Knowledge, passion and expertise: the secrets of a special coffee
Leonardo Lelli, how have things been going lately in the company that bears your name?
For the past 20 years we have set ourselves apart by our passion for continuous study and by offering a range of products that brings micro-roasters to the forefront. To stay up to date, we travel the world, especially my sister Lisa and I, visiting plantations in the equatorial belt where we can study the raw material directly. We then deepen our knowledge on new extraction methods and materials, focusing on important and central details such as the best-performing equipment, the water to be used and how it must be purified to extract the coffee in the best way.
In collaboration with some manufacturers, we are also analysing and investigating new technologies on professional machines to study the so-called “pressure profiles” for espresso, in order to highlight different nuances in the cup according to the fundamental variables that are heat, pressure and extraction time. These variables can now be recreated independently thanks to new machines that enhance the aromatic aspect and smoothness. We want to be even closer to our customers not only during the sales stage but also in after-sales assistance, and, above all, in spreading knowledge about the product, thanks to training and education courses to help them respond to an end consumer who today is much more aware than in the past of how to make a perfect cup of coffee.
What are the new coffee varieties you have launched?
Our most recent variety, already on the market, is the Cru “Honduras San José” by Finca San José. This specialty coffee, a product to which we have the exclusive rights, is the result of the relationship we have created with the Honduran producer Arnold Paz. We met him in 2015 during one of our trips with “SCA – Specialty Coffee Association”. In 2017 he came to visit us at our roasting plant to participate in the second edition of a workshop aimed at our customers as well as many “coffee lovers”. That meeting, like the first one in 2014 that we organized with the Brazilian producer Daterra, was an opportunity to introduce his world and his company directly to customers and aficionados and, at the same time, for a producer focused on exportation, it was a way to better get in touch with roasters like us to whom he can “entrust” micro-batches exclusively. At the end of each meeting we always arrange a technical tasting. We are curious to discover small new producers but with high quality, seeking out specialty coffees like these.
Who are your customers and how are they responding to your products?
Until a few years ago, catering was our focus. Today, the world of cafés is developing to such an extent that it is a very stimulating target, especially for those of us who offer niche products. Following the example of many producers established abroad in particular, we hear more and more talk about the “Third Wave of Coffee”. It is a phenomenon that involves a new generation of coffee shops: places for socializing where it is possible to spend some time without hasty consumption, sipping and enjoying while sitting in peace, where you can choose from a wide range of coffee with different origins, made in a Chemex or with a cold brew system, each appropriate for a different time of day. Not only is there more preparation by baristas as far as the raw material is concerned, there is also more attention paid to the different extraction methods and new technologies that allow you to make the most of every cup of coffee, whether espresso or filtered. In this field, we as a craft roasting company are able to offer a diversified range of high-level products, supporting our customers’ choice to satisfy every request.
How are you doing in the foreign market?
Abroad we try to propose first of all blends, as well as crus and specialty coffees, since Italian blends are always very appreciated in the world, as is our roasting, and set themselves apart by their particular smoothness and balance. In order to be ever closer to new foreign markets, we have decided to include the Spanish and German languages on our website, two countries from which we are receiving new interest and requests.