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Partnership Stories - The Hoxton

Posted in News

Written by Danielle Rueb

December 02, 2020

Meet Hoxton Head Barista Danilo

Posted in News

by Danielle Rueb

Long-time partner The Hoxton, located in the heart of 'The 9 Streets' district, has been serving LOT61 coffee since the day it opened it's doors back in 2015. Read on as Head Barista Danilo Caracci gives us an update on all things coffee within the hotel.

Hi everyone! My name is Danilo.

I'd like to take you on a little journey that started 5 years ago. I was born and raised in Tuscany, although I spent quite some time traveling and working in places across Europe and Mexico. After that my final destination became Amsterdam, where I work full time as the Head Barista for the Hoxton.

Nowadays the travel adventures have slowed down and I mostly find myself, when I’m not at work, at home reading, brewing coffees or cooking with the sweet company of my lovely cat. What Amsterdam has shown me is that there is a great sense of freedom and accessibility to the rest of the world which I am so grateful for to get to explore and experience here. 

What was your most defining coffee moment?

Coming from a very small village, I like to remember the first time, as a small child with my mom, walking inside the biggest café in the closest major city. Everything looked so big and the baristas were at the center of the show - brewing a cup of coffee whilst moving so elegantly in front of the beautiful silver coffee machine. It's top filled with white ceramic cups. I wanted to become one of those guys behind the bar.

I was still a child but as a brave Italian kid I was already allowed to finish the last bit of coffee my mom left in her cup. It wasn’t much in the beginning and it certainly wasn’t any sort of specialty coffee but that one drop, combined with a lifetime of coffee moments shared with friends and loved ones, create a deep love and respect for the beverage. Throughout my journey I've been lucky working with many other coffee professionals who all share the same passion.

Danielle: Hotels are famously known for serving 'below average' coffee, but at the Hoxton you have paved the way for this transition. Tell us about your journey and how you see the industry moving forward?

The Hoxton is a small chain of boutique hotels which prides itself on its values of high quality products and inclusivity, giving young talent space to experiment and to be innovative in the industry. A lot of roads had been paved already before I started working for the company. I like to think that I keep the motivation at a high and put a lot of effort in producing a great cup of coffee. It wasn’t hard to convince everyone that a good cup of coffee can create happiness. Tell me who doesn’t want happiness? Hah!

I see more hotels now investing in a coffee culture trying to be remarkable in every detail, hiring experienced and passionate people who can create a great coffee experience. Most often they change to local suppliers and move away from big brands. I am sure that this is only the beginning of specialty coffee expanding in new industries.

"Brewing a cup of coffee whilst moving so elegantly in front of the beautiful silver coffee machine. The top filled with white ceramic cups. I wanted to become one of those guys behind the bar."

This has been an interesting year, are there any lessons you have taken away from it?

I was lucky enough to visit Ethiopia right before the first pandemic arrived here in Europe. I always wanted to visit Ethiopia and stay at a coffee farm, walk through the forest and see with my own eyes what a coffee farmer’s life looks like. When I came back from this trip it changed me as a barista. It gave me a deeper understanding on the journey behind coffee.

(Danielle) Being Italian but working with specialty coffee, tell us about your experiences when it comes to drinking coffee in your country of origin.

Hard times overall haha. Especially when you're trying to find someone who’s doing coffee differently. Old Italian style, short espressos are everywhere. Btw, the beans they use over there are not as burnt as most people believe!
I like to think that time moves slower in this part of the world. Most small villages and it's inhabitants are used to the same things and it takes time for new trends to get adopted. I just focus on everything else and try not to worry too much about specialty coffee when I am there. Thankfully it's easy to get distracted in Tuscany. Whenever I'm there I like to add some delicious grappa to my espresso after lunch every now and then. We call it "Caffe Corretto". Most of all I like to just stand at the bar and chat with an old friend or just watch people.

Whenever I'm lucky staying more than a week in Tuscany I always pack my Aeropress and some coffee. Often from LOT61. Hah!

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