Fast. Well-dressed. Polite. These are the baristas of Milano, working at the espresso bar in classic destination cafes across the city like Caffe Aperol, Caffe Milano, and Caffe Martini. Sprudge co-founder Zachary Carlsen convinced 5 of them to sit for photo portraits and brief interviews while in Milan for the 2014 DC Campus event. This feature is a followup of sorts to Mr. Carlsen’s gonzo Milanese cafe crawl feature from 2013.
Pino works bar at the busy and ornate Caffe Aperol. He’s half barman, half magician, pulling shots faster than the eye can see while pouring beer for the next order. Pino wears a smart black tie with a crisp white shirt.
Francesco pulls shots at Caffe Milano. He’s one of the youngest baristas we met on our tour. He’s quick, hospitable, and dreams of one day living and working bar in California.
We found Gioncarlo at Caffe al Borromeo, tucked away from the busy main streets. His shot was the sweetest of the bunch, and as a barman he was warm and welcoming. His attire is decidedly dressed down for Milan, handsome in a blue number worn casually unbuttoned. Giancarlo don’t give a damn.
Salvatore is a busy man. In the warm April afternoon, Caffe Martini is bustling with tourists hungry for gelato and thirsty for an Aperol spritz. Salvatore hand-washes dishes between pulling shots behind Martini’s ornate marble bar.
At Caffè Sforzesco, Silvio works behind the bar in a tidy bow tie to match his apron. The oversized bouquet of flowers on the bar stunts his already slight frame, and the bar is lined with spent glasses of negronis. In spite of these obstacles, Silvio is confident, competent, and ready to serve.