Chiara Bergonzi tell us about herself and what to expect from the Global Coffee Festival
Teacher and SCAE Educator, Coffee Consultant, International Judge, Writer and now also Alpro Ambassador!
What’s your involvement in the Global Coffee Festival?
Unfortunately, given the current circumstances, I was not able to fly to London to judge the first ever edition of Plant-based Barista Masters, an exciting new competition fusing coffee and vegan beverages.
I did take part to the filming of Milan’s Best Coffees, an insider tour of Milan’s top cafés, café concepts and innovative spots. I loved it! A few other coffee cities have been featured too, like London, Amsterdam, Paris, New York, Cape Town, Sidney and Seoul. I think it is a very clever idea to show how different and diverse the international coffee scene is. The lovely Specialty PaL (@specialty_pal) aka Valentina and Luca were the presenters. As part of their coffee city tour, they popped into Lotzero Roastery, the Milan-based roastery where I roast several origins and also teach different SCAE modules. We talked about the evolving Italian specialty coffee scene and tasted a few coffees, of course!
What should people expect from the Global Coffee Festival?
It’s such a brilliant idea. We can all sit comfortably on our sofa and watch, share updates and comments, get in touch with the coffee world. Whether you are a professional, a coffee aficionado or simply a coffee lover, there will be something interesting to enjoy, from the Lab to Plant Based Coffee Masters, panels with experts, coffee workshops and demos. It is a truly global event, that will be attended by people across the globe, which I feel is a great asset. You can literally get in touch with professionals and world-renowned barista and gurus who would be otherwise be quite out of reach as they literally live at the opposite side of the globe. The coffee community will probably get bigger after the event!
Can you tell us about your background?
I got into the coffee world when I was 18 only. I started as café manager. Then, in 2010, I met Luigi Lupi, a world-renowned coffee professional who initiated me to coffee competitions. I fell in love with Latte Art and left for Japan soon after to learn from a famous local barista some very unique free pour techniques and tricks. That trip was of great inspiration. Once back, I trained for the Italian latte art competition, which I won for 3 years in a row and got to the podium at the Latte Art World Championship in Australia back in 2014, where I gained the second place. From there, I went into further training and then teaching SCAE modules, one of my biggest passions. In 2015 I was even nominated “ most passionate educator’ in the world. As a matter of fact, one of my biggest recent achievements was coaching Manuela Fensore, 2019 World latte Art Champion. I am also international judge at international competitions and I do like to write books too! On coffee, needless to say! As a matter of fact, I am in the process of writing my second, which will be published in 2021. And I am also a coffee consultant.
How did you even find the time to co-found a rostery?
I live and breath coffee. I founded Lotzero Roastery two years ago, with the sisters Mauro. The objective is very straightforward: focus on specialty coffee and education. I select the beans myself and we are proud to be an artisan roastery. We want to bring transparency, traceability and sustainability to the table and make sure the Italian and international consumers who visit us are informed and educated about coffee.
2020 was a tough year for everyone. Any good news to share?!
Many, as usual! One of the most exciting ones is certainly my new role as Alpro Ambassador, of which I am very proud. It is well time to introduce plant-based beverages in the professional coffee world! I am also planning on running courses on plant-based coffee beverages.
What do you think about the Italian coffee scene?
It has definitely changed in the past few years, slowly but steadily. We are still quite far from the specialty coffee scene you can experience in Melbourne or London, but we won’t give up! Luckily, I am not alone. There are a few coffee professionals in Italy, like Francesco Sanapo, who are really committed to educate the consumer about quality and what should be considered a fair price of a cup. Also, a few big companies are more and more interested in promoting specialty coffee, and that is helping getting the message through!
Hopes and dreams?
I hope that one day all media will promote specialty coffee as much as they promote quality wine, cocktails and patisserie here in Italy. We are also really lucky nowadays to be able to spread a message easily, via social media. That’s also why I feel this event, the Gloabal Coffee Festival, will really have an impact and contribute to spread awareness, reaching audiences at global level and across different cultures, demographics and backgrounds. Can’t wait to see what the Festival will bring us!
See Chiara’s interview in Milan’s Best Coffee at The Global Coffee Festival on 30 October 2020. Register for your FREE ticket