The men of Caffè Ernani: Cristian

I maestri della tostatura media
Foto di Cristian, un barista della Torrefazione Ernani a Milano con la divisa estiva (grembiule Ernani e maglietta bianca mezze maniche) dietro al bancone del locale.
Hi Christian! First of all, thank you for taking the time to interview me.
You joined the team in February 2023. In recent months you have had the opportunity to settle in, get to know and make yourself known to colleagues and customers.
Now I ask you cold: what are your first impressions?

The very first impressions were sincerely a bit negative: the team was detached and interpersonal relationships cold, as well as a general nervousness, which is normal during working hours, but sometimes excessive.

The thing that surprised me though is that after two months everything has changed!

We united, I discovered a professionalism never seen before and a knowledge of one’s work so exhaustive to the point that it intimidated me a bit.

To date, this professionalism on the product and towards the customer is what has made me grow the most. I tried to absorb every single piece of information to treasure it.

Some new ones are still in the making, but no one has ever backed down to improve!

I’m so happy about it. Recruiting and hiring personnel is never easy, but feeling that we have succeeded is a great joy and a great credit also to Fabio, the Bar Manager, who made it happen.
Back to us, is this your first coffee shop job?

No, I’ve always worked in the cafeteria.

I started to approach the worlddell’hospitality since I was a child, this is why I chose the Carlo Porta Hotel Institute in Milan.

Initially I wanted to work behind the scenes, in the kitchen. Having started school and above all the world of Sala e Bar, I discovered the cafeteria, which immediately captivated me.

Contact with the public, the world of coffee and mixology had become my new goals.

After the hotel management school I did severalstage and catering, covering all possible roles, up to my first serious contract at the bar of a very important brand.

Here I learned to put insecurity aside, bringing out my character.

In fact, it wasn’t a beautiful environment and hazing was rampant, but at the same time it gave me the opportunity to grow and understand how to communicate better with everyone, thinking about the good of the club and the team.

Then I moved to Linate airport, where instead I learned to work at a very high pace, managing a large amount of stress and the nervousness of some customers.

Here I also had the opportunity to be the trainer of a group of guys who were going to work in a new store in the chain.

So I consider this too a great achievement and professional experience.

Finally, I worked for another 5 years in via Foppa in Milan, where I understood how to handle and not handle certain situations.

Here I entered for the first time in close contact with the evening and cocktail world, which I hope to further explore in the coming years.

Ok, you have done many jobs, as well as experiences. I think that by now the world of hospitality has no more secrets for you. You are something of a multifaceted figure!
So congratulations for all your experiential baggage!

Taking a step back instead, tell us how you got here from Caffè Ernani.

Actually a bit by accident. Let me explain: I was looking for a new job that would give me the opportunity to grow personally and professionally, as well as move from a part-time to a full-time contract. Plus I already knew I wanted to work in the day cafe.

Thanks to word of mouth, I learned that you were hiring a new bartender.

You were exactly what I was looking for and I considered myself up to your needs. So here I am!

After all, I’m still young and I could have risked changing jobs and you have given me the opportunity to enrich and deepen my knowledge of the product we deal with.

I’m happy to hear all this, sometimes the case brings us people like yours who are extremely prepared and passionate about this job.
You should never let them get away!
Whatever you want to learn and deepen, you know very well that we are here for this and it can only make us happy to receive questions from those who want to make this job great!
Having arrived here, I ask you if you have a goal for the future?

My goal is not yet well defined, but in general I am aware that I still want to grow a lot in the role of bartender.

Then over the years I would like to build a working position that would also allow me to detach myself from strictly “bench” work at times and start with a more managerial role.

I also have other passions and perhaps these will offer me a job in the future.

We will see!

You anticipated me, I was just about to ask you which ones hobbies or passions you have outside the coffee shop.

Let’s say that in general I am a handyman, or rather, a very manual person.

In fact, one of my greatest passions is to restore vintage bikes.

I work on looms ranging from the 1920s to the 1960s. The important thing is that it is vintage and with interesting lines, so that I can have fun and also have more income from the resale.

I started as a kid with the scrap I found around. Putting my hands on it, day after day, I have always improved, from the wiring to the mechanics, passing through the aesthetics.

The only difficulty lies in the spare parts, which are often unobtainable or available in areas very far from mine. For this reason, it sometimes takes up to three years to finish a bicycle.

Then, in the free time that I have left after the shift, I go climbing in Pero or outdoors, even if more sporadically.

I had started with a friend of mine a bit as a joke and as I improved, I became more and more passionate about it. Over the years a beautiful group has also formed, thus becoming both a physical challenge and a moment of socialization and meeting.

Finally, I’ll tell you the last thing then let’s move on, I also did rugby. I would recommend this to anyone because nothing shapes you like this sport!

You form character, you learn to assimilate and react to defeats and blows. It’s not only brutally physical, but it’s very mental. This is precisely what determines victories and defeats.

I don’t think anyone has so many passions and spends so much time on their hobbies, so really well done. It’s wonderful to be able to devote yourself even to what doesn’t concern work, with constancy and determination, always showing tenacity and strength.
I hope you will continue like this always!
To conclude, and then I’ll leave you to your work, I would ask you the usual usual questions:
  • What do you like most about Ernani?
  • What would you change instead?
  • What goal do you have?

As already mentioned, what I like most is the relationship with colleagues: we laugh, we joke, there is good communication, we are always on the same wavelength, there is support, approval, stimulus… in short, a truly excellent relationship, not obvious and not easy to find in other workplaces.

However, what I would like to change, even if it is very complicated, is the square footage of the place or being able to move to another larger place. This would therefore give us the opportunity to communicate more with the customer, deepening certain discussions or curiosities, as well as offering more products or different extraction methods.

Finally, within Ernani, I would like to obtain more managerial responsibilities and, if possible, start a training project with you, Martina, to become the trainer of the restaurant myself.

I immediately take your request as accepted! I can’t describe the pleasure I feel when people even tell me “I want to know more”, this shows your non-superficiality and the desire to ask questions to improve.
Che say Cristian, thank you so much for your time and for telling us so many things about you.
I wish you all the best in your future!

See you soon in Torrefazione!

Marketing, E-commerce e Social Media Manager
Coffee Lover


Martina Mazzoleni

Marketing, E-commerce e Social Media Manager Coffee Lover

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sono Martina, come ti possiamo aiutare?
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