your key to success in the specialty coffee industry

articles by Bruce Milletto and Bellissimo staff for fresh cup magazine and other publications

Fresh Cup
It's the People, Stupid by Matt Milletto: Fresh Cup MagazineSpot Check by Bruce Milletto: Fresh Cup Magazine Your Future on Paper by Kris Larson: Fresh Cup Magazine Arabian Blights by Bruce Milletto:Fresh Cup Magazine We're Talking Quality by Matt Milletto: Roast Magazine Social Networking by Matt Milletto: SCAA Chronicle Killer Cafe Design by Matt Milletto: Barista Magazine Italy by Matt Milletto: Barista Magazine Carts & Kiosks by Matt Milletto: Barista Magazine Coffee Training with Industry Expert Bruce Milletto: SCAA Chronicle Conference Flashback: SCAA Chronicle, by Matt Milletto WBC 2007 Japan by Bruce Milletto The Land of the Rising Coffee Culture by Bruce Milletto Signing a Lease by Bruce Milletto Your Entire Business is Marketing by Bruce Milletto Your Business Plan by Kris Larson Operational Systems by Ed Arvidson The Fall of Rome, and Now...The Italian Cappuccino Investing in your Baristas, part II: Hiring Training Employees by Matt Milletto Investing in your Baristas, part I: Hiring and Training a Great Team by Matt Milletto World Barista Championship Recap World Espresso Stop: Greece The Long Voyage: Italian Coffee's Route to U.S. Acceptance Café Ambiance Demitasse From Around the World Italy's Cafés: A Retrospective Greek Coffee: The Water is Wide Sharing the Wealth: Using Cross-Marketing to Build Community Profits Business Basics: Perfection-No Less Business Basics: Creating Art from a Pitcher of Milk Business Basics: Who is your customer? Business Basics: Importance of Logo Branding and Promotion Business Basics: Frequently Asked Coffee Questions Business Basics: Internet Marketing for the Coffee or Tea Retailer Business Basics: Why Marketing Works Business Basics: A Retailer's Guide to Trade Shows & Conferences Business Basics: A Drive Through Small-Town USA Business Basics: The Social Science of the Bean

Latest Bellissimo News

10.26.10 | Water Avenue Coffee Roasters Named "Best Bean" in Portland Taste-Off

Water Avenue Coffee, a new Portland-based coffee roasting company was named the overall winner, or “Best Bean”, in a coffee taste-off held in Portland’s Pioneer Square on October 8.  Water Avenue Coffee is owned by Bruce Milletto, president and founder of Bellissimo Coffee InfoGroup and The American Barista & Coffee School (ABC's); Matt Milletto, director of ABC's; and Brandon Smyth, the company's head roaster.

"Winning this event against Portland competition so early in the history of WAC is a strong statement about just how good our coffee is and what a dedicated and professional team we have," said WAC co-owner Bruce Milletto. "

The event, a fundraiser for the Portland YWCA, featured 15 local Portland roasters in a friendly competition where the public decided whose bean was best. Kivu Coffee, sold exclusively a Fred Meyer stores, was the winner of the “Big Bean” category, which includes roasters with more than one retail location. Trailhead Coffee Roasters was declared the winner of the “Little Bean” category for roasters with one retail location. The overall winner, or the “Best Bean” in Portland, was Water Avenue Coffee.

“We were thrilled to participate in such a fun and well organized event," said co-owner Matt Milletto. "It was great to see so many roasters come out and support a charitable cause. Winning overall “Best Bean” was such a great feeling and it really made us all proud of the dedication, passion and hard work we have put forth in the short six months since we began micro-roasting.”

Other participating roasters were: Boyds Coffee, Starbucks, Blue Gardenia, Caffe Umbria, Caffe Vita, Cardinal Coffee, Cellar Door Coffee, Courier Coffee Roasters, Oblique Coffee Roasters, Public Domain, Spella and St. Johns Coffee Roasters.

About Water Avenue Coffee
Water Avenue Coffee (WAC) creates handcrafted coffees in Portland’s Southeast Industrial district. All of WAC’s coffees are roasted on a vintage 1974 French Samiac 20-kilo roaster, which spent the majority of its life in the Swiss Alps, before finding a home on Water Avenue. The roastery is adjacent to American Barista & Coffee School, and effectively doubles the size of the ABC's instructional space to 4,000 square feet. Combining the roastery with the school makes the ABC’s experience one unparalleled in coffee education anywhere. With the addition of roasting classes, an education at ABC’s now includes almost every aspect of the coffee business.

