The men of Caffè Ernani: Amine

I maestri della tostatura media
Amine, barista della Torrefazione Ernani a Milano, dietro al banco con la divisa: camicia bianca e grembiule marrone Ernani
Hi Amine! First of all thank you for taking the time for this interview on your day off.
You joined the team in November 2022 and you have had the opportunity to settle in, get to know and make yourself known to colleagues and customers.
What are your first impressions?


With this word I summed up everything!

To explain myself better, however, I say that I did not expect this job to be like this. I’ve already worked as a bartender in other cities and clubs, but never at such a frenetic pace and above all with respect for quality in every part, as here at the Torrefazione.

But actually I like all this!

Having to commit so much, having to grow and learn is inspiring. I found myself in front of a whole new challenge and I can’t wait to see what else awaits me!

Then the relationship with the customer is very beautiful and fascinating, in its best and worst forms, that is when they try to drive you crazy.

It’s funny to see how my behavior behind the counter changes theirs too, in fact understanding that a smile and (good) indifference are the best weapons I have.

Finally, I always try to focus on the positive comments, which stimulate you and make you grow, and don’t listen too much to the negative ones, dictated by the client’s nervousness and stress.

And finally the team is no different: we work very well together and I’m happy to be part of it.

I really like your spirit! I think that’s the best way to approach this job. A smile is truly a weapon, it can change the course of the day for you and also turn it around for customers, not only for their well-being, but for yours, who will have to face fewer and fewer complaints and work with polite and kind people. So congratulations!
You said you’ve done this job before, so how come you didn’t expect it like this?

In reality, I first graduated from the Institute of Electrical Engineering and Mechanics, then starting my professional career as a mechanic and tire fitter for about 4 years.

I didn’t mind the job but the main problem was the contract or rather the absence of the contract… Not having stability and security about the future prompted me to change course.

At the time I was still living in Sicily in the province of Messina.

So I started working in the restaurant business, albeit in a very different way. This is why I say that I didn’t expect the job as a bartender like this.

In Sicily the work is seasonal from May to September, so the contracts are also different.

Then, unless you work in a purely touristic city in the month of August, the work has a much less frenetic rhythm, more calm and relaxed, without any rush, neither on the part of the client nor on the part of us workers.

Finally, in Sicily I wasn’t a real bartender, as the roles were less defined: one worked a bit at the counter, a bit at the till, a bit in the dining room and a bit in the kitchen… in short, wherever there was a need you were.

Here in Milan it’s a whole different story!
But it’s cool!
I love receiving all these challenging stimuli and I can’t wait to grow even more!
And once again congratulations for your spirit and the way you take life and work. Considering these fast rhythms as stimuli and challenges allows you to face the day with positive energy. This will benefit you a lot in the long run and above all it will take you high and far!
But taking a step back, tell us how you got here?

I decided to move to Milan because, unfortunately, as much as I like it, in Sicily there is no future in the workplace, also and above all at the contractual level. Stability and security are few and most places the contract just won’t let you.

With the help of a friend of my brother’s who hosted me for a few months, I managed to come here in Milan and now I’ve found a home and live alone.

In the meantime, I spent the first month studying the city and dropping my curriculum everywhere. One day I came to have breakfast at the torrefazione, I saw the sign for personnel research and it intrigued me, but I was also sure that you were only looking for trained and experienced people, given the reputation of the place.

After a week, however, I took courage and left my CV here too. The next day to my great surprise Fabio contacted me immediately and here I am!

In fact, I like that you train the staff, giving everyone the opportunity to grow and become a true professional!

I feel lucky to work here.

And I am thrilled by your words. I always tend to see the flaws in my job and in administration work in general, being a perfectionist myself. However, hearing that our employees consider themselves lucky to work in Ernani makes my eyes watery, and I’m not exaggerating!
Having arrived here, I therefore ask you if you have a goal or plans for the future?

Right, each of us has a goal for our life.

Mine is to continue to grow with you, deepen the world of coffee more and more and become a true professional.

And I sincerely admire and take a lot of inspiration from Luca, our boss!

He changed his life, going from an electrician to the coffee sector and in a small part I see myself again. It must not have been easy for him, but he did it very well.

I want this to be a lesson for my future.

From your words we can hear your goodness of mind and your big heart. You let your voice show admiration and never envy, understanding and never judgement. You are a very driven and inspired guy and for that I admire you!
In addition to work, however, I imagine that you also have other commitments, hobbies and/or passions. Which?

Thank you Martina for what you told me, I appreciate it.

Returning to us, however, one of my greatest passions is horse riding. I love going into the woods on horseback, in contact with nature and with this beautiful animal.

This love was passed on to me by my grandfather who always took me around the woods as a child. I felt free, at peace and in complete harmony with my surroundings.

Sometimes I would like to go for a walk again, but in Milan it is a bit complicated. I’m sure, however, as soon as I settle down a little more, I’ll look for stables towards the periphery.

Then consider that for us Arabs the horse is a very important symbol, always belonging to our tribes, with a history of symbiosis and help with the centenary man, so much so that it is considered a sacred animal. For me it is therefore really important.

Then as another hobby while I was in Sicily I went to play Paddle at least once a week, this point to resume soon!

Again you feel your passion. I like talking to people who convey these feelings, so thank you very much for the chat!
Finally, and then I’ll leave you to your well-deserved rest, I’d ask you for the usual questions:
  • What do you like most about Ernani?
  • What would you change instead?
  • Why did you choose Ernani?
  • What goal do you have?

As you have been schematic in the questions, so I will answer you too:

  • I certainly like Ernani’s staff and the internal system, i.e. the fact that you never stop learning. In fact, as I have already said, the motivation is continuous.
  • Instead, I would change only a small organization of the Staff, in the sense that I would define the roles of all of us more clearly so that the hierarchy and therefore the responsibilities are better clarified in an unequivocal way.
  • I chose Ernani because, as already mentioned, I feel honored: it made me discover coffee, a drink that I didn’t consider so interesting, as well as such an act of cultural significance. Then having the opportunity to work in such an important place in the history of Milan would certainly have left me something!

However, I will not repeat yet what my goal is as we have already talked about it.

However, I will conclude by saying one thing: “I BELIEVE IN CHANGE!”.

I think there is everything in this sentence: trust in the positive change of people and of life. This also involves having to commit to change and improve, as well as not being afraid of the future, but taking everything to the fullest and seeing where life takes you.

This is my philosophy!

Well, Amine, thank you so much for your time and for telling us so much about yourself. And thank you also for leaving us with this mantra of yours, I will treasure it!
I wish you all the best in your future! See you soon in Torrefazione!
See you soon at Ernani Roastery!

Marketing, E-commerce e Social Media Manager
Coffee Lover


Martina Mazzoleni

Marketing, E-commerce e Social Media Manager Coffee Lover

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Ciao 👋
sono Martina, come ti possiamo aiutare?
Risponderò a qualsiasi tua domanda dal lunedì al venerdì, dalle 9.00 alle 18.00! ☕️💛