When it comes to coffee education in Italy your mind goes automatically to one name: Davide Cobelli. In his Coffee Training Academy coffee seminars, education and training are the daily activities.
What most people don’t know is that since one year Davide and his bro Andrea opened a micro roastery: Garage Coffee Brothers, in Verona, North Italy.
Let’s meet Davide and learn more about this little gem in the Italian coffee scene.
How did you start roasting coffee? Was something that you always dreamt of or it just happened by chance? Tell us how you became a roaster.
I’ve started working in restaurants when I was 15 years old. For 15 years I’ve worked as a chef then I started my coffee journey working in a bar: there my passion for coffee grew naturally. My passion for food has been on stand by for a while but you see, what goes around comes around. For me “cooking” is something deeply rooted in my DNA so roasting was the natural evolution along my career path.
Which is your approach to Specialty coffee?
I gotta be honest. I don’t know if there is an approach towards Specialty Coffee or it simply should exist an approach towards roastin. This approach in the end is reflected in how the roaster works, how he/she exoress himself/herself thanks to theroasted coffee beans. What I love is the idea that my coffee will be enjoyed in the very next future: what I’m doing now will be a pleasure for someone else. You see, on the Italian market there is a misconception: we have “average/good coffees” that are sold for Specialty ones, simply because they are slightly better than commercial blends we are used to. This is a lack of transparency and the true work is not communicated: artisanal doesn’t mean extraordinary. In our micro roastery we also work with Premium coffees but we pay great attention as not to confuse them, and as to avoid a misconception for our final customer.
How do you see the Specialty coffee scene in your country? And how do you think it will develop in the next five years, considering also the current situation (covid19).
Well, generally speaking we can say that the Italian market is not ready for a great coffee as it is Specialty one. This is because consumers don’t understad why they should pay slightly more for a coffee cup and also due to taste: Italian customers are not fond on acidity, which is the result of a light roasting process. Despite this we keep going on with our work, following our principles and mission as we truly believe that there is a niche of coffee lovers that is searching for the best quality.
Which are the greatest challenges a small roastery has to face in the daily activity?
There are countless challenges, the greatest one is about Corporate Identity. Too many times we see companies searching for easy solutions, being unfaithful to their core values. Keep consistent and be coherent, this is the greates (and personal) challenge.
What would you recommend to someone that is willing to approach the roaster profession?
Stay curious. Keep yourself educated and informed. Go for it.
It is a hard and demanding job, if you aren’t a little bit crazy to believe in it education alone is not enough.
If you could make a wish about the coffee sector what will it be?
I wish the production chain could be more sustainable, it is the only way to value the product we sell.
You can find freshly roasted coffee beans online on the website: https://garagecoffeebros.com