Drinking in views, espresso and aperitivo with La Marzocco

People, Flavour, Innovation – a story of six Allpress AU café partners, Allpress crew, and La Marzocco, cast against the beautiful backdrop of Florence and Milan.

In March 2024, six wholesale customers from across Australia joined the Allpress and La Marzocco teams to soak up the hospitality scene across Florence and Milan and draw inspiration from the story of La Marzocco.

Our first day as a group started with a tour of the rising specialty coffee scene in Milan, led by our wonderful La Marzocco host Tommaso. Coffee in Italy is still rooted in dark, traditional roasts, however specialty coffee is on the rise and very much influenced by the coffee scene in Australia and New Zealand.

In these new specialty cafes, La Marzocco machines sit proudly on café benches next to wide offerings of blends, single origins, filter and broad coffee menus with some old familiars – Flat Whites, Lattes and Long Blacks – no Melbourne Magics in sight though.

{Left: Nowhere Café & Coffee Roasters: Navagli Milan. The owners spent time in Melbourne before returning to Italy to roast their own coffee and run cafes. Right: Tommaso (LM ITA), Micka (Sparrow Coffee), Jeanette (Trappers) Helen, Sanna, Nick (Allpress)}

On a fast train journey to Florence, we spent the next day exploring both traditional and specialty coffee shops with our La Marzocco host Angelo. We took in historical sights of the city, ate some extraordinary sandwiches and of course, drunk lots of espresso.

{Left: Jeremy Norris (Byng Street NSW) enjoying a delicious Foccacia and a cheeky cup of red. Right: Tucking into Florence’s best panino: Jeremy (Byng Street NSW), Simon (Monsieur Pierre VIC), Carmel (Hey Buddy TAS), Helen (Allpress) Sanna (Allpress), Nick (Allpress), Jack (Kopi Lennox NSW), Jeanette (Trappers NSW), Micka(Sparrow QLD)}

Day three took us up the hill to Accademia del Caffé Espresso – a site dedicated to the history, innovation and hospitality of La Marzocco. The custom machinery at Accademia is as spectacular as the company’s history, laid out on a visual timeline with video installations, a museum of artifects and mementos and pop-up cafés from decades past.

We visited OFB (Officine Fratelli Bambi) – a workshop dedicated to preserving the handcraft of machine-making using traditional metal-working tools and processes. A legacy to ensure that these techniques are handed down to future generations.

Accademia del Caffé Espresso - Brydon talking through the history of the Linea Classic with Jack from Kopi

We experienced one of the most memorable meals of the trip curated by the chefs in the Accademia Kitchen and then Simone, Accademia’s Coffee Lead, took us through a full coffee tasting ending in the most delicious, fluffy coffee gelato. Bellisamo.

In the afternoon, we sat down with our AU partners to do a market overview led by Allpress NNSW and QLD Regional Manager, Nick Passi. It created some rich discussion, sharing challenges, innovation and opportunities. It was really quite special to see some lightbulb moments flicker and partners bond over trial and tribulation, particularly on the other side of covid. We gave our customers a sneak peak of our future brand plans and hearing their feedback was invaluable for the Allpress team.

Dinner was hosted by the lovely La Marzocco Italy team and we were truly spoiled with delicious food and wine.

Left: Tasting a Colombian coffee roasted at Accademia del Caffé Espresso - prepared as filter, espresso, cold brew and coffee gelato. Right: Simone creating the fluffiest, creamiest coffee gelato - without any milk or cream! Signature coffee drinks are on the rise in Australia and New Zealand.

Our last day in Florence began at the Factory in Scarperia, where over 40,000 La Marzocco coffee machines are made each year. To see them meticulously assembled by hand gives you a new appreciation for La Marzocco craftsmanship.

Our lovely host Alla took us through all the assembly stations, where we met scores of talented craftspeople, many of whom have worked at the factory for decades.

The group enjoying a delicious dinner at La Menageré Florence

After a lovely lunch across the road (the fried bread was to die for), we got on the bus to visit a local Tuscan olive maker, Francesca at Villa Campestri . She and her sister produce a beautiful olive oil with handpicked fruit from their family farm. We experienced a tasting of single and mono varietals and walked around the property with beautiful, misty views across the valley of Tuscany.

Left: Strolling the streets of Florence with Micka, Carmel, Nick, Helen, Jack, Simon, Sanna, Angelo. Right: Olive Oil tasting at Villa Campestri Tuscany: the Olive Oil is hand picked by Francesca’s team and meticulously filtered for a clean, fruity, distinctly peppery flavour.

The last supper together was incredibly special. Friendships made, memories created and shared over bread and espresso – and many negronis. The customers on this trip have vowed to keep in touch, with Jeremy already booking in our reunion tour in Australia.

Left: The group at Villa Campestri, del Mugello, Tuscany. Right: Farewell dinner - a wonderful end to an unforgettable trip.

This trip was one of those career, even life, highlights. A beautiful coming together of people from different backgrounds, sharing an experience uniquely created by Allpress and La Marzocco.

This special experience will be an annual event, so please look out for more details this year for the 2025 tour. Talk to your local customer manager about how you can get involved and have the best chance for next year’s trip.

Ponte Vecchio (The Old Bridge), Florence - Sanna, Carmel, Jeanette, Micka, Nick, Jack, Simon, Helen, Jeremy, Brydon.