association) and CQI (Coffee Quality Institute) protocols.
Fluid is a place of inclusion and openness, designed to meet the aspiration of Le Piantagioni del Caffè and Idea Food & Beverage: to initiate curious people into the world of specialty coffees with a laid-back and friendly attitude, in order to contribute to the evolution of this segment in Italy also and to develop a more sustainable supply chain consisting of higher quality coffee.
An innovative design
At Fluid, radical and innovative choices have been made: an all-day sweet and savoury menu provides an excuse for spending time at Fluid at all times of the day, also to work and study, and the use of Modbar coffee machines by La Marzocco (incorporated into the counter that spans over 7 metres and reaches the street, without creating any visual barriers) allows customers to treat the counter as if they were at a diner.
In doing so, the barista is able to educate customers and tell them about the characteristics of the different coffees served, the flavours, the methods of production and the various brewing methods.
Five Mahlkönig E65S GBW coffee grinders, distributed by DM Italia, are located on the counter: one for every coffee available for espresso extraction, so as to create a tasting pathway that introduces the consumer to the great variety that exists on the coffee scene and allows the customer to choose a different coffee to savour each day.
Another Mahlkönig EK43S is dedicated to grinding coffee that is to be brewed in alternative ways: Chemex, V60, Aeropress and Batch Brew. These are all brewing methods that produce a beverage that is different from espresso, to be enjoyed slowly, so that the coffee can be experienced in a relaxed and attentive manner.
The Poursteady machine
They have made an innovative choice in the field of filter brews: a “Poursteady” machine, which is typically used to aid baristas in making Chemex or V60-brewed coffees, is positioned in the middle of the dining area to allow customers to brew the coffee on their own, thereby creating an original and extremely engaging experience.
Rawfish developed the original platform for the Fluid website, which is integrated with management software, via which customers can place an order directly from their table, from home or while they are walking, so they can pick up their order and avoid queues. The website also allows customers to chat with staff, check their consumption habits and take part in games and contests.
Skill Evolution has provided a 4-m2 led wall panel that permits training content to be shared, as well as the details of orders that are ready and being prepared to be viewed. People are at the very centre of this project, even when it comes to the staff: in fact, before the inauguration, the baristas on the team embarked upon over two months of training.
The coffee shop has been designed to allow the team to use their skills when interacting with the customers, putting them at ease and educating them, rather than to carry out repetitive tasks, which are mostly automated here.
A good work/life balance for the employees
In a context in which it is becoming increasingly difficult to find people who are still interested and willing to work in the catering industry, in which often the personal needs of employees have often been overlooked, Fluid is instead aiming to strike a good work/life balance for its employees by creating sustainable rotation dynamics, doing away with split shifts, giving its staff two consecutive days off and establishing shifts with as fixed a cycle as possible, so as to allow the baristas to organise their time off and allow them to work with peace of mind.
As Prunella Meschini, Research and Development Manager at Le Piantagioni Caffè and President of Specialty People SRL, the company created by Le Piantagioni del Caffè and IDEA, said: “Inclusion is a crucial factor if you want to bring premium quality to as many cups as possible.”
“We’ve chosen to be disruptors in all our choices, and we strongly believe that the success of the project is based on the serenity of our team, who can then engage customers with passion and dedication and feel like this project is also their project.”
A scientific and human approach
Giuseppe Adelardi, Idea Food & Beverage CEO and Specialty People Director and Marketing Manager, adds: “A great dream is coming true: to deliver innovation in a humane, sustainable, and strategic way. Development can be done, and we’ve always felt obliged to do it scientifically.”
“Thanks to the crucial partnership with Le Piantagioni del Caffè, at Fluid we want to prove that through strategy we can put in place highly evolved projects and change the course of a market, and we want to do this by innovating and starting with innovation in the relationship between employer and employee.”
The values of Fluid
“Embarking on this journey together was a natural choice,” explains Iacopo Bargoni, CEO of Le Piantagioni del Caffè and Specialty People SRL, “We are united by our values, before skills.”
“We believe in the ecosystem and that is why we have chosen the best partners to make this project a reality: La Marzocco, DM Italia and Mahlkönig for the coffee grinding and brewing equipment, Margstudio for the design and development of the concept and all the bespoke details, AFA Arredamenti for the creation of the space, and Poursteady for filter extraction.”
“We think that we can chart a new course with a fundamental shift in perspective: not by thinking about what we need, but what the customers we want to attract need, namely those who don’t yet have the tools to drink speciality coffee. Here at Fluid, being a beginner is not a disadvantage. Curiosity is the only thing you need.”