Davide Spinelli: Coffee Insurrection Hero Chapter #27

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Davide Spinelli: Coffee Insurrection Hero Chapter #27

coffee shop 2023
Published by Tanya in Coffee Insurrection Hero · 8 October 2021
Tags: DavideSpinelliInterviewItaly
1- Introduce yourself: who are you, where are you from, where do you work and what’s your job.

“Welcome judges, I am Davide, and this is my time”. Sorry, it just comes naturally to me to start like this! I was born in Cagliari, but in recent years, also for work, I have been traveling around Italy and often abroad as well. I am a nomadic consultant and trainer, but also a barrista and Brand Ambassador of IMS filters and E & B-lab.

2- When and why did coffee become important to you?

As in a natural process, coffee has come through a long journey that began as a bartender and sommelier. Coffee crept into my life slowly. I didn't even drink it until I was 25. Then, changing the shift in a bar overnight, I started to know him, and to study him. Thanks to my studies, I understood why I didn't like it and this meant that I let myself be enchanted by its many nuances. I would say that coffee has been my focus for about 10 years.

3- Do you remember the first coffee you had that was more than “just a cup of coffee”?

There are two moments in which I thought that. The first when I was still a coffee “rookie”, and the second at the beginning of my new life as a barista. The first time: after years in a bar where I was “subjected” to coffees and advices of colleagues, I decided to take a course and tasted an espresso, made by the trainer, a 100% Arabica blend. There I said "I like this".
The second time: I was at one of the first London Coffee Festivals and I tasted a double espresso, a Tanzania-El Salvador blend, so clean that I could distinctly feel Pineapple, Coconut, Banana and chocolate (I didn't have great sensory experiences) and I thought "These hints cannot be so clear and brilliant in an espresso, they certainly cheated with flavorings ”.

4- What’s your favorite thing about going to work in the morning?

Difficult to answer, no day is the same as another. Surely one of my favorite moments is when I prepare the room for courses, or to receive people. I am a perfectionist and I don't want to leave anything to chance. This allows me to prepare everything in the best possible way and to have time to enjoy my first coffee, alone, with my music. Then enjoy my second coffee with colleagues or guests who arrive to start the day.

5- What’s your favorite brewing method and why?

Complex choice. It depends on the mood and where I am. At home, for example, Clever or Chemex after lunch. Espresso and mokapot if I’m together with friends and family. When I have new coffees, Kalita Wave and then Aeropress to gut them in every facet. But it is not so much the method itself, but what that coffee is "asking" me… and I don't feel like saying no!

6- Which is the best coffee you ever tasted?

There are two best coffees, and I explain the contradiction. Without doubt the first best coffee is the one that Rubens Gardelli brought to the 2014 World Cup. It was an El Salvador, a true nano lot, just 50kg. We prepared for weeks and tasted it anyway. Simply spectacular, simple, clean but complex. I still have his flavors in mind. The second best coffee is the one I'll still have to drink.

7- Is there a country of origin that you tend to favor coffee from? Why?

I am used to constantly changing, eager to try anything. But when I'm relaxing, and I can choose, I choose either Ethiopia or Kenya. Especially if I know they are clean coffees, I love their light and persistent aromatic notes.

8- Suggest us a roastery to check (not the one you working at/you use at work).

It is difficult for me to point out just one. There are so many, and for all tastes. Light, Omniroast, medium, dark, the choices always depend on what I want at that moment. For my courses I always try to use coffees from different roasters, because I always like to try something new. Indeed, I would be curious to be able to taste something from Portugal, any suggestions?

9- What’s the most important things you’ve learnt while working in the business?

I have learned a lot over the years thanks to coffee. But above all, I have learned to overcome some of my limits. How to get involved, learn to talk about myself (it is still very difficult for me) and that everyone cannot be trusted. In addition to this, I learned that coffee is a commodity with a huge impact on everyone's life and that we are a drop in the sea, but we can do a lot and give a lot to improve and improve ourselves. I learned that passion is needed, but precision and professionalism are also needed. For the rest, I learned that, in the end, we just talk about water and coffee, and I really like talking and sharing knowledge regarding them. I learned that by being around a cup of coffee, you make good friendships and have fun chatter.

10- How your work and the specialty coffee world are coping with Covid and the new challenges for hospitality?

Life is not static but constantly evolving. The same is true for work and for the specialty coffee. Covid has represented and represents a brake and new challenges for hospitality. The turning point between the Neanderthal Barista and the Sapiens Barista? Maybe I'm exaggerating, but the pandemic was a bolt from the blue for our calm and peaceful lives. A little storm in our quiet lake. Beyond the tragic impact on our lives and our loved ones, we must evolve and adapt to survive and then live. We have adapted to the new distances (one of the very few positive things, restaurateurs don't want it), to the new rules. The most attentive have already created new protocols to prevent problems caused by future pandemics and to avoid having to close their businesses. As for my work, as it is increasingly difficult to travel abroad (like visiting plantations in different countries of origin), I had to adapt, but I believe that human contact during courses and consultancy is still essential. What we do is not only provide information and services, but also create a relationship of trust with customers.

11- How do you see the specialty coffee scene in 10 years?

Surely it will have grown up: it is impossible to think otherwise. "Less but good" is now the leitmotif of modern man, whether we are talking about flour, beer, oil, wine... Or so I like to think, otherwise I would have already changed jobs! I firmly believe in a growth in the professional figure of the barista, and I am increasingly convinced that whoever gets there first will have the better of future competitors. But above all I hope that the business takes into account the quality of life of the workers and that the end customer understands the value of the coffee and what they will taste.

12- Where do you see yourself in 10 years?

I see myself halfway to my goals.

13- Any last word? Any tip or suggestion you wanna share with someone that want to start this path?

I can suggest what I would suggest for any other route. Have fun, make it what you want to do. Never feel like you have arrived, because you would fall into starvation and presumption. Chat and share, you will find many people who will talk, but often you will find some who will listen and teach you. Study, because training will keep you going. Don't settle for a few hours course or a colorful book. Try, compare, discuss, we are not alone in the world. Having doubts is a great start, but don't get overwhelmed by fears, only those who work are wrong. The ingredients are two and they are simple, water and coffee. You will decide its thousand facets according to your taste.


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