Bugan Coffee Lab: The pioneering brother-sister act from Bergamo

Bugan Coffee Lab: The pioneering brother-sister act from Bergamo

After two decades of advancing the Italian specialty coffee scene, Bugan Coffee Lab from Bergamo finally debuts in a Coffeevine box this April


Family is everything. And I mean that in the truest sense of the word. It can be a blessing, it can be a curse. It can be everything you ever wanted it to be or the total opposite; everything you never wanted it to be. DRAMA! But as was famously said on RuPaul’s Drag Race, ‘a family that drags together, slays together.’ And so it is written.

In the case of Bugan Coffee Lab from Bergamo, this is how it is. This brother-sister act that emerged from a small coffee bar founded by Maurizio Valli in 2000 has, over the past two decades, became a force to be reckoned with and is a worthy candidate for the title of Italy’s most accomplished specialty coffee roaster.

I’ve had Bugan Coffee Lab on my radar for many years, especially since one of its closest associates Andrea Villa has been a long-term subscriber. Andrea and people like Daniele Ricci who now lives in Brussels are amongst many current and former staff members who have won countless competitions and accolades while at Bugan including Daniele’s epic second place in the World Barista Championships last year. Bugan has also been crowned Italian roaster of the year and taken home the Italian Brewers Cup title.

Yet, Maurizio and and his sister Sonia always remained humble and focused on the advancement of specialty coffee in their home country. After Maurizio began visiting coffee producers in the early 2010’s, he understood that coffee was so much more than the €1 espresso that is traditionally served in Italy and that is seen by many Italians as a human right. In many respects, Italy’s traditional relationship with coffee has prevented it from becoming a specialty coffee powerhouse but a fast-growing group of roasters like Bugan and others are making sure that things are changing.

Once Maurizio had decided to step his game up and source better coffees, him and Sonia opened their own cupping lab, academy and micro roastery in 2014 from where things took off. Their goal was to increase the understanding of coffee and offer much needed trainings to potential coffee professionals to elevate Italy’s homegrown specialty coffee industry. These days, their Academy still plays a vital role in the business and many leading baristas have passed through their doors on the way to achieving greatness.

Most coffees are sourced directly from producers and great care is taken to ensure they represent a diverse range of origins, flavours and price ranges to cater to a bigger variety of customers, from novices who just want better coffee to those looking for exceptional coffees to brew at home or at their cafés.

When I bumped into the Bugan team at the Milan Coffee Festival in 2023, the fate of our future partnership was sealed. Sonia pushed a big goodie packed with delicious coffees into my hands and asked that I please consider them for a feature. After tasting their coffees back at home, the decision to move forward was pretty easy. At last month’s public cupping in Utrecht, Bugan’s excellent washed Ethiopian coffee from Bombe was a crowd favourite. No wonder really. We’ve featured coffees from this producer on a regular basis and they are always outstanding.

This coffee has a classic Sidama profile with lots of florals and citrus notes. I know you will love this.

To receive this outstanding coffee along with its companion coffees from A Matter of Concrete and Craft House Coffee, order our European roasters selection or the Total Package with all coffees including our Global and GEMS roasters selections for April.

Pre-orders close on 15.04.2024 / Ships globally on 20.04.2024

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