I am happily in Milan, Italy, to attend and participate in La Marzocco’s Out of the Box event in Milan, which is being held in conjunction with that big mammoth of a trade show, HOST. They have been busy times today and yesterday in Milano, with the biggest foodservice trade show in the world (HOST) overtaking this metropolis—I am seeing faces of friends from around the world, all lovers of specialty coffee, coming together in one big and wonderful city. So exciting!
I look forward to attending HOST on Sunday, but for today (Friday) and tomorrow, I am 100% at La Marzocco’s innovative and forward thinking special event, Out of the Box, which takes place in an art space in the center of the city and draws baristas, distributors, roasters, cafe owners, and coffee professionals of all walks of life to meet and learn and play in one wonderful space.
As it is late at night, and the days are long, I’ll just share some photos from today and save the stories and special moments for the article I will write for the December/January issue of Barista Magazine. Please check back soon for more updates!
I make a rare photo appearance, simply because I wanted to be with my friend Chris Loukakis of TAF in Greece, the World Latte Art Champion!
Some of the wonderful Marzocco guys: Mike D., Mike L., and Luke
Upstairs at the La Marzocco Out of the Box space is the Songwa Lounge. Songa is the coffee farm in Tanzania that is funded by and partnered with La Marzocco, Mahlkoenig and Probat, in an effort to strengthen the chain of coffee, from seed to cup. The espresso machines displayed in this area have been painted by local artists from Tanzania. They are SO beautiful.
As I am an especially enthusiastic animal lover, I adore this particular Tanzanian artwork, painted on a GB5 and Mahlkoenig grinder
The opening graphic to greet attendees of the Out of the Box event, which precedes a very special arrangement of photographs and archived artwork from La Marzocco.
Never-before-seen (to the public) archived artwork from the early days of La Marzocco
The welcome sign in the entryway
Enjoying the Strada...
Friends from around the world coming together! Andrew Barnett (Ecco) and James Hoffmann (Square Mile)
Team Greece (and a bit of Sweden): Chris (World Latte Art Champion), Stefanos (Barista Champion of Greece) and Costas (former Barista Champion of Sweden, and also Barista Magazine cover barista from February/March 2006)
The view from above -- in the Songwa Lounge -- of the announcement of the winner of the Milano Regional Barista Competition!
A huddle of some of La Marzocco's best and brightest
Oh hello! Barista Champion of Greece, Stefanos, and Barista Champion of Germany, Thomas, send barista love my way.
Celebrity sighting: Wendelboe, Varney, Hoffmann, Barnett...
James Hoffmann congratulates the 2nd place finisher in the Milano Regional Competition.
The newly crowned Milano Regional Barista Champion, Elisa Molle, gets a congratulatory kiss from La Marzocco's Kent Bakke.