Last Updated on April 1, 2020 by kristina

More than 4.000 visitors for the first Italian edition of the international event dedicated to artisanal coffee.

Carlos Alvarado, 28 years old, originally from El Salvador but living in Italy since 2013, is the winner of CMx™ – ITALIA, the first national competition for baristas linked to the renowned Coffee Masters format, which took place last weekend at Spazio Pelota in via Palermo, during the first edition of the “Milan Coffee Festival. At the end of the three days of thisfast-paced contest, Carlos, in forceat the Checchi Downtown café in Brescia, has popped up on the other 7 finalists in the race, passing a series of thrilling head-to-head and knockouts, which, commented in real time by Francesco Sanapo (owner of Artisan Company, roaster, award-winning barista champion and barista trainer) and Antonia Trucillo (Marketing & Academy Manager at Cesare Trucillo Spa and SCA trainer – Specialty Coffee Association), held the audience in suspense until the last moments. The young Latin American barista, who was already ranked first at the Fait Grit & Grind Aeropress Competition, has literally won over the jury experts demonstrating skills and competence in the 7 key disciplines in which the CMx ™ – ITALIA competitors have been called to try their hand: the Cupping, Brewing, Latte Art, the Order, the Signature Drink, theMistery Box and the Origin, referring to the ability of the barista to recognize the origins of coffee from its taste.

During the final, in particular, Alvarado beat his opponent Matteo Pavoni (Peacocks Coffee – Monza) thanks to his signature drink “Not the usual”, in which he managed to synthesize at its best his human and professional path. At the base of the cocktail there is El Cipres coffee of El Salvador, in homage to its origins, mixed with a saffron syrup – representative ingredient of Milan, city in which he collected the most significant first working experiences -, a touch of “Guelph” – an amaro drink made in Brescia, where Carlos currently lives and works, composed for 20% of brandy, with the addition of 20 aromatic herbs and aged for 36 months in oak barrels – and, last but not least, pounded currant. An extremely proportioned drink, characterized by a balance of acidity and sweetness, with a slight alcoholic note that makes it perfect as an “after dinner”, and therefore particularly appreciated by the jury presided over by Kris Schakman (co-founder, CEO and green buyer of Five Elephant Coffee Roastery& Cake Shop in Berlin) and composed by Chiara Bergonzi (a multi-champion of Latte Art, SCA trainer and start-up consultant in the world of coffee), Vittorio Barbera (Import & Export Manager and Product Manager of Barbera 1870 Spa and Q grader of Arabica) and Dario Fociani (owner and barista at Faro in Rome, the first independent ‘specialty’ coffee of the capital).

“Participating to this contest – said Carlos Alvarado – was an opportunity to get involved and put me on the line regardless of the race itself. I am aware that I am only at the beginning of my journey in the world of coffee and I intend to continue growing. This competition helped me to understand the aspects in which I still have to improve. Having said that, I consider myself extremely satisfied because I have competed with top-level professionals and it was a great result for me to be able to classify in the first place “. 

In addition to the title of “Champion CMx ™ – Italy”, Carlos won a € 1,000 prize and the qualification to the World Cup final of Coffee Masters, scheduled in London in March 2019. Ludovic Rossignol-Isanovic, founder of the Coffee Festival format together with Jeffrey Young, commented: “To become a Coffee Master, the barista has to demonstrate a great level of skills in all disciplines, from cupping to brewing, to finally creating his own ‘signature drink ‘. Carlos Alvarado was extremely talented and over the past weekend has showed competence, ability, and creativity to sell. My warmest congratulations go to him. I am pleased to note that the movement that has sprung up around the ‘specialty coffees’ is taking hold also in Italy, alongside the traditional culture of espresso. Carlos is the perfect ambassador of this new wave. It will now be up to him to represent Italy at the Coffee Masters world final in March next year. We cannot wait to see him compete at international level “. The Italian stage of Coffee Masters was certainly a significant piece of the success of the “Milan Coffee Festival”, which recorded over 4,000 visitors for more than 50 exhibitors. A great success for the Allegra Events initiative that celebrates artisanal coffee in all its forms and that, after the editions of London, Amsterdam, New York and Los Angeles, has arrived for the first time in Milan, challenging the cultural heritage of a country, like Italy, still firmly tied to the tradition of espresso. Particularly crowded are the tastings, the coffee mixology demonstrations, but also the milk art shows, by virtue of a dense line-up with the participation of Italian and world champions of this singular discipline, the conferences and debates of the Lab, with the participation of distinguished guests, including the Spanish chef FerranAdrià, and, finally, aperitifs with music, pizza, coffee cocktails, craft beers and organic wines.

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