The First Great Specialty Cafe in Milan

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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.

Located in Milan's design district, Taglio is a warm and welcoming space to have a quick espresso or linger over a great meal.

Located in Milan’s design district, Taglio is a warm and welcoming space to have a quick espresso or linger over a great meal.

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.

Taglio is outfitted not only with a La Marzocco Strada, but with a staff of well-trained baristas.

Taglio is outfitted not only with a La Marzocco Strada, but with a staff of well-trained baristas. Photo by Stefanos Domatiotis

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.

Taglio has a mouth-watering menu. On our visits during La Marzocco Out of the Box, we had some of the amazing cheese, meats, olive oils, cocktails, and of course, espresso. Taglio's owners have personally visited every farm and factory from which their products come.

Taglio has a mouth-watering menu. On our visits during La Marzocco Out of the Box, we had some of the amazing cheese, meats, olive oils, cocktails, and of course, espresso. Taglio’s owners have personally visited every farm and factory from which their products come.

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.

The wonderful Raffaele Sangiovanni, one of Taglio's owners. In the midst of a successful career in marketing and distribution for MTV, Raffaele encountered the good folks at La Marzocco, fell in love with coffee, and went on to leave MTV and open Taglio. Stefanos Domatiotis brought him a copy of the Dec+Jan issue of Barista Magazine during his January visit. Photo by Stefanos Domatiotis

The wonderful Raffaele Sangiovanni, one of Taglio’s owners. In the midst of a successful career in marketing and distribution for MTV, Raffaele encountered the good folks at La Marzocco, fell in love with coffee, and went on to leave MTV and open Taglio. Stefanos Domatiotis brought him a copy of the Dec+Jan issue of Barista Magazine during his January visit. Photo by Stefanos Domatiotis

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).

Matt Lounsbury, VP of Stumptown Coffee, was with me in Milan for La Marzocco's Out of the Box, and became one of Taglio's most vehement spokespeople.

Matt Lounsbury, VP of Stumptown Coffee, was with me in Milan for La Marzocco’s Out of the Box, and became one of Taglio’s most vehement spokespeople. And yeah, this olive oil was bomb.

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.

Taglio's dry pasta selection.

Taglio’s dry pasta selection.

The back dining room, where patrons can watch and interact with the chefs.

The back dining room, where patrons can watch and interact with the chefs.

The cheese and meat section.

The cheese and meat section.

Olive oils galore. You bet I brought a couple bottles home.

Olive oils galore. You bet I brought a couple bottles home.

The espresso bar.

The espresso bar.

Stefanos working the espresso bar during some classes he taught in January. Photo by Enrico Wurm

Stefanos working the espresso bar during some classes he taught in January. Photo by Enrico Wurm

So here, friends, is Taglio.

About the Author

Sarah

Sarah Allen is co-founder and editor of Barista Magazine, the international trade magazine for coffee professionals. A passionate advocate for baristas, quality, and the coffee community, Sarah has traveled widely to research stories, interact with readers, and present on a variety of topics affecting specialty coffee. She also loves animals, swimming, ice cream, and living in Portland, Oregon.