When I was in Milan, Italy, last October for La Marzocco’s Out of the Box event, a new cafe had just opened up pretty close by called Taglio. I heard the name bandied about a whole lot the first day of the event—seems everyone was excited about it because it was, they said, the first real specialty coffeehouse in the city. That’s right—in the city of Milan.
You think coffee is so great in Italy because that’s where espresso comes from, and that’s where so many of the great espresso machine companies are based. But in fact, espresso is super different in most parts of Italy than what you’re used to at the great cafes of North America, Europe, and Scandinavia. The future is one of the most beautiful things ever—businessmen bellying up to the bar for an espresso on their way to the office, standing as they down the shot and move on. It’s an old culture, and one that couldn’t be more different than the American 26-ounce caramel lattes culture we have in other parts of the world.
But this espressos those Italian businessmen are drinking? They’re more like Americanos than espresso, just smaller in size. And the machines they’re made from tend to be antiquated. That’s right—those awesome Italian espresso machine companies actually export more of their machines than they keep in their home country.
I realized, as I stood in the middle of a lovely courtyard at the city villa La Marzocco had rented for the three-day Out of the Box event in October, that Taglio’s opening was really special then. La Marzocco’s Enrico Wurm chatted about how much time he’d spent with Raffaele Sangiovanni, one of the owners of Taglio, fine-tuning the Strada machine he’d purchased for Taglio.
So us attendees of Out of the Box started going: we would go to Taglio on our breaks from the conference, have an espresso, maybe some of the amazing cheeses Taglio’s deli bar offered, and later, aperitifs from the famous mixologist who worked there. But to be sure, Taglio is an espresso bar: there’s a to-go window and everything. (And you NEVER see to-go windows in Italy).
My friend Stefanos Domatiotis of Taf in Greece has been posting photos to social media this week from a return visit to Taglio (Stefanos was with me at Out of the Box, and had a lot of fun working guest shifts at Taglio between the Out of the Box lectures). Seeing his photos brought back all the joy I experienced at this fine shop when I visited, and made me feel like I can’t wait to go back.
So here, friends, is Taglio.