MUMAC Academy Talks – Carmen Clemente

MUMAC Academy Talks, the format dedicated to the stories of Italian coffee professionals is back: the fourth episode devoted to Latte Art with LaCimbali M200.

We talked to Carmen Clemente, the Italian Latte champion who will compete in the world championship at the World Of Coffee in Milan in June. Together, we discussed the potential of the new LaCimbali M200 super-cold touch steam wand.

MILAN, 23 May 2022 – Born in 1980, Carmen Clemente is originally from Grottaglie and created the first team of professional barladies, the ‘Barlady Team’ in Milan. After obtaining her A.I.B.E.S. certificate in 2002, Carmen began working in the most famous bars in Milan. In 2007, she set up her own all-female team and began working with brands such as the Mondadori Group, Sale & Pepe magazine, Lapo Elkan’s Italia Independent and A.C Milan. With her barladies, she organises cocktail events ‘at home’ and corporate catering in any location through her portable bar counters.

The entrepreneurial idea led to a first bar in Milan: in 2011, the Barlady Cafè was established with great passion and dedication; in 2013, the young and talented Manuela Fensore, world Latte Art champion in Berlin in 2019, joined the team. At the Barlady Café, coffee making is a real art form: the two professionals offer their customers artistic coffee and cappuccino creations. Their love for Latte Art has earned both women many awards: in 2017, Carmen and Manuela won 2nd place in a Latte Art competition organised by Faema; in 2019, Carmen came 4th in the national Latte Art finals and in 2020 she became Italian champion. Also in 2020, together with Manuela Fensore, Carmen founded the ‘World Latte Art & Coffee Center’, a training school dedicated to the coffee world.

She is the star of the fourth episode of MUMAC Academy Talks, the first format dedicated to the stories of coffee professionals and their professional, technological and training experiences.

How did you enter the world of ‘latte art’?
“In 2011, following a career as a bartender, I decided to open a bar. Before opening it I attended a training course, which was where I discovered the world of Latte Art.” 

How are you preparing to compete in the world championship?
“It’s by no means easy to organise my time between work and training, but I try to use every spare moment to get to grips with the techniques that I’ll use in the competition, partly thanks to Manuela Fensore, who is training me to the max for my first world championship.”

In Latte Art is it important to use a high-performance machine like the M200?
“Absolutely. Latte Art is not just about a good steam wand; coffee extraction also plays a very important role. In my view, the M200 is the ultimate model in this respect: I have always described it as the Ferrari of coffee machines in terms of both design and performance.”

What is your feedback on the new M200 super-cold touch steam wand?
“This steam wand is incredibly high-quality, offering superior performance and helping you to easily obtain silky smooth milk, which is essential for excellent frothing.”

How important was it to be properly trained in order to make optimal use of the product?
“Training to operate the product you use every day for your work is essential, since this allows you to fully exploit the machine’s performance.”

What further developments can be made in the Latte Art world in terms of training?
“Latte Art can only grow if we share our knowledge. The latte art world has changed and is continuing to evolve. This discipline is also gradually growing in Italy, as evidenced by the various competitions that Manuela has participated in and the training we provide every day for baristas and those entering the world of Latte Art for the first time. The real secret is not to keep secrets, but to share them with everyone!”

Tell us about the masterclass tour that you and Manuela Fensore are currently running at the Italian MUMAC Academy LAB locations.
“Gruppo Cimbali has created a fantastic initiative that no other company in Italy has come up with yet. This initiative is attracting a lot of interest from local baristas who are taking part in these masterclasses. All the MUMAC Academy LABs – in Genoa, Caserta, Cuneo, Bari, Reggio Emilia, Ancona, Perugia and Verona – have received a boom in enrolments and course participation has been very high. It is a real honour for us to be the trainers for this project and I hope that this is just the beginning of a long adventure together with the Gruppo Cimbali family.”

MUMAC Academy Talks - Fabiano Bucci