The future of coffee is gourmet

Even in Italy, interest for quality coffee is growing. Professionals and customers are starting to say enough to processes, like dark roasting and high pressure which kill the flavors and aromas, and they are saying enough to cheap coffee which is reflected in the quality. The increase in the number of courses and demonstrations shows that more and more professionals now understand the importance of training and refreshing their skills. Data from Scae (Specialty Coffee Association of Europe) confirms this. It is an association that counted 496 certifications last year and a good 421 in the first six months of 2014. The number of courses offered up and down the Italian Peninsula is multiplying which mirrors a coffee industry trying to educate people about the product and its various methods of extraction. The number of participants is growing fast but in first place are the barmen and final consumers.
For Enrico Meschini, president of CSC (Caffè Speciali Certificati), “it is a slow phenomenon, noticeable in an important change in lifestyle where I’m seeing the signs. Traditionally the reasons why a barman chose a coffee would be based on its reputation, its availability on the market and its economic profitability. Only after all that was quality taken into consideration, but lately it is this characteristic that is kicking off research.”
Will the future be gourmet? “It is a phenomenon that has come into play in numerous countries and it has now taken root in the United States, which, according to estimates, represents 20% of consumers, who are oriented towards higher-end, prestigious products” continues Meschini. “I think that over quite a long period of time – ten years – it will also arrive in Italy, in the wake of great attention to quality from barmen and even consumers, who will finally be able to recognize and award those who offer excellent products, showing them by paying the right amount for an excellent espresso”.
The CSC association was born with the exact intention of promoting high quality coffee and it collects roasters with the common aim of boosting the quality and culture of prestigious coffees, acting jointly for the creation of a product of superior quality. We are talking about companies that have joined forces to ensure a constant supply of prestigious raw materials, which compares to a global market that for years has witnessed a slow, but steady deterioration in the quality of green coffee.
A peculiarity of the association is its direct relationship with the producers, characterized by frequent contact, inspections and visits to the plantations, the processing plants and many tasting sessions. Where it is necessary and possible, activities to support the producers are promoted, this is a commitment which actually positively benefits the care of the product and creates a story behind each of the coffees. CSC does not buy directly from the producers but organizes and puts into effect the necessary controls to guarantee that the best coffees are at their members’ disposal. When a batch is bought, its tasters compare it with predecessor sample. If its characteristics are in line with this reference product then it can receive the certification of special certified coffee.

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