Lavazza Professional has announced the first appointment to the newly-created position of ‘Coffee Expert’. Coffee, it turns out, is not only what Dan Matthams does; it’s what he’s always done and at 32, he considers his role at Lavazza Professional is ‘the perfect fit’ for his skills and aspirations…
Q How did you get your start on the coffee industry?
DAN: My family had cafés in Plymouth, where I grew up. I got my start as a dish washer and worked my way up. Then I got involved with a couple of roasters and for the first time, I was tasting single origin roasts and that was when I thought ‘there’s more to this coffee business than meets the eye.’
Q What was the next step in your journey?
DAN: I spent three years working as a roaster in Australia. Then, in 2016, I returned to the UK and took up a position with NVCS, where I looked after the company’s successful Green Farm brand. There was a roastery on site, so much of my time was spent in developing the brand. I spent three years there, too. This was at a time when operators were seeing an increasing demand for bean-to-cup machines, as well as traditional vending solutions.
Q And then another spell abroad?
DAN: Yes. I moved to Germany, in 2019 to develop roasts, profiles and blends, which was great fun. If not for COVID I might still be there. Instead, I came back to Plymouth and wrote my final research for my Masters degree on ‘The Impacts of COVID-19 on the Coffee Supply Chain’.
Q What’s the best thing about your new position?
DAN : I get to talk about coffee, a lot! The thing about coffee is it’s such a personal thing, there’s no right or wrong. I see my job as opening out the options that are available, offering the opportunity to compare blends such as Arabica and Robusta…Once we have a feel for a customer’s requirements we can offer advice on which coffees and which drinks machines are right for them: Because we have Bean to Cup, Klix and Flavia in our portfolio, we have the ideal solution for any workplace, large or small.
Coffee is a bit like wine, in that it’s easy to disappear down rabbit holes; but I just ask the question, ‘how do you feel about that?’ It’s all about making sure that your customers have the information they need to make an informed decision. If you go into an office environment, where maybe there are a hundred to two hundred staff, the job is to provide a coffee that works for the majority of the people on that site, that provides the perfect base for milk drinks but also stands alone as a quality espresso; not too harsh, not too acidic, not too astringent. It has to be about achieving a balance that tempts people back to the machine time and time again.
Q What’s your initial objective in your new role?
DAN: I want to share my enthusiasm and passion for coffee with my colleagues at Lavazza Professional and of course spend time with our distributors. I’ll also be working on our Lavazza ‘Expert’ range of coffee beans, optimising them for use with our expanding park of bean to cup machines. Lavazