What is the Master Coffee Grinder Championship?

I maestri della tostatura media

Today we are going to discover one of the most anticipated Italian coffee competitions, or rather grinding!

MCGC is a competition started in Turin by Fabio Verona, a leading professional figure in the industry and recognized by everyone as an excellence: coffee expert, trainer, great bartender and much more.

He wanted to create a competition in which the focus remained fixed on education.

How to test it, how to really test a bartender?

Analyzing the regulating ability of the coffee grinder and espresso recipe to obtain the beverage with the flavor profile required by the judges.

The grind championship thus becomes a transposition of every barista’s daily work, or rather what any barista, technician or coffee lover should do: set the grain size of their coffee to be able to bring to the cup the aromatic and sensory characteristics expected by the roaster.

The race

This year the race is now in its third year, confirmed by the great enthusiasm of both competitors and sponsors old and new.

  • Specifically, contestants will be faced with a highly professional espresso machine with all the useful tools, an ondemand coffee grinder, and Specialty coffee beans.
  • The judges will give them a full description of the drink they would like to taste.
  • The contestant must then in 15 minutes come up with the right espresso recipe, modifying temperatures, doses and especially the coffee particle size, to obtain exactly the drink described above.

This is a seemingly trivial task but one that has challenged many experienced competitors in previous editions in no small part, as it is not simply a matter of extracting a good drink, but of being able to demonstrate to the judges and especially to oneself, to know and understand coffee, to know what interactions take place with the equipment, cups and recipe for the success of the espresso that truly represents the coffee used. And again, the bartender must also prove to be a skilled taster, able to tell at the first sip what is missing and the flavor notes just tasted.

Interesting isn’t it?

The figure of the bartender

We say it again and again: today the barista can no longer be just that stereotypical figure of the operator who makes coffee and talks about soccer.

Customers are increasingly demanding and, above all, informed; they expect to have precise answers to their questions. Therefore, it has become essential to raise the cultural level within bars and to recognize the bartender as a complete and knowledgeable profession.

Not to mention the enormous role the barista plays along the coffee supply chain.

A very long chain ended by the final link: the one who prepares and serves the drink.

A year’s work, starting on the other side of the world, can be completely ruined in the last 25 seconds of extraction.

The bartender cannot just push a button, he must know the product in his hand and how the raw material should be processed to extract only the best and offer his customers true moments of pleasure.

There is no point in searching for quality, expertly roasted beans if you do not know how to grind them or how to create a recipe for the selected coffee.

That’s why Master Coffee Grinder Championship was born, and every year it shows how this professional figure is becoming more and more trained and prepared.

The themes of the championship

As we have said, the first and central theme is training.

However, it is not useful to know without also considering the impact of one’s work.

Therefore, the second theme discussed is sustainability.

Before, during, and after the actual event there is an opportunity to participate in talks and workshops to understand the two topics described above, such as:

  • The importance of millstones used for coffee grinding, this year with the help of Keber technicians;
  • The presentation of IWCA Italy, the Alliance of Women in Coffee, by the current sole Italian importer: Alessandro Spiga, of Spiga trading. IWCA Italy is the body dedicated to increasing women’s empowerment along the coffee supply chain, promoting the building of a global network that brings gender equality in the social and labor spheres;
  • Talks then organized by SCA (Specialty Coffee Association) to discover what coffee is and tasting to touch on what they are talking about.

The stages

The first stage has just been discussed in Turin, Italy, at Lingottofiere during HorecaExpo.

In fact, Fabio Ferrara won on Sunday, March 17, moving directly to the finals to be discussed in Milan toward the end of the year.

Instead, second place was won by Ilaria Izzo, thus gaining access to the semi-finals.

The next stages will be held instead:
  • Sunday, June 16, in Florence, at the Eureka plant.
  • Instead, in September we will go to Sicily, more specifically to Vittoria, hosted by BrazilCafè
  • Finally towards the end of the year we will go up to Milan for the semi-finals and finals!


So if you want to test yourself, experience the world of racing and demonstrate your skills and knowledge, sign up for the next stage in Florence, there are still 3 places available!!!


There are so many sponsors and they are all critical to providing the best possible experience.

  • Dalla Corte’s Studio multiboiler espresso machine. With this, the bartender will find extreme ease of use by means of the convenient dispensing lever and a constant serving temperature;
  • The new Eureka grinder, on the other hand, will enable an extremely consistent dose at all times regardless of the filter used, thanks to the innovative patented Instant Grind Weighing Technology mounted on the silent Atom W75. The contestant will only have to worry about choosing the grain size through the use of the intuitive continuous micrometer adjustment knob;
  • All this is complemented and made even more valuable by Keber millstones;
  • The participant will also be able to change the filter, thanks to IMS’ filter equipment, expanding the extraction possibilities;
  • This is combined with cups in two different sizes produced by IPA Porcellane – Made in Italy;
  • Consistency in water quality will always be guaranteed thanks to Brita’s filtration systems;
  • And equipment cleaning taken care of by Pulycaff;
  • What is new, however, will be the equipment made available so that they can work at their best, through products made by Metallurgica Motta;
  • E DVG De Vecchi Giuseppe;
  • Instead, the fine coffee beans for the first leg were provided by Costadoro – B Corp, all strictly Specialty Coffee and IWCA certified.

Why am I telling you about this race?

Because this year it involved me personally! No, I did not participate in any competition, but I was the social manager of the event.

I had a great time all day, met many figures in the industry whom I respect enormously, and met new ones.

It was intense and full of excitement, I can’t wait to participate in the second one!

See you in Florence in June!

Marketing, E-commerce e Social Media Manager
Coffee Lover


Martina Mazzoleni

Marketing, E-commerce e Social Media Manager Coffee Lover

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