The Only Woman in the Room.

I don’t know what it is about Milano, but I always seem to have bad luck here. Even my first trip to this city in 2006 didn’t go so well. If it wasn’t for the fact that it made more economical sense to fly into Malpensa and that CO:Lab was here. I would not be in Milano at all.

However, it isn’t all bad. Taking part in the community events day of the Barista Guild’s CO:Lab offered me the opportunity to meet a hero of mine:Chiara Bergonzi. She is a certified Coffee trainer for the Specialty Coffee Associaion, she works with the Cimbalti Group, she is a Vice World Latte Art Champion, she’s written a book, and has her own training facility at 7gr coffee studio. Most impressively she is the only female coffee roaster in all of Italy. This is no easy feet as you can imagine. If we think that men dominate the professional coffee arena in the U.S. it’s a million times harder to break into this sort of work in Italy as a woman. A lot of this has to do with the fact that most Italian coffee roaster pass their craft down to their sons. If they do not have a son, they pass it down to their nephews etc. But, it’s generally a male heir. Still, it cannot be easy lecturing at Faema headquarters when you are the only woman in the room.

7gr Coffee Studio and Lot Zero( the name of the roaster Chiara roast for) are a rare find in Italy as the shop and the roaster are all owned by a group of women. The four Mauro sisters. They come from a long line of coffee people. Their father and grandfather both worked in coffee. And the family history is all around the shop where you find many different methods for brewing coffee. It was a really great experience meeting all of them. It’s amazing what woman can do when we support and love each other.

You may be wondering how the coffee Chiara Roaster tasted? It was perfect, and the espresso she pulled for us was super juicy.

I’m sorry to say that this is the only photo I have from that day.

I’m sorry to say that this is the only photo I have from that day.