08.09.10 | American Barista & Coffee School Offers New Coffee Roasting Workshop

The subtleties of coffee cupping, sourcing, blending and roasting, particularly for espresso, is the focus of a new one-day intensive workshop at the American Barista & Coffee School (ABC's) in Portland, Oregon.

The Roasting Overview and Concepts Workshop is designed as an-depth introduction to coffee cupping, blending and roasting for those coffee retailers who want to know more about the coffee they buy or who may be considering taking the first steps in setting up their own roasting operations. Participants will systematically taste and evaluate espresso blends, cup coffees for espresso blending and review roasting issues in regard to espresso.

“We are very excited to add roasting education to the ABC's curriculum, and we are fortunate to have a fully functioning roasting and retail operation integrated into the facility space," said Matt Milletto, ABC's director. "It is very important for retailers to understand how the roasting process relates to serving and preparing excellent coffee and espresso beverages. It is also great to see retailers take an interest in small batch roasting for their own coffeehouses."

The workshop is led by Brandon Smyth, head roaster and green coffee buyer for Water Avenue Coffee Roasters in Portland, Oregon and Justin Johnson, the former green coffee buyer and head roaster of World Cup Roasters, also of Portland.

Roasting Overview and Concepts Workshops are scheduled for October 27, November 20 and December 18.

Cost of the Workshop is $500 (including continental breakfast and lunch). For those registered for the 5-Day Business + Barista Workshop immediately proceeding or following this Workshop, the cost is $350. Visit or call 800.655.3955 for more information or to register.

09.25.09 | Matt Milletto Quoted in Seattle Times

Coffeehouse customers steamed about higher prices

Matt Milletto, director of the American Barista & Coffee School in Portland, said coffeehouses should consider raising prices every couple of years to cover the increasing price of doing business. But they should also find ways to absorb some cost increases, like the ones some coffeehouses are seeing now on coffee beans.

"Even if their costs went up $1 a pound to $9, which seems like a big increase, that's translating to only 2 to 5 cents in the cost of the drink," Milletto said. "That could justify a 5-cent increase (in drink prices), but if the retailer is serving a higher-quality product and can bring in five more customers a day, they've covered that cost increase (without raising prices)."

Click here to read full article.

Bruce Milletto Comments on State of the Specialty Coffee Industry in Business Week

Though the recession has hurt some coffee sales, it hasn't ended Americans' move toward higher-quality coffee, says Bruce Milletto, president of Bellissimo Coffee InfoGroup, which provides consulting and training to the industry. "Our taste buds have memories," Milletto says. "Once you drink a really excellent cappuccino, it's very hard to go back even to a chain store that may be using automatic machines."

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Bruce Milletto Comments on Starbuck's new "Independent" Coffee Shop Concept in November Entrepreneur Magazine

Bruce Milletto, CEO of Bellissimo Coffee InfoGroup and a leading industry watcher, thinks the company's motivation is more basic: Starbucks is returning to its roots as a comfortable "third place," a living space that goes beyond the home and the office. "People want to have ‘their' coffee bar, and they want to have ‘their' coffee," says Milletto, who remembers when Starbucks was a hip chain of four or five shops. "Starbucks has realized that's a niche they're no longer filling."

Bruce goes on to say,  "Once you have thousands and thousands of stores, it's difficult to have consumers look at you in the same way," Milletto says. "I think in coffee, the small independent will always win out if it's doing a fantastic job."

Click here to read full article

Essential information for existing retailers and anyone considering a career in retail specialty coffee

Starting a Coffee Shop Business Podcast
Produced by | June 30th, 2009

Bruce Milletto, president of Bellissimo Coffee InfoGroup and founder of the American Barista and Coffee School, offers his insight about how to start a coffee business to podcast host Matt Thomas of Bruce offers expert advice about getting started, choosing a location, picking the right coffee and espresso equipment, and more. [24 minute podcast]

Click here to listen to Starting a Coffee Shop Business Podcast

Matt Milletto Once Again Defends the Independent Retailer on Fox Business News

For the second time in two months, Matt Milletto, Vice President of Bellissimo Coffee InfoGroup and Director of the American Barista & Coffee School, defends the independent retailer on NATIONWIDE TV! As Matt says, "No, it is not all about price but quality." Click here to view feature on Fox Business News.

ABC's Featured in The Oregonian On-line!

The art of the Latte

07.23.08 | Matt Milletto Comments on the Specialty Coffee Industry for Fox Business News

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