This morning, I had a long Skype call with our friend Chris Salierno of La Marzocco in Milan—pretty great way to start the day. La Marzocco has been a wonderful friend of Barista Magazine‘s since we started publishing in 2005, and since they debuted the Out of the Box model in 2009 in Milan, we have been supporting these grassroots gatherings of coffee pros and lovers with gusto.
Out of the Box was born from La Marzocco’s dissatisfaction with the “big box” feel of the massive Host Milano show that is held every other year in the Italian city. Perhaps the biggest coffee show in the world, Host is a labyrinth of hall after all of booths displaying more espresso machine companies than you knew existed, and every other coffee-related product under the sun. It’s as if an entire city of coffee is erected for a week in Milan every other year. Friends in the industry tried to prepare me for it, telling me how massive it was, but nothing could have readied me for what I saw when I first attended Host in 2011. I actually got dead lost on the show floor not once, but three times.
That year I was also lucky enough to attend as be a guest speaker at La Marzocco’s second Milan Out of the Box event, and it was just spectacular. It felt like the nitty gritty of what makes this industry great: a manageable space filled to the gills with coffee professionals and barista geeks who want nothing other than to talk with experts, play on equipment, build community, and have fun. The original model introduced in 2009 was such a success that Out of the Box has continued outside of Milan, landing in Brussels, New York, Stockholm, San Francisco, and many other cities in between.
But the mothership is the Milan Out of the Box, and just leave it to Chris Salierno, the company’s marketing wizard, to reinvent it and make it even better this year. The location will be different than the past two Milan Out of the Box events—Chris has decided to put the focus of the event on the concepts of design, heritage, and technology. Therefore, it will take place in the heart of Milan’s design district.
Chris gave me the scoop on the amazing things he has planned for the event—believe me, there has never been an event like the La Marzocco Out of the Box in Milan October 17–19 will be. This ain’t no ordinary barista jam; in fact, coffee pros from around the world will want to hop on a plane to attend this event, which will bring music and art, charity and community building, esteemed lecturers, unique workshops, cafe build out concepts, and of course, La Marzocco machines, including the much-talked-about new Linea PB.
There is, in fact so much meat to what this Out of the Box event is going to be that we’re going to unveil it for you piece by piece here on Barista Magazine‘s blog, in the months and weeks leading up to the event.
So get excited! And save the date!