Italian trade fair Host Milano says with specialty coffee gaining increased recognition around the world, ongoing professional development and knowledge in fields the barista is not always familiar with is becoming increasingly important.
Mary Mauro, CEO of the Milan-based café consultancy Sevengrams and Host Milano exhibitor, says training has always played a key role in what her company does.
“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,” Mauro says.
“Every month we train baristas and catering professionals with a programme of [Specialty Coffee Association]- and [Latte Art Grading System]-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.”
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Moves are also being made on the machinery front to ensure that customers are properly trained, according to Andrea Mascetti, Commercial Director of the Rancilio Group.
“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,” Mascetti says.
He adds it’s 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 economy, sales techniques, market studies and more. We follow young baristas closely, supporting professional schools and sponsoring special events and international competitions,” Mascetti says.
“[Host,] which for us is a tradition, party, special moment for us all to celebrate together the work done over the past two years and to move on to new horizons.”
Rancilio is one of several equipment manufacturers displaying their commitment to specialty coffee at Host. Carimali will present its most recent developments in espresso coffee machine technology – from small machines with a fast, intuitive, user-friendly interface to those offering a considerable level of performance.
“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 and communication department.
Carimali recently offered a group of staff members the chance to take part in barista and brewing courses, an investment Raciti says will “result in ever better qualified coffee professionals, who are able to share their ideas and knowledge with customers.”
Host Milano is a biannual Italian event celebrating three core segments of the Ho.Re.Ca industry – equipment, coffee, and food. The exhibition is divided into food service equipment, bakery, pizza, pasta; coffee and tea, coffee machines, vending solutions, bar, gelato, pastry, furnishings, technology, and tableware.
Host Milano 2019 will take place from 18 to 22 October.
For more information, visit host.fieramilano.it/en