For three days, from 27 to 29 October 2022, the coffee industry from Italy and beyond gathered in Trieste.
Triestespresso is a business event and a place to meet old friends and make new contacts in the industry. When I arrived, I was worried that my lack of passable Italian would make me an outsider. As it turned out, that could not be further from the truth, as the Italians were wonderful hosts who welcomed me and spoke enthusiastically about coffee.
Perhaps this was partly due to the indefatigable Franco Bazzara, the company’s president, who was a force of nature as he kept waving me over to introduce me to industry leaders and colleagues, as well as the kind attention of his sons Marco and Andrea and Bazzara’s marketing manager Isabella.
Besides coffee, Bazzara also presented their books, including the new CoffeeExperts, a huge achievement that every coffee lover should own.
The event spanned several buildings on the Porto Vecchio in the city, with a free bus shuttling visitors to and from the centre.
Inside, there were green bean traders, commercial roasting and packaging equipment, and many commercial coffee machines and grinders, among other things.
One of my favourites this year was Mazzer, which had a whole range of grinders on display. I spent a lot of time with the new ZM and ZM Plus speciality grinders, which have a rock-solid quality feel and come with a number of unique features that make owning one a real pleasure.
I also spent some time with their clever tamping station and the new hand grinder, called Omega, with the slow but smooth burr set. The quality was as I expected, but it felt very solid, perhaps almost a little too heavy, although the grinding performance was as good as any I have tried so far.
IMA was present, as usual, and exhibited a speciality roaster and an aluminium capsule packaging machine. I discovered that while aluminium has a bad reputation with environmentalists, manufacturers have their hands tied when it comes to entering some markets.
An unexpected pleasure was meeting Sauro Dall’Aglio of BIT, a former coffee master who is on a mission to improve flavour extraction with a better system that combines specially designed baskets and perfectly matched tampers to get a rounder and less bitter shot. His system really works, and he made me one of the best cappuccinos I have ever had.
Lever machines were a special topic, with La San Marco showcasing top-of-the-range machines. La San Marco impressed with their unique designs, including pannel-beaten metal or transparent housing, which allowed customers to see the elegant inner workings of the machine.
Royal also impressed me with its Generation X top-end commercial system with a modern design reminiscent of PlayStation game buttons, and a colourful user interface.