Italy is sometimes regarded as the final frontier for specialty coffee, and at the first Milan Coffee Festival all signs pointed to progress—and a promising way forward for coffee culture in the nation that helped create it. Italy’s decades-old espresso cultural laws and general unwillingness to change the flavor, preparation, and most restrictively the price of coffee are all directly under challenge by a new generation of entrepreneurs and globe-traveling coffee lovers. Contradicting this reputation, there is a rapidly growing group of coffee professionals of all ages and backgrounds dedicated to increasing quality and shaking up cultural coffee standards in Italy. It’s a really exciting time to be here to see it all unfold.
Change is in the air here, proliferating and circling throughout the industry for years, and now it’s been given a consumer-friendly platform in the form of this new festival. The consensus is that the Milan Coffee Festival was able to provide a capsule snapshot of today’s inspiring new movement and an opportunity for the public to explore the new Italian specialty coffee in an approachable format.