His relationship with coffee is one of those indissoluble bonds that accompany you for a lifetime. Christian Tirro, president and lecturer of the Italian Barista Academy, was director and consultant at prestigious historic venues throughout Italy, including Caffè degli Specchi in Trieste, Caffè Contarena in Udine, Gran Caffè Schenardi in Viterbo, Caffè Meletti in Ascoli Piceno.
Talking with him is like being in front of the Grand Master of the Italian Cafeteria in the World.
His adventure in the world of the coffee shops began as a child, when his father decided to buy the Bar dei Pini in Faenza.
He couldn’t make coffee for the customers yet, but he collected their orders.
This is where his personal journey begins, which ultimately leads him from the family bar to the opening of his own place, the Bar Flambé in Faenza.
He travelled to Italy, Europe, the East and China and after bringing his knowledge of the perfect Italian espresso abroad, he decided to devote himself exclusively to Italy, passing on his knowledge to new generations of baristas, or, in his words, “every day I land in a different city to do comprehensive trainings for professionals, so they are able to create a ritual, to have their own unique and unmistakable style”.
For Christian, this commitment is equivalent to not stopping his travels, because every cup of coffee is a journey, every sip of espresso brings with it exotic scents born along ocean crossings, desert wanderings, land explorations. In every drop of coffee there is the civilization of one people, the tradition of another, the habits of yet another. There is history, both individual and community, the sense of a moment and the moment of every sense.
Christian knows this well and tells it with respect and enthusiasm to the many future professionals who follow his teachings.
“The intent is to defend the tradition of Italian espresso, its rituals, its specific characteristics. Like the typical Italian roasting that allows the coffee beans to have a greater porosity, since the extraction time for the drink is fast”.
In his lessons there is never a lack of reference to the story of Gaggia ““It was Achille Gaggia himself who changed the Italian espresso market way back in 1938, who created a style, who revolutionised the world of coffee”, he says “with a system for extracting coffee that could better preserve the flavour and the aroma and create a wonderful layer of crema on the surface of the drink”.
Even at home, coffee has its own rituals during breakfast with the family: coffee for him, cappuccino for his wife Matilde and milk for little Adelaide, while “after lunch, espresso is an acquired ritual, while now I no longer count those I drink for professional reasons”, he says.
Coffee as a transfiguration of sentiment, coffee as a human and collective memory: for Christian and for us at Gaggia.
Follow Christian and the Italian Barista Academy on Instagram @christiantirro @accademiaitalianabaristi and on the website https://accademiaitalianabaristi.it/ .