Coffee is what you put into it. For Andrea Spella, it's heart and soul.
Raised above his grandmother's European bakery in Chicago, Andrea Spella first knew espresso as the thick stuff brewed on a stovetop and drunk with pastry after school. This childhood ritual, steeped as it was in old-world tradition, isn't far from the espresso experience Andrea has cultivated over the past ten years in his caffè.
Before the caffè, there was a cart. And before the cart, Andrea dedicated himself to learning all that he could about coffee and fine dining -- and he studied with some of the best. He apprenticed with Kevin Knox and Paul Songer of Allegro coffee in Colorado for many years, and considers the time that he spent training with these industry veterans to be paramount to his personal process of figuring out what he loved (and what he wanted to avoid) in the business of roasting and making coffee.
In committing to honoring the time-tested preparation of Italian espresso, Andrea is also constantly seeking and calibrating the best modern techniques available in order to keep this tradition alive. With one foot in the past and one foot in the present, his holistic approach includes taking great care with the product and respecting all of the hands it passes through on its way to the demitasse cup. Although he initially created and built Spella Caffè as a sort of one-man show (sourcing, roasting, distributing, brewing, and serving all on his own), Andrea sees his business -- and the team who helps run it -- as something much greater than any single person. It must be, in order to carry this rich tradition authentically into the future.