Daniele Ricci: Coffee Insurrection Hero Chapter #81

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Daniele Ricci: Coffee Insurrection Hero Chapter #81

Coffee Insurrection
1- Introduce yourself: who are you, where are you from, where do you work and what’s your job.

I'm Daniele Ricci, 2023 World Barista Champion Runner-Up, I'm 25 and I was born in Italy, but I live in Switzerland, where I moved after two years in Amsterdam. I'm currently working as head-barista and responsible for quality check for MAME Specialty Coffee, in Zurich, as well as trainer and R&D consultant for a few companies all over the world.

2- When and why did coffee become important to you?

Coffee became important when I approached coffee competitions when I was 16 years old. I started realizing how deep the coffee world is and how much knowledge I could explore by studying and researching.

3- Do you remember the first coffee you had that was more than “just a cup of coffee”?

Yes! It was actually my very first competition coffee, a Catuai & Caturra from Cafè de Eleta, in Panama. Malt, hibiscus and orange: I remember it as it was yesterday.

4- What’s your favorite thing about going to work in the morning?

Definitely getting to how coffees taste on that specific day, seeing if and how they have changed from the day before. But also meeting so many coffee enthusiastics.

5- What’s your favorite brewing method and why?

It really depends on the moment of the day. At home, I usually make filter coffee, while at work I prefer brewing espresso shots. Personally, my personal brewing method is espresso, probably because I’ve been making it since day one, but it really depends.

6- Which is the best coffee you ever tasted?

This is a very difficult question. I have my top-5, but they’re all very different so I can not really say which one is the best. By heart, I’d probably say the one I used in the Italian Barista Championship 2020, that gave me the opportunity to win my first national championship: a Washed Carbonic Macerated Catucai 2SL from Hacienda La Florida, Ecuador. But also a Panama Gesha from Finca Auromar, that I used in 2018. There are so many…

Daniele Ricci

7- Is there a country of origin that you tend to favor coffee from? Why?

If I had to choose one country to drink coffee from for the rest of my life, I’d probably go with coffees from Panama. The heritage they have with soil and microclimate there is just unique. Definitely my favourite producing country, even though lately Colombia has been crazy.

8- Suggest us a roastery to check (not the one you working at/you use at work).

There are so many good coffee roasteries nowadays. My recommendation goes to , in Treviso (Italy).

9- What’s the most important things you’ve learnt while working in the business?

Probably the respect towards everyone working in the coffee industry, as well as the respect towards coffee itself. Now I’m much more aware of the work that’s behind a simple cup of coffee and that’s the greatest challenge for me to share.

10- How your work and the specialty coffee world are coping with Covid and the new
challenges for hospitality?

Now it got back to “pre-pandemic” times, but Covid restrictions were a true challenge for everyone, especially in the hospitality. Though, I believe that coffee has gained some importance during lockdowns, because people had time to read and talk about its quality and because it was one of the few options for people to meet.

11- How do you see the specialty coffee scene in 10 years?

Grown from now, more focused on sustainability, surely with many people working in the industry and probably with more jobs required. I hope there will be more specialty coffee shops. I can’t wait to see how it will be in 10 years.

12- Where do you see yourself in 10 years?

I will be in the coffee industry for sure, perhaps with my own roastery and/or coffee shops. I would love to travel more and to get to know more people around the world, more farms and different approaches about coffee production.

13- Any last word? Any tip or suggestion you wanna share with someone that want to
start this path?

Coffee industry is tough but it’s worth the time and the passion you’re investing in it. Big things need time, don’t give up.

                              Daniele Ricci

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