Renowned Master Barista Giorgio Milos, an Italian Barista Champion, sits down to discuss how Italians have inspired authentic espresso culture across the globe.
Making a delicious cup of espresso is a ritual that’s been celebrated worldwide since the 17th century in coffeehouses, local townships and households alike. So how has traditional Italian coffee culture impacted the ways in which we enjoy a cup today?
In a busy age of drive-thru windows, pumpkin spice lattes and single-serve sensations, the pursuit of the perfect cup has never been so important. As the sun sets behind George Brown College on a blustery Tuesday evening, Master Barista Giorgio Milos speaks to a crowded classroom of self-proclaimed blend-enthusiasts about the unique reasons we drink coffee. ‘Espresso is not a beverage. It’s a magical elixir. You don’t drink espresso because you’re thirsty; you drink it because it brings pleasure,’ he explains. ‘Each element comes into play in a consistent and very complex way.’
Traditions Best Served Hot
For over 20 years, Milos has been training baristas all over Italy and North America. There’s no doubt his time-honoured techniques run in the family; Milos’ mother was also passionate about coffee and worked within the industry for many years. Building on his mother’s passion, Milos’ dedication to craftsmanship, quality and detail is unparalleled, and this passion has changed his life completely.
Taste The Future
The relationship between Italians and their coffee is stronger than some of the most full-bodied blends. Every flavourful sip contains a rich history of stories and the unrelenting pursuit of simple—yet extraordinary—experiences. Milos emphasizes the importance of innovation when it comes to modern day espresso creation. ‘I think it is correlated with the innate Italian ease of development of new ideas. Just as espresso machines were invented and developed in Italy, espresso has evolved to become the new way to drink coffee.’
Milos goes on to highlight the art of coffee drinking, explaining that the daily ritual isn’t just about satisfying our desires for caffeine. It’s about finding the perfect blend of tradition, quality and innovation and enjoying every sensational sip.
Here are a few of Milos’ coffee commandments:
- If it’s not short, it’s not espresso.
- Ceramic and glass are the only two materials that should ever touch espresso—using paper or plastic is a sin.
- Cappuccinos should only be enjoyed at breakfast.
- When it comes to drinking coffee, milk is only whole—don’t bother with skim.
- To fully experience the flavours of a blend, avoid “contaminants” (ie. sugar and milk).