BARISTA CHAMPION OF ITALY
Barista Mag: Before coffee, did you work in a different job or industry, or what did you study in school?
Francesco: I’ve always worked with coffee and before that I attended a technical industrial school.
BMag: How did you get started in coffee?
Francesco: With my father in the family bar in Salento (Puglia, Southern Italy)
BMag: What was your first amazing experience with coffee?
Francesco: Everyday I have an amazing experience with coffee because I discover new things every single day! One of the best memories is my first visit to a coffee plantation.
BMag: Who has been your greatest influence in coffee? Why?
After my father, who operated the family bar in Salento in Southern Italy, I think that all people who really love this product manage to influence me nowadays. If I have to give a few names, I particularly admire people like Patrick Hoffer, Steve Leighton, and James Hoffmann because they continuously bring evolution and ideas to the world of coffee.
BMag: What would you like to see change about the coffee industry/community?
Francesco: I would like that there would be much more contact between professionals and common drinkers. I’d like more simplicity to be used in order to spread the culture of coffee because this would bring the quality to everyone.
BMag: Name a coffee luminary (famous person) you would like to meet, and why:
Francesco: It’s hard to give a single name because I’d like to meet as many people as possible who share my passion.
BMag: Name a barista you admire, and why:
Francesco: Gwilym Davies, because I love his barista style.
BMag: Do you have a favorite customer? If so, tell us about him or her.
Francesco: Any customer who is curious and gives me the opportunity to talk with him about coffee.
BMag: Besides your own cafe, what cafe do you think everyone should visit?
Francesco: Prufrock Coffee in London; St. Ali in Melbourne; Blue Bottle in New York
BMag: Which coffee producing country you would like to visit, and why?
Francesco: Kenya and Rwanda, because I still haven’t had the chance to visit them and I truly love their coffees.
BMag: What are your interests outside of coffee?
Francesco: I love wine and to cook. Food culture and tea, too.
BMag: Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
Francesco: In my coffee bar, serving the best possible coffees
BMag: Is there anyone you would like to thank or who helped you prepare for the WBC?
Francesco: Surely the ACIB (Italian Barista Championships Association) and everyone who is helping me to prepare the competition. Eddy Righi, Andrea Lattuada and the whole Caffe Corsini Team. I couldn’t have done anything without them.
About Sarah 897 Articles Sarah Allen is co-founder and editor of Barista Magazine, the international trade magazine for coffee professionals. A passionate advocate for baristas, quality, and the coffee community, Sarah has traveled widely to research stories, interact with readers, and present on a variety of topics affecting specialty coffee. She also loves animals, swimming, ice cream, and living in Portland, Oregon.