Shot Espresso a crossroad in people lives

By Alessandro Carosi

Two people, same country, almost same age ,different life paths ,I met Francesco and Danilo at my first cafe’ in London ,at the time just arrived in the big city from the peaceful New Zealand ,Shot Espresso was my first job and where I met those two friendly nice guys ,we all took different roads then and honestly I thought I would never hear from them ever again even if I knew that might happen like happened many times already to cross people lives after years and living in different countries ,the latest was actually in London few years later ,one of my colleagues quit and went to work for an other shop in north-west London ,we were good friends so a day I was off I went to visit him at work only to find out that the other Barista was a Brazilian girl that worked for me in Auckland at the time I managed Crema 21 and moved to UK with his boyfriend a couple of years beforehand ,obviously chance to meet those guys again was likely possible but I thought wouldn’t be their case ,as I said they were nice guys but different personalities and life goals ,Danilo all he wanted was just fun ,party ,sex ,drugs ,Francesco more mature for his age come to learn about coffee ,back to Italy he worked for his uncle’s cafe’ and even arrived 3rd in the Italian barista competition ,they had two different way to approach life and could be easily seen at work ,Francesco trying to improve his English and knowledge about coffee ,Danilo enjoying work in not a proper professional way but his great customer service skill made him been loved by all the clients ,what about me ? I was there trying to save money to go back to New Zealand enjoying the laid back work place and making my way in that new life in a big ,busy city.

We had great time ,I never had so much fun working and I made so many friends ,some of them became an important part of my life ,Linda ,Nicole ,I love you and miss you.

Not everything was perfect but never is ,Francesco was great and taught me some new tricks about latte art and milk pouring ,with Danilo was love and hate and one day we got close to take in a fight at the end of our shift ,only forcing myself to be calm and understanding avoided the worst but Danilo loved to get in trouble till at finally he got fired ,after he left the job I heard he moved to Ibiza to change life ,I don’t think that was the right place.

Meanwhile Francesco that could speak English way better after one year got a job in a real speciality cafe’ where he could seriously get a chance to learn more ,I went to visit him one time and had one of the best coffee ever ,after that I didn’t have anymore news till someone told me he left after a year to go back to Italy to work again for his uncle.

Three more years passed by ,honestly really quick that I still asking myself how could be possible but here I am ,in Scotland ,more precisely in Edinburgh ,this time my turn like Francesco five years earlier to want to learn more about coffee and maybe isn’t a case ,it never is ,that I met him again ,not in person but through internet in what my dear friend Jung would call it synchronicity.

Reading about coffee recipes to use for my aeropress I found an article with advice from five different Barista Champions around the world ,one of them the Italian Barista Champion ,Francesco Masciullo ,the name sounded familiar ,I remembered working with a guy called Francesco but …. can’t be him ,the surname sounds familiar too ,I read what he says ,the guy work in Florence ,ok ,now there are too many coincidences ,decided to check for his pics on the web and when I get them ,here we are ,my friend Francesco at finally becoming Barista champion and not just that ,he is coffee trainer ,manager and from some other pics maybe even father ,not sure about last but wouldn’t be surprised ,I search for his social media contacts and add him everywhere from facebook ,through twitter to instagram ,so proud of him ,he deserve it ,he love what he does and I’m sure he worked really hard to succeed ,I sent him a message on instagram of congratulations ,he replied quickly to thank me ,good boy.

Danilo……..where is him now ? where is gone ? I don’t have idea ,I liked him and I hope he turned his life around ,I wish to read about him as I read about Francesco , I hope won’t be because arrested or some other stupid things ,today I was thinking about how to write this article ,I thought about how life can take different directions for two people ,one uphill ,one downhill ,I want to believe that the reason I find out about Francesco is because my soul heading in the same direction ,honestly I don’t need to become barista champion even if I wouldn’t say no to the opportunity but I would be really happy if I could become someone able to make other people life better ,at the moment working in progress to change myself from what I used to be.

So the story isn’t over yet cause it developed more in the next few days ,on the phone with a good Italian friend in London I told about the discovery and the cafe’ in Florence he works ,Ditta artigianale ,it turned out that the coffee shop I thought was one of those dodgy Bar serving awful dark roasted burned drinks with gambling machines is one of the most famous Italian speciality cafe’ ,the owner ,Francesco Sanapo have been three time barista champion and one time world barista champion and …………is Francesco’s uncle ,like we say in Italy ”buon sangue non mente” basically that people with same blood will have alike lives.

Now I have a really good reason ,actually two to go to visit Tuscany ,one in Florence to say hi to my old friend and try his coffee ,one in Orsigna where my favourite Italian writer ,Tiziano Terzani ,spent the last months of his life.

I will leave you with the interview from at Francesco Masciullo

Francesco Masciullo
Ditta Artigianale

Please tell us a little bit about yourself:

Hello, my name is Francesco and I’m a barista in Italy. I started to become involved in the coffee community when I was 19, and from there I started to work in a normal coffee bar in Italy. After three years I decided to move to London to start to learn more about coffee, and especially specialty coffee. I stayed for a year there, and then I decided to go back to Italy to help in Ditta Artigianale (a micro-roastery). I started to work there, trying to build the specialty market even in italy. Results? Success! 

What are you excited to do while you are in Seoul?:

I don’t really right now, but I’m focusing on competing first of all. After that, I’ll have to think about it but I’m pretty care-free about visiting the city — coffeeshops, pubs, night-life.

Please list the coffee competitions you have participated in, what year they took place, and your results:

2013 Italian Latte Art Championship –  3rd Place
2015 Italian Barista Championship – 3rd Place
2016 Italian Barista Championship – 3rd Place
2017 Italian Barista Championship – 1st Place

Is there anyone you would like to thank or recognize, or who helped you to prepare for the WBC?:

There are so many people behind the competition. First of all my coaches, Hidenori Izaki and Francesco Sanapo, and then of course, my girlfriend. She has always right next to me, supporting me. My family, my friends, my friend from Greece, Nikos, and all the team that we have in Ditta Artigianale — thank you!

How do you see the coffee industry changing in the future?:

Well, the coffee industry has changed already, and day by day it’s improving a lot. I would like to see more sustainable products from all around the world, to see places serving quality, and to help the producer to invest in good results.

Where do you see yourself in 5 years?:

I will definitely continue to work in the coffee industry. I honestly stopped thinking how I’ll see my self in the future—there are so many things happening that you don’t know. I’m aiming to keep working, and see what happens and where I’ll be. I’ll let you know! 

What are your interests outside of coffee?:

My interests outside of coffee… gym, cycling, running… healthy stuff!

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