So – it is an odd year (numerically speaking), which means that the HOST show is on in the RHO Fiera in Milan. It is huge. It is obscenely huge. It is unnecessarily and obscenely huge and to be honest everyone could have had stands half the size and it would still have been massive.
Anette and I had travelled over very early on the Friday morning with David, and we spent a little time in the show in the afternoon. Winning the WBC is easily forgotten in the UK but when you come to a coffee show it is a little different. It was great to see loads of people and lots of others came up for a chat which was cool.
Anette and I tried to have a little look around the show but didn’t get too far. Too many people to talk to, and in truth not that much new or innovative to see. La Marzocco’s booth was quite impressive as it was their 80th anniversary and they had a fair few vintage machines up on their stand which were beautiful.
I suppose the doserless Robur is interesting, but I can’t really pass any sort of judgement as I didn’t see one in use in the show and I am unlikely to get my hands on one anytime soon. (Hint hint!*)
Amongst the people I was very happy to see were the guys over from Ritual working on the Espresso Warehouse stand – Chris Baca and Eileen. It was really nice to hang out with them at the show and at dinner at the La Marzocco drinks party. I think their experience with Italian espresso was very interesting, and a bit like my own but I will leave them to talk about them online if they wish. It was also good to meet and chat to Kiril from EspressoRun who was also over there working for Espresso Warehouse/Clover. (Had a really nice Clover of Ritual’s Yirg, just at the right time when I was sick of espresso and a bit depressed about coffee in general – perked me right up).
I am always stunned when I visit at the coffees that are served – the quantity of robusta for one, and the acceptance of the consumer is utterly alien to me.
I worked a little on the La Spaziale booth on the Saturday before flying home, which was quite cool. I think the important thing about working within another espresso culture is that it drives home that whilst you may really prefer the style of espresso you brew it is by no means more correct than another cultural style. It is a little headbreaking to realise that while we may really like the style of espresso that we brew it is no more correct than anywhere else – I guess as long as the customer is happy….
I think the best shot of the show came from Fritz, despite his age he’s still got skills (I do so hope he reads that!)
I am not going to try to list all the people I saw, or was very happy to chat to because I will probably forget someone because I am a little skatterbrained. I did wish I had stayed a little longer but Blighty was calling and it was back on a plane Saturday evening. I suppose overall I was a little disappointed as I expected/hoped to see more innovation revealed which didn’t really seem to be the case anywhere in the show (unless I missed – comments please!) I think, whilst many ideas are floating around, like many I am unsure where the next step in espresso quality will come from.
*I don’t actually expect this to work!