WE LOVE COFFEE, Fabio Menichelli's interview

Today we enter the SCAE universe from a privileged point of view, thanks to this interview to Fabio Menichelli, Speciality Coffee Association of Europe Authorized Trainer, defined by industry experts as the best association in Europe that works to promote coffee quality culture. Let's try to understand better what happens inside this big community that is lately revealing a proud image of itself, as an ambassador of a coffee quality culture that wants to distinguish and renovate itself, always looking for the good and beautiful side of its environment. It's a world of professionals and champions, but also good friends....just like in the case of Fabio Menichelli, whi is with us now, for this interview exclusively released for the blog ilcaffeespressoitaliano.

FABRIZIO - Hi Fabio thank you for accepting this interview. You had the luck of becoming an AST (Authorized Scae Trainer) Can you tell us how your working path started within this association?
FABIO - I am a SCAE member since 2004, but I already knew the world of Speciality Coffee and competitions because of my previous working experience in Australia. Following some years as a competitor at the Italian Barista Championships in different competition formats I decided to become an authorized trainer to be more involved in the training activities linked to this field but mostly to improve myself as a trainer. At the moment I am trying to spread and let people become more aware of SCAE training in the Lazio and Rome territory in particular; It's a very interesting territory  where coffee is taken very much in consideration and has high consumption rates, but were it's still necessary to work on bars baristas, managers and owners preparation, where you may find that basics procedures in coffee making are still missing.

FABRIZIO - Thank you Fabio; what do you do when you are not involved in coffee education?

FABIO - Following various experiences with different coffee roasters in the Lazio region, I am currently working for Golden Brasil Coffee in Ardea, Rome, where I am also looking after coffee quality control and blends produced by the roasting company. I am also consultant for SCAE with the position of observer;  I conduct auditings, visiting the other Authorized Trainers when they hold certifications for the Coffee Diploma System, both in Italy and Europe. This activity is about improving the quality of Coffee Diploma System Certifications.

FABRIZIO- Just a quick question: SCAE or direct working experience? I mean, for a young person that wants to know more in the universe of coffee, is it better to start a curriculum of professional studies or just jump behind the bar and look for a direct experience in a bar or coffee company?

FABIO -  For sure the direct experience behind the bar is important as a first approach and it's useful to have a basic preparation, also because in Italy is hard to find occupation without a minimum experience, for youngsters in particular, while in other countries it's often the opposite, and solid certifications are required by employers.
It's absolutely necessary for anyone wanting to continue to work in this field to include all levels of studies in their curriculum, and it's a never ending process that lasts forever, training has no time limits and must be based on sharing. We need to find ways to involve young people and make the new world of coffee easily accessible to anyone.As for professional trainers, I think that who works in education shouldn't be working on becoming a superstar or put them selves on a top of a pedestal, but we often see prevailing the commercial and business orientated side of education.

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