We are excited to be back with our tête-à-tête with Bruno Colozza from Barocco Coffee.
Roaster of the month has been started with an intention to know more about each roaster. The details we might have missed while we were enjoying the brewsome coffee roasted by them. This is a small step to highlight their efforts and to know more about them.
This is the exciting journey of Bruno. Read more to know how his specialty coffee journey started and how the whole team got together to brew some magic.
How did you start your specialty coffee journey?
I started my coffee journey in 2003 after exiting an 11 year run in manufacturing for large US companies. I was looking for a change of pace and always loved coffee and food.
I travelled to Italy for 2 weeks to focus on the Italian espresso bar scene with the intention of opening an authentic one in Toronto. I chose Illy coffee at that time and opened b espresso bar on Queen St. East. It became well known and written up. A second location was opened in the Royal Conservatory of Music as part of the new Telus Centre for Performing Arts in 2010.
At that time I transitioned away from Illy and started trying local roasters as I learned more about specialty coffee. Soon after in 2012 as fate would have it, I was introduced to the CEO of Aurora Importing, (Nunzio Tumino), who had just started a coffee roasting facility in Mississauga and was looking for someone to run it. His original intentions were to partner with an Italian coffee company but they pulled out at the 11th hour due to the economic crisis at that time. I took on a 6 month contract and never looked back, selling my interest in the b espresso bars and buying into Barocco Coffee.
When I first joined Barocco, the biggest challenge was to turn around the direction of the company. It was focused on privately labelled commodity coffee while the industry was growing on the specialty coffee segment.
After significant product development with Karl Edmond who had moved to Canada from the US where he was previously roasting coffee and some much needed branding work, we expanded our offering with quality blends and single origins. We were quickly recognized with winning medals at the 2013 SIAL Expo in Toronto.
In 2015, I met Phil Lanzarotta and after working together for 6 months found a great synergy. After that he joined as a partner and together we have continued to build the business with a focus on food services clients (cafes, bars, restaurants, hotels). Phil’s corporate background was key in implementing needed internal systems and creating an overall formal roadmap towards our goals. Together we have been able to push each other towards continued growth and expanded our industry knowledge.
Last but not least, Noah Walker joined our team in 2017, bringing with him a relentless pursuit of coffee roasting excellence. He proceeded to work on our internal roasting equipment with customized modifications.
Over the past 3 years we have won 9 medals at the Golden Bean North American roaster’s competition in the US.
From which region did you first source your coffee?
The first region was Brazil. We continue to work with Gabriele Carvahlo, a 4th generation farmer who moved to Canada and commutes back and forth to the farm in the Minas Gerais region of Brazil.
Which is your favorite method to brew your cup of joe?
Espresso followed closely by pour over using the Japanese Origami dripper.
Your favorite snack/dish to pair with coffee?
Dark Chocolate OR Peameal Bacon and Fried Egg Sandwich
Any proud Barocco moment that you would like to share with the coffee lovers?
Can’t choose just one. Proud of our team and how they have all come together to work through this 2020 pandemic. The opening of Barocco x Nino, our first cafe. Winning the medals at GBNA!
For all the coffee enthusiasts, which one will be the most adventurous Barocco coffee?
Our limited editions
What will be your advice for someone starting their specialty coffee journey? Any Barocco coffee recommendation to begin this journey?
Have an open mind, don’t be intimidated and go for what you like (versus what you think is popular). ALTO is a great starting point. A dynamic blend with good balance. From there you can venture either towards traditional or more third wave.