Italians' natural desire for quality & great taste
Famed for its high standards, great food & wine and of course their love of coffee. When it comes to specialty coffee, the scene has come a long way in recent years and Italy today has some truly world class roasters. This month we explore the exquisitely delicate side of caffè Italiano.
Gardelli Coffee is located in Forlì, a small city between Bologna and San Marino. Founder and head roaster Rubens Gardelli had not only won the World Coffee Roasting Championship in 2018, but also became Italian Roasting Champion four times in a row in his career and is considered as one of the best in the country.
Every coffee they sell at Gardelli still goes through Rubens' detailed cupping protocol including rigorous blind cuppings and blind selection process. They continue to buy what they think is best at any given time of year, uninfluenced by garish labels, strange or fancy coffee varieties, or even grower names, Gardelli exude both confidence and class.
Kokeb Siwani celebrates the terroir of Ethiopian coffees with a well-known and beloved flavour profiles which brings an exquisite and unique experience. Picked by the most skilful pickers and processed carefully at Gargari Gutiti washing station.
In the capital city of Rome, Arturo, Dafne and Dario started one of the original specialty cafes called Faro in 2016. After several years of serving light roasted coffee at their brew bar the team’s desire to roast their own coffee grew and in 2020 they started Aliena Coffee Roasters.
Aliena’s coffees are, as they put it "from outer space" and are roasted light and develop the beans' profile to enhance notes of acidity and sweetness. Cleverly, they also produces a line called ‘Umana’ categorised as "made for planet earth" which means a fuller roast, designed for those who like a more classic taste. This has been found to be a great way to educate locals and clearly emphasise the differences of two roasts.
Luis Alberto Balladarez Moncada is a true hero, a farmer inspired by a whole generation of organic farmers. He has spent his whole life in a constant attempt to improve the reality of his area and his coffees.
His key to success is the extreme care for the coffee in the process. Each step is taken care of in detail, from the harvest to the tasting laboratory. He picks each bean by hand at the perfect moment of ripening, he is very attentive and scrupulous during the drying process, which must be slow and careful, to ensure that the beans do not deteriorate and help control the fermentation.
Aliena Dario's standard V60 recipe
Dose: 16g - 250ml
Grind size: 27 clicks on Comandante
Water temp: 92°C
- 1st pour at 00:00 35g
- 2nd pour at 00:30 100g
- 3rd pour at 00:50 150g
- 4th pour at 01:10 200g
- 5th pour at 01:40 250g
A historic city, one of the most beautiful cities in the world and the birthplace of the Renaissance movement, Florence is also home to Ditta Artigianale. The company was founded by an award-winning champion barista and taster Francesco Sanapo and Patrick Hoffer, born out of a very specific purpose and mission: to revolutionise the traditional Italian idea of coffee, they saw as something dark, bitter and tasteless.
They have been bringing to Italy very high quality coffees whilst simultaneously telling their story in a completely different way to what people expected, putting total transparency and commitment to sustainability in every stage of production, and have been doing so since 2013.
Daye Bensa started with two coffee producer brothers, Assefa and Mulugeta Dukamo from the Bensa Sidama area. Now Daye Bensa Coffee is one of the major coffee exporting companies in Ethiopia exporting green coffee directly from its own farms and farms of affiliated farmers.
Their farm is located at the heart of Shantawene Village with in 10km from Daye town in the midst of natural forest and indigenous tress which are considered to be older than 200 years. To maintain natural shades and the fertility of the soil, with expert consultancy from the ministry of agriculture, various shade trees are planted in the farm. Along with out-growers’ farms it is cerified Organic, C.A.F.E PRACTICE , UTZ and Rain Forest Alliances.
His Majesty the Coffee
Monza, about 20 kilometres northeast of Milan and best known for its Grand Prix motor racing circuit is where His Majesty the Coffee is based. The company, as the name suggests, was founded in 2013 by Paolo Scimone as a declaration of his love for England and the Royal Family.
His Majesty the Coffee was one of the first Italian micro-roasteries dealing only with specialty coffees and Paolo himself has played a big part in helping shape the modern specialty coffee scene in Italy educating and influencing baristas and roasters across the country. He still personally roasts His Majesty's coffee himself on his beloved Giesen W15 named ’Elizabeth III’ and is constantly seeking higher quality standards for himself.
This coffee comes from 24 year old producer Nestor Lasso and the El Diviso farm where carries great diversity of varietals using fully washed, semi washed and natural methods and uses parabolic dryers as well as raised African beds and some mechanical drying.
“We are the third generation and with the work of all the family and constant savings we were able to build the infrastructure to process differentiated coffees; searching for better quality, both in coffee and our lives.”