During a recent visit to the Milan Coffee Festival, I picked up quite a few bags of roasted coffee from various budding Italian roasters. Though Italy is widely seen as the home of coffee by many people around the world thanks to legacy brands like Lavazza, Illy and others, it was slow to adopt specialty coffee. Much of it has to do with the Italian way of life and how coffee is consumed. A shot of espresso rarely costs more than €1 and is often downed while standing at the counter. It’s often considered a birth right.
Despite facing major headwinds, Italian specialty coffee has made quite some progress to conquer the hearts and wallets of Italian coffee consumers in recent years and I was surprised to see so many new names exhibiting at the festival. One thing that I find quite amusing and in some ways endearing about Italian roasters is that many of them add stickers and other announcements about their competition accomplishments to their coffee bags. Even if they only came in 7th place in a local competition, they’ll make a point of telling you about it. Italian coffee clearly still has a lot to prove, especially to a domestic audience used to drinking its caffè in a very specific way.
One Italian roaster that has a much less serious approach and seemingly has more fun is Nowhere Future Coffee Roasters from Milan. When Luciano Bramante, Andrea Prayer, Federico Griffa and Francesca Cavazza set up their coffee shop in 2020, nothing went exactly according to plan but Nowhere’s friendly approach, outstanding coffees and inclusivity quickly won it many local and foreign fans. In 2021, when I first visited the now former café, I hosted a cupping session there and shortly after, Nowhere made its Coffeevine debut in one of our boxes.
At the time, they were still getting their roastery up and running and barely had a webshop. Fast forward two years and Nowhere now has a new flagship café on Via Vetere where they serve all day brunch alongside their growing list of excellent coffees and by now, have really become a destination in their own right.
While some Milan cafés are still trying too hard in my opinion, Nowhere is just a fun and loud place where coffee sits at the forefront but is not held up like some badge of honour. Rather than making their coffee seem foreboding, Nowhere’s branding is friendly and almost cute, making it easily accessible to anyone curious to drink better coffee.
During my recent visit to the new café, I asked Luciano if and the others wanted to be back in one of our boxes and he didn’t need to think twice. Soon after returning to Amsterdam, I received a package with tasty coffees to include in our most recent cupping session where we picked the winning selection for January. For this upcoming Coffeevine box, Nowhere will be roasting a delicious natural processed Indonesian coffee from the Ijen Highlands in East Java, the island that is synonymous with coffee.
We don’t often feature Indonesian coffees because their popularity is still somewhat limited but this coffee really is a standout. It’s sweet and savoury like salted caramel and it has a lovely depth of flavour with notes of mango lassi, dates and creamy cacao.
To receive this outstanding coffee and its companions for the January 2024 Coffeevine box with European roasters, visit the shop page to view our various boxes or buy the Total package that also includes our Global roasters selection for January. Pre-orders close on 15.01.2024 / Ships globally on 22.01.2024