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Meet Italian Barista Champion 2020: Daniele Ricci

On January 19th and 20th, the Italian Barista Championships took place in Rimini. We’re extremely proud to mention that the winner – Daniele Ricci – is actually one of the members of our Kerkstraat barista team! Time to ask Daniele a few questions about his experiences, why he loves working in coffee so much and what his future goals are… 

1. When did you start working in coffee?
I started when I was 17, thanks to a basic course I did.

2. When did you start working at Bocca? And why did you choose Bocca?
7th of February 2019 was my first day at Bocca. I fell in love with the shop when I came here during the WBC 2018.

3. Why did you decide to participate in the Italian Barista Championships?
I like to put myself on the line, comparing my skills with other professionals. It’s motivating to focus and study all the details about coffee.

4. How did you experience the competition? 
This year it was amazing. I really enjoyed that and I had a lot of fun. I was well prepared so I didn’t feel any pressure.

5. What drinks did you prepare and which one are you most proud of? 
In the competition you must serve 4 espressos, 4 milk beverages and 4 coffee based signature drinks. They all were really particular but this year I was really happy with my signature drink because I let the judges ‘play’ with some colours which, in turn, enhanced their perception of the flavours.

6. How did you come up with this idea for the signature drink and what did it include?
For my competition I brought a concept based on senses, flavours perception and multisensory analysis. I’ve been working with Dr. Fabiana Carvalho, a neuroscientist in multisensory perception from the São Paolo’s University. Together, we kept studying how all the five senses affect our tasting experience. The judges were focused on three underrated senses during the tasting: we let them taste the espresso with the headphones, using an high-pitch notes soundtrack in order to improve the bright acidity that was in the coffee. For my milk beverage I asked the judges to hold and rub a soft pink silk, that enhanced the perception of the mouthfeel, thanks to the sensation transference between touch and mouthfeel itself. In the signature drink the judges have been asked to stare at the colors I showed to them, so they perceived the flavour notes in a easier way. I decided to focus on the five senses because I think, especially with Specialty coffee, that we’re never just tasting something, but we’re always tasting everything.

7. So, next step is Melbourne. Are you excited? What do you expect?
I can’t wait to get there and meet the best baristas in the world. It will be a pleasure and I think it will be a good challenge for me. I hope to reach the finals.

8. What would be your advise for people who don’t know that much about coffee yet, but are willing to learn more? 
Everybody can easily learn more about coffee, even online. But, I think the most important thing we all can do is to give the right value to the cup of coffee you want to drink. You can’t take a coffee for granted.

9. How do you make your coffee at home?
Me and my flatmate have created a beautiful set-up for making filter coffee, with a lot of coffee from around the world. The V60 is my favourite brewing device.

10. What’s the most delicious coffee you’ve ever tasted? 
Good question! I’d say the coffee I brought to the championship: Carbonic Macerated Catucai 2sl, from Ecuador. And the sweetest coffee I’ve ever tasted: natural process Geisha from Panama, finca Auromar.

11. What are your plans for the future? Coffee and not coffee related? 
I’d like to continue working in the Specialty Coffee Industry, travel to coffee-origins and continue meeting wonderful people. Not coffee related: I’d like to visit the North Pole and go to Asia.

Watch the final rond of the IBC

The World Barista Championships take place in Melbourne, Australia, from the 4th to 7the of May. We wish Daniele lots of success and above all, lots of fun, in his Australian adventure!