Today was just unreal. We arrived in Firenze by train yesterday, and this morning we (eirik johnsen, bernt, audun and me) took the bus out to La Marzocco's factory for a guided tour. Paul Bassett (WBC champ 2003) and his wife were there too, as well as 3-4 other people. We all met in the lobby, said hello to ron, piero and claire from LM, and then went up to a room where we got to play with a really nice linea with a unique golden look. The coffee in the grinder was really nice, a local blend called "Oke coffee" which Claire from LM told me had been on the market for over 20 years. It poured really nice and was rich and aromatic. Paul Bassett started making shots and cappas, and then we got to play. After half an hour of talking we moved on to a tour of the factory/workshop. Claire took us through the whole process of making a LM machine. It was surprising to see how basic and hands-on the production is. Since the US plant has been shut down, the production has almost been doubled lately. The normal production is 900 pr year, but this year they will have to aim for 1500. And of course, there are a lot of orders waiting.
After the tour we drove by car for half an hour to a fantastic toscana villa where we had a complete italian lunch which was *tasty*. We got to talk more. I was lucky to sit next to Paul and we discussed filter sizes, grinders etc, plus of course the coffee scene in australia and norway.
We returned to the factory to make some more coffee, and then we said our goodbyes and got some nice bounty (marzocco cups etc.). It was a super day. I felt so privileged. It is weird to think that I didn't know anything about espresso a couple of years ago, and now I get to come to tours like these and met so many nice and interesting people.
I took some pictures, but I can't upload any before I get home to Oslo this weekend. 6/23/2004 09:18:00 PM