Let me tell you about my passion for this fascinating Barista craft.
Many people say that the coffee runs through their veins. And that is my case. I come from an Italian family that arrived in Venezuela around 1900 and who traveled around the whole country looking for the ideal soil and climate conditions to grow and harvest coffee. That’s how they settled down in Los Andes, where they managed several coffee farms. Among them, there is a very well-known, the Hacienda La Victoria, located in Santa Cruz de Mora, today’s Museum of Coffee.
The aroma of the coffee always brings me back to my family and to the gatherings around the table. We even had a ceremony to have coffee. My grandfather, César Paparoni Dávila, was the first one to bring the Gaggia Espresso Machines to Venezuela. For that reason, you could always find an espresso in our kitchen.
With a degree in Business Administration, I worked for over 20 years in the event world, setting the trends in the Caracas’s scene, as I organized many night parties for over 2000 people. That provided me with experience related to service, staff and event planning. I got more and more involved with the world of Food and Beverages. I owned the Europa Restaurant in the Centro San Ignacio, Caracas. It was a haute cuisine 5 star restaurant, with high standards and the best qualified personnel to serve diplomats, presidents and personalities. Throughout those years, I opened several Food and Beverage establishments, and coffee was ever present.
My first espresso
I constantly thought about starting a coffee shop, because its dynamic is exciting and faster. There are all kinds of people, at any time, everyday, and I love that!
I’ve always been looking for excellence, and that’s how, in 2005, I took my first coffee course with Illy from Italy in the French Culinary Institute of New York. There, I learned all the specific parameters for the preparation of an espresso, a cappuccino, and Latte Art.
I was impressed by discovering that there was a training based on coffee. Let me tell you that there is indeed the University of Coffee of Illy in Trieste, Italy, in the northern coastal area, where it’s held one of the world’s biggest coffee exhibitions.
As you may know, I love traveling because it allows me to generate new ideas that could be applied to our reality and to our projects. That’s why I went to Boston to the annual exhibition of the SCAA (Specialty Coffee Association of America), with a more than 5,000- square-meter exhibition exclusively of coffee! There, I made the most of time and took courses of Latte Art and customer service.
I still had the goal of opening my own coffee shop, and then my wife and I had the opportunity to participate in and win a public tender in the Plaza Los Palos Grandes, in Caracas. And since more than 6 years ago we have the Café Provenzal, where we daily serve more 300 coffee cups and we offer a large coffee-based drink list.
After taking all the levels of the modules of the Coffee Diploma System in Barista, Roast and Brew between 2013 y 2014, I traveled to London in 2015 and I got certified as an Authorised SCA Trainer (AST), and that’s how I became one of the three barista trade trainers in Venezuela.
Recently, I traveled to Verona, Italy, where I got the international certification in Brew (methods). Therefore, I am already preparing my agenda, organizing new courses to share with you the newest methods to prepare coffee.