While in Milan for DC Campus last week, it was our distinct pleasure and privilege to sit briefly with Bruno Dalla Corte, patriarch of the Dalla Corte brand and a lifelong Italian espresso machine technician. He started his life in coffee in 1947, when at the age of seventeen he was hired as a technician by La Cimbali. He and a team of four were directly responsible for advancements in water circulation found in the Faema E-61, a machine that’s still used in many cafes today.
In Milan, where Dalla Corte is based, there are over 6,000 espresso machines in bars, restaurants, and cafes. His son, Paulo, joined forces with Bruno in 1970, and for decades the two sold over 500 La Spaziale machines a year with their company, COSMO. Together, the two founded Dalla Corte in 2001.
Bruno Dalla Corte is a busy man at 85, and our interview time with him was brief. We’re particularly fond of the portraiture you see accompanying this feature, shot by Sprudge co-founder Zachary Carlsen in Milan.
What’s your favorite cafe in Milan?
My house! I have a DC Mini, and Paulo brings me different kinds of coffee. I’m lucky to have the chance to taste the quality coffees from around the world.
How many coffees do you drink a day?
Not so much anymore. When I was a technician, I’d drink maybe twenty coffees a day. Now, I drink around five.
You’ve been working in coffee for sixty-seven years. How’s it been?
I’ve always wanted to do something good for the industry – for the barista. It’s brought me great satisfaction, but not much money.