In a country like Italy where coffee is not just a drink, but a consolidated tradition and the center of a global business, we were waiting for a festival 100% dedicated to this theme.
This is how the Milan Coffee Festival was born – which was held from 19th to 21st May 2018 at the spazio BASE in Tortona street – the first major Italian festival dedicated to coffee, its culture and its infinite preparations.
Enthusiasts, curious, baristas, roasters, machine manufacturers and operators in the sector flocked to Milan to share their passion for coffee, delicious to drink, but also interesting to learn and fascinating to discover, thanks to the rich three - day - long program of activities that animated the festival: educational, tastings, workshops, exhibitions and in-depth meetings, designed to involve the visitor into a unique experience.
A calendar full of events at the Milan Coffee Festival
During these three days, some specific events were dedicated to business operators, including the "Sensory tasting" to learn how to recognize a quality coffee, the educational "Perfect Espresso" to learn all its secrets and, thanks to "Coffee in Good Spirits”, discover how coffee can become the star of the happy hour or after dinner in the name of mixology.
But the Milano Coffee Festival hasn't forgotten coffee's great ally, milk. "Latte Art Specialist" was the moment dedicated to those who transform a simple cappuccino into a work of art with the help of an authority on the subject, Luigi Lupi.
Extracting (coffee) is an art
The most interesting part for the audience present was the one dedicated to tastings and the new types of coffee extraction.
So, in order to not miss anything, we have decided to tell you all about the 4 most intriguing extraction methods: Syphon, Chemex, V60 and Cold Brew.
Syphon: the parts that compose it are different, but the procedure is very simple: by lighting the flame under the water in the lower ampoule, heat is created, and therefore pressure, which will push the water into the upper globe.
Once there, the coffee is added and it will be infused with the water.
Once the flame is extinguished, the liquid will be progressively pushed towards the first globe by the pressure, passing through the filter positioned between the two ampoules.
Chemex: its glass structure, a material that guarantees not to absorb flavors and odours, is enriched by wooden rings linked by a leather strap that make it an elegant object with a refined design.
Chemex is part of the set of extractions called "pour-over" as it also consists of a manual extraction that takes place by pouring water onto the ground through a paper filter.
Furthermore, its lower ampoule shape allows the extracted coffee to oxygenate just like in a decanter.
V60: the main feature is the 60° angle of the filter, which allows a greater percolation of the water thanks to which a finer grind can be applied compared to other "pour-over" extraction methods.
There are two different sizes of the V60: the 01 cup, suitable for one or two cups at a time (350ml) and the 02 cup size, which can make up to 500ml of coffee.
Different dimensions and also different materials, starting from the cheapest in plastic, ceramic or glass up to the brand new models in metal which are very resistant and have excellent thermal conductivity.
Cold Brew: Its particular cold process avoids the extraction of some oils and fatty acids present in coffee which are normally soluble at high temperatures.
The result will be a product with a high concentration of flavour, but with low acidity and therefore less aggressiveness for the stomach.
The coffee made with this technique, however, does not necessarily have to be consumed cold, it is in fact possible to serve it at room temperature.
Where to taste all the coffees in the world? At the Milan Coffee Festival!
The workshops and activities were not the only ones to enliven the event.
The large area named "coffee experience", a large exhibition-commercial space dedicated to roasters and the various realities that make up the articulated supply chain and a suggestive area dedicated to the origins and sustainability of the raw material, also attracted enthusiasts and curious, where the main producing countries showcased the customs and traditions of their respective lands.
Among the many companies there was also Filicori Zecchini, which presented products from the other side of the world, but processed and enhanced by Italian expertise, such as Single Origin Ethiopia and Mexico.
Each Single-Origin coffee variety has different organoleptic characteristics derived from the soil and climate in which the plant grew.
These variables affect the final flavor of the coffee:
This variety is grown in the Ethiopian province of Sidamo, where the legend about the discovery of coffee seems to have started: a young shepherd named Kaldi accidentally found a variety of cherry that made his goats energetic and hyperactive.
Kaldi tried eating these cherries and found that they had the power to drive away sleep and fatigue.
Over time it was discovered that by roasting and boiling the seeds a scented and tasty drink was obtained: coffee.
The Single Origin Mexico comes from sustainable agriculture and its taste recalls a citrus sensation accompanied by light notes of bergamot and black tea leaves with a hazelnut aftertaste.
The main characteristic of the land from which it comes is the altitude, strictly above 1000 meters high, like the most prized Arabica varieties in the world.
This allows the coffee plant to have a slower growth and maturation cycle, which impregnates the berries with complex sugars which give rise to a more intense and articulated flavour, unique in its kind.
The beans of Single Origin Mexico, cultivated in such a particular and selected way, release strong flavors with delicate notes of cocoa and a slight sensation of fresh tobacco.
Without forgetting the sweetness with an aftertaste of cinnamon and brown sugar.
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