By Lisa Harrison
s many as 1,200 compounds contribute to the unique flavour of coffee versus 800 for wine. Coffee’s richness develops as the raw bean is roasted, caramelizing the natural sugars and releasing aromatic oils. The final flavour depends on the bean type, where they were grown, their ripeness at harvest, the length and intensity of roasting and, of course, preparation. Few people know how to brew a perfect cup of coffee more expertly than Giovanni (Gio) Lauretta of GioBean Espresso in Kelowna.
Born in Turin, Italy, Gio spent 15 years with Douwe Egberts, one of the world’s largest coffee roasters.While he was their account manager in the United Kingdom, his top client alone purchased 140 tonnes annually. In his role as a trainer, he educated more than 12,000 people including hundreds of managers from Hilton Hotels worldwide. The training involved developing a refined nose and palate for exceptional coffee. He became one of only three accredited barrista trainers in the UK and judged the UK Barrista Championships. As one of 30 coffee specialists for Douwe Egberts, he travelled to coffee plantations to meet with growers. This café, in the lively Arts District in downtown Kelowna, is miles from the Lauretta family’s original plan. Gio and his wife Lucy met at a resort in the Alps two decades ago. She was a tennis pro from England and he worked in hospitality. After The line-up at the bar.
magazine • FALL 2010