By Valentina Raggi and Francesca Benedetto
Coffee break — p. 118
From an exotic product to a drink for the masses to high craftsmanship. Coffee becomes a shared passion, bringing roasteries back into vogue. But with deluxe quality Today the culture of espresso is changing. The opening of the Starbucks Reserve Roastery in Milan has turned the spotlight on a global phenomenon that is also affecting Italy: the transition to the Fourth Wave. There are four waves which, starting from the twentieth century, have marked the periods in which the drink has taken on different commercial and social values. Today we welcome the advent of a new era, one in which consumers pay attention to the entire production chain. And so we find hours of queues at the new Starbucks in Milan to observe the roasting of selected beans first hand, and the transformation of the café into a multifunctional hub, with a bakery, patisserie, cocktail area and shop. “Our message is ‘ come in and stay for a while’, enjoy a 360° experience,” explains the designer of the Reserve Roastery, Liz Muller. Even roasting is currently experiencing a revival. “Coffee is becoming a way of life. Our vision is to promote diversity, excellence and the culture it has created,” explains Ludovic Rossignol, co- founder of The Coffee Festival. The event dedicated to specialty coffees was launched eight years ago in London and will arrive at the Pelota in Milan ( from 30/ 11 to 2/ 12). “Consumers are becoming more sophisticated, looking for artisanal quality, ethically- sourced and locally- roasted beans,” he continues. The emergence of the passion for specialty coffees goes hand in hand with the painstaking design of the new roasteries, which focus on a strong aesthetic identity. And there is already talk of the Fifth Wave: “Companies that offer specialty coffee on a large scale, halfway between the big chains and the small specialty cafés,” concludes Rossignol.