Last 25 May saw the inauguration of FLUID – Specialty Coffee & Sharing, the innovative coffee shop conceived and created by Le Piantagioni del Caffè, a renowned Leghorn-based roasting company dedicated to specialty and high-quality coffees, and IDEA Food & Beverage, a strategy and marketing consultancy company based in Milan.
Le Piantagioni del Caffè’s specialty coffees are coffees traceable back to the plantation of origin that obtain the highest scores during tastings carried out according to SCA (Specialty Coffee Association) and CQI (Coffee Quality Institute) protocols.
FLUID is a place of inclusion and openness, created to satisfy the desire of Le Piantagioni del Caffè and IDEA Food & Beverage: to bring curious people closer to specialty coffees, with light-heartedness and joviality, in order to contribute to the evolution of this sector in Italy as well, and to develop a more sustainable supply chain made of higher quality coffees.
In FLUID, radical and new choices have been made: a sweet and savoury menu available all day long provides the alibi to attend FLUID at any time, even for studying and working, and the use of Modbar by La Marzocco coffee machines (integrated inside the over 7-metre counter, which reaches all the way to the street, without creating a visual barrier) allows the counter to be experienced as that of a pub. The bartender can thus educate the customer by explaining the characteristics of the different coffees served, the aromas, the production methods and the different extraction methods.
Five Mahlkönig E65S GBW coffee grinders are positioned on the counter: one for each of the coffees available for espresso extraction, so as to create a tasting path capable of introducing the consumer to the great variety of this world and allowing the customer to choose a different coffee to taste every day.
A further Mahlkönig EK43S is dedicated to grinding coffees for extraction using alternative methods to espresso: Chemex, V60, Aeropress and Batch brew. All extraction methods that return a different beverage from espresso, to be consumed slowly, experiencing coffee in a more relaxed and attentive way. It was precisely in the field of filter extraction that an innovative choice was made: a ‘Poursteady’ machine, typically used to facilitate baristas in the extraction of coffee in Chemex or V60, was placed in the centre of the room to allow customers to extract coffee in complete autonomy, creating an original and extremely involving experience.
Rawfish took care of the development of the brand new platform hosting the FLUID website, integrated with the management software, through which it is possible to order directly from the table, from home or while walking, in order to pick up take-away and avoid queues. The website also allows customers to chat with the staff, check their consumption habits and participate in games and contests. Skill Evolution has provided a four-square-metre LED wall panel that on the one hand allows training content to be broadcast and on the other hand allows the detail of orders ready and being prepared to be displayed.
People are also at the centre of the project: before the opening, the bartenders who joined the team were involved in more than two months of training. The café was designed to allow the team to put their skills to use in dealing with customers, putting them at their ease and educating them, rather than to perform repetitive tasks, which are mostly automated here. In a context in which it is increasingly difficult to find people who are still interested and willing to work in the catering sector, in which the personal needs of workers have often been neglected, the Fluid project instead aims to balance work and the personal lives of employees, creating sustainable rotation dynamics, eliminating ‘broken’ hours, leaving two consecutive days of rest for employees, and setting shifts with as fixed a cycle as possible, so that bartenders can organise their free time and work with serenity.
Photo credits: Andrea Storchi
Design: IDEA Food & Beverage
Shop fitting: AFA Arredamenti
Press Office: IDEA Food & Beverage
Borgo la Croce, 59B rosso, Borgo la Croce, 59r, 50121 Florence, Italy
Phone: 055 054 1347