Dalla Corte’s annual training event for the national champions in latte art and coffee in good spirits has officially begun here in Milan. Barista Magazine was lucky enough to attend last year, and we’re back again to report on the fun and education, team-building and general merriment of this very special event.
It’s a lot like summer camp: old friends are reunited, and new friendships are forged. The days are packed with training in the basics of both the latte art and coffee and good spirits championships, as well as the need-to-know information about what it takes to stand out to the judges. In fact, Sonja Grant of Iceland, who is one of the chief organizers and head judges of the competitions, is here to help prepare these national champs for the World Latte Art Championship (WLAC) and the World Coffee In Good Spirits Championship (WCIGS), both of which will take place in May in Melbourne.
As the official espresso machine of the WLAC and the WCIGS, Dalla Corte’s investment in these competitions goes far beyond monetary support: DC Campus is completely free for the champions, and Dalla Corte generously hosts the baristas, provides them with state-of-the-art training spaces, incredible instructors, and great coffee and ingredients with which to work. Truly, Dalla Corte goes above and beyond in terms of preparing and supporting these champions.
This year’s DC Campus began yesterday, Thursday, with all of the champions arriving here in Milan to Dalla Corte’s loft space. Formerly the company’s factory, the loft space is now a spacious training area situated around a private courtyard in the heart of Milan.
After everyone had arrived, we boarded a bus and were taken to the Italian countryside in Brianza, on the edge of Lake Como. The baristas were in for a very special treat: rather than staying in a city hotel, Antonella Cutrona of Dalla Corte had rented Villa Mapelli Mozzi, the summer house of a royal Italian family, where the baristas would sleep each of the three nights of the event.
We gathered there for dinner, marveling over the architecture, decor, and beauty of the 14th century palace. Then we gathered round fires outside to socialize and laugh. It was a special evening.
Today we are back in Milan at the Dalla Corte loft space for a full day of training. As I type this, Sonja is leading a discussion of the complex rules and regulations of the WLAC, in which the baristas can ask questions and get clarification on any issues they may have.
Stay tuned for updates every day from here in Milan, on Barista Magazine’s blog as well as on our social media on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook. Wish you were here!