Born and raised in an Italian family, our newest Content Contributor fell in love with coffee at a young age. The Moka pot was all he knew and enjoyed until he left home. Only once he entered adulthood and went out on his own; did he discover the whole new world of speciality coffee. It’s very rare for you to find him without an espresso in his hand, as to him an espresso is the equivalent to mother sauce in the culinary world. Although he will always love the traditional espresso, he admits that his palate is changing and gravitating towards new-wave espresso. One which is complex, and full of funky and unusual tasting notes.
We could not be more excited to announce that @mtlespressolove will be joining the Holey Brewed team as a Content Contributor!
What type of content can you expect from @mtlespressolove?
The goal of his page is to share unique coffees being developed by passionate coffee roasters and artists. His page is a one-stop shop for coffee reviews that analyze and score the fundamentals that make up great coffee. Not only will you learn more about coffee, but you will learn about new roasters and how to pick out a coffee that best suits you!
Mr. HB hopped onto a plane and headed over to Montreal to chat with @mtlespressolove at his favourite cafe called Caffe in Gamba. They spent a couple of hours chatting and drinking espresso (obviously) deep into the night!
Mr. HB: The decade is over! As you look back to the last 10 years, what are you most proud of? Do you have any big plans for the next 10 years?
MEL: I’m most proud of my wonderful family. My wife, Nancy, and my children, Alessandro and Emily, are my everything, my joy, and my happiness. Basically, I’m a family man. The next ten years will be filled with family adventures as well as continuing to share my love of coffee by teaming up with you. Let’s hope this coffee marriage is as joyful as my first!
Mr. HB: I like our odds!
Mr. HB: What is your favourite type of coffee and why?
MEL: Is that real question? My favorite coffee is espresso, hands down! Not an easy shot to master, especially those pesky 7-gram espresso shots. But once mastered, the result is a complex syrup that can be mixed into several other phenomenal drinks. The espresso is the equivalent to the mother sauces in the culinary world. It is the base for a cortado, cappuccino, latte, americano, flat white, and many others. While I love the traditional espresso, right now my palate gravitates towards the new-wave espresso. I’m one of those guys who goes bonkers for the funkiness and complexity of third-wave coffee.
Mr. HB: Where did your love for coffee come from?
MEL: I remember waking up as a young child to the smell of the Moka pot. My father, a working-class Italian immigrant, had high coffee standards. He ALWAYS bought freshly roasted coffee directly from a local roaster. I learned at a young age that coffee is not something to be had on the run, but rather, it’s a way of life.
Mr. HB: Speaking of a new decade, how do you see the coffee space changing in the next 10 years?
MEL: Coffee is evolving into a scene that is reminiscent of the wine industry. I wouldn’t be surprised if in the future we’ll have coffee stores similar to LCBO (Ontario) or SAQ (Quebec) where we can walk in and have a vast selection of specialty coffees from around the world. I also see the coffee scene become more ethical and sustainable, working closely and learning from and valuing the farmers who grow the product.
Mr. HB: I smell the aroma of a business idea!
Mr. HB: What is something you wish you could change about the coffee space?
MEL: I first fell in love with coffee as a young child (not kidding!) while at the kitchen table with my Italian family. The Moka pot was what I knew and enjoyed until adulthood when I discovered speciality coffee. In Montreal, we seem to have, to a certain extent, two major coffee scenes: one being Italian espresso and the other being specialty. What I’d like to see is a certain marriage between the two. I’d like to walk into an Italian café that offers nostalgic cultural memories and sit down to drink a specialty coffee that blends new and traditional flavours.
Mr. HB: Where did your inspiration for @mtlespressolove comes from?
MEL: I started MTL Espresso Love because friends kept asking “What’s with all the coffee?” when looking at my personal Instagram page. They were right! My page was littered with latte art pictures, espresso extractions, and myself enjoying coffee. I came to realise that not only am I passionate about coffee, but knowledgeable as well. I do have 16 years on the espresso machine, and an additional 10 on the Moka pot! I tell you Brandon, this is no longer an obsession, but a full-blown coffee fetish. I guess it’s safe to say, my inspiration came from my everlasting passion for coffee, and I wanted to separate my personal life from my coffee life. I also wanted to join a community of coffee aficionados. Hence MTL Espresso Love was born.
Mr. HB: Great answer. As well, I only let family call me Brandon, welcome to the family.
Mr. HB: What makes your Instagram account special compared to so many out there?
MEL: My goal with the page is to share the wonderful coffees that are being created by passionate coffee roasters/artists. This is achieved by showcasing each coffee reviewed in a number of ways, such as latte art, coffee extractions, review pending, all of which culminate into a coffee review that highlights the various flavour profiles of the coffee. My page is essentially a one-stop shop for coffee reviews. It’s quite different from other coffee pages.
Mr. HB: You have a very in-depth scoring system. Care to breakdown the characteristics you evaluate on and the overall strategy you use.
MEL: It’s complicated, but essentially the reviews provide two key descriptions. Firstly, the cultivation including such things as the region of origin, altitude, farm, process; and second, the quality of the coffee based on such things as acidity, body, intensity, sweetness, aroma, crema, flavour, and aftertaste. I take my time to find the grind that works best for each coffee and I profile the coffee in various formats (espresso, cortado, etc.). I truly enjoy the reviewing process and I work to experience the coffee in its best possible manner.
Mr. HB: Intense! I hope you are not reviewing this interview!
MEL: I am, and you are failing.
Mr. HB: Moving on...
Mr: HB: Why did you choose to join Holey Brewed as a Content Contributor?
MEL: I see Holey Brewed as a platform that unites the coffee community and serves as a one-spot shop for coffee knowledge. MTL Espresso Love is a perfect fit! I can share knowledge and learn from others who are as passionate as I am about coffee. I’m excited to be part of this community, and it gives me an excuse to drink a lot more coffee!
Mr. HB: What advice would you give someone newly getting into coffee?
MEL: Be openminded, try the various branches of coffee that exist so as to gain appreciation for the complexity of coffee. The community is kind, reach out to us with any questions and we’ll be happy to share and learn with you. Also, don’t be shy to support your local caffeine dealer.
Mr. HB: Thanks for sitting down with me and ‘beviamo piu caffe’!
MEL: Your accent is terrible…idiota
Mr. HB: I know what that means!
He has also confirmed that he also enjoys a good doughnut.
Check out @mtlespressolove page and give him a follow!
For general business inquires or to book @mtlespressolove for an event, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
Mr. HB | Holey Brewed