Cafetto cleans up the competition

As the first company to produce a certified organic range of cleaning products for the coffee industry, Cafetto is no stranger to undefined


It is this attraction to being at the cutting edge of the industry that has propelled the Australian company to be involved with World Coffee Events (WCE).

This has resulted now in Cafetto’s sponsorship of all of WCE Championships, including the World Barista Championship, until 2017.

For Cafetto’s Managing Director, Chris Short, this is the perfect way to stay plugged in to the industry.

“I love the coffee industry and I love the involvement with baristas,” he says. “So for me it’s been valuable to be very connected again with the industry, and particularly with baristas, and also to see some of the amazing changes that have taken place in the industry due to competitions.”

Cafetto’s sponsorship means its products will be the cleaning products of choice at all WCE competitions.

Cafetto’s EVO Espresso Machine Cleaners, which is certified for organic use, was the official cleaning product used at the 2015 World Barista Championships.

At the Coffee In Good Spirits and World Latte Art Championship events in Gothenburg, Cafetto’s Tevo Maxi Espresso Machine Tablets were also used.

However Cafetto’s involvement in Gothenburg in June was not limited to supplying its products to competitors.

“Now we’ve created a venue for Gothenburg called Barista Base Camp in partnership with Sweden’s Espresso Gear, for the competitors to come and practice in for their competition presentations,” says Short.

This was built as a part of the Specialty Coffee Association of Europe’s (SCAE) World of Coffee Event that is hosting the World Brewers Cup Championship, the World Coffee in Good Spirits Championship, The World Latte Art Championship, and the World Coffee Roasting Championship.

The Barista Base Camp was similar to another of Cafetto’s contributions to the competition space – the Barista Buddy training venue that it built for the 2013 World Barista Championships that were held at the Melbourne International Coffee Expo.

This was a part of the Barista Buddy program run by the Australian Specialty Coffee Association and sponsored by Cafetto, which matched visiting competing baristas with baristas from Melbourne who were able to show them around the city and introduce them to its unique specialty coffee scene.

The program also included the Barista Buddy training venue at Cafetto’s facility, located close to the competition venue.

The facility included two competition spec espresso machines, fridges stocked with Pura milk, and a lounge with LCD TVs and a table tennis table. The space was used throughout the competition as a place for visiting baristas to practice their skills and connect with each other and the local industry.

“The training facility was booked out the entire time. We even extended the opening hours way after normal business hours to maximise their use of it,” Short said at the time. “Like the whole Barista Buddy program, the training space was fun and friendly – though deadly serious about coffee – and there was camaraderie among the competing baristas.”

It is through initiatives such as this, Short says, that Cafetto is able to gain real insight into the evolving needs of the industry.

“What we do get out of this is very valuable,” he says. “For example [2014 World Barista Champion] Hidenori Izaki spoke to me about the need for a new type of cleaning product that we have started research on and he’s been doing some trials on, so I’m sure that will lead to a new product in the market place in the next year,” Short says.

Izaki says that, as a champion barista, the cleanliness of his equipment is of paramount importance to the quality of his products, particularly in the competition setting.

“It’s necessary to getting the best espresso out of coffee,” Izaki says. “It’s the very first step that I always check out. If I taste some defect in my espresso, I always clean up the machine and taste again.”

Izaki says that cleanliness, or lack thereof, is the source of many of his problems when trying to get the best flavour in the cup.

“I could say more than 80 per cent of problems come from unclean machines, dirty coffee oil, and coffee powder around the shower plate. To bring out specialty coffee’s features – clean cup and flavour – it’s necessary for the competitor to care about machine cleanliness,” he says.

Izaki adds that this concern for cleanliness goes beyond the competition space, and is necessary in everyday coffee service.

“To serve consistent coffee for consumers, the machine and equipment has to be always clean,” he says. “Coffee oil stains on the group head, and even inside of the machine, and it creates less clean water to brew coffee.”

Izaki says that for the best results, it is important to keep the equipment clean throughout the day.

“I even find that the espresso can taste oily during the day,” he says. “It’s just like we wouldn’t be able to serve some food with dirty dishes in a restaurant.”

While cleanliness is a key concern for Izaki, he says that baristas must also be conscious of what materials they are using to keep their machines clean.

“Since coffee is going straight to the consumer’s mouth, we need to pay the best care to the cleaner also,” he says, adding that the fact that Cafetto offers an organic range is a big factor for him. “Their customer-oriented attitude actually makes a big difference on the products,” he says.

Short has come to rely on the feedback of people like Izaki and the current World Barista Champion, Australian Sasa Sestic, for feedback about what products they should be developing and how they function.

“We tend to have a network of people who we can rely on for advice and for testing,” he says. “Hidenori did some testing for us and we’ve been talking to other people like Sasa Sestic about what they see that will be drivers in the industry in the year ahead.”

Short says the super-automatic manufacturers are another segment of the industry that have taken their lead from the competition space.

“I think what happens is the competition area gives rise to improvements in coffee that are then feeding through to the super-automatic business,” he says.

“Because the standards that people now have for coffee are so much higher than they were say, 10 to 20 years ago, what that’s doing is it’s driving other people to look at the way they design and manufacture machines in other areas, whereas if people were still happy with instant coffee then none of those things would have developed.”

This has led Cafetto to become far more involved with the manufacturers of super-automatics as their needs have evolved.

“These machines have become far more comprehensive in what they can do, with many, many more options,” he says. “There’s also the need for automated cleaning, which is becoming more prevalent – so what used to be a very manual process is now an automatic process. In some cases you hardly need to interact with the machine.”

This has led to Cafetto developing another world-first in coffee equipment cleaners.

“We’ve been asked to develop organic products for the super-automatic part of the industry,” he says, adding that this is in line with Cafetto’s ongoing commitment to sustainability.

“We’ve made sustainability one of the foundation values of our organisation that we need to pursue,” he tells GCR Magazine.

Never one to slow down, after a busy start to the  year, Short will direct his attention towards a number of European events to continue driving Cafetto’s brand awareness across the globe.

“We’ve got a drive to have some new products in the market at the end of the year,” Short says. “Unfortunately, the coffee industry is going to have to wait until then to find out what they might be.” GCR

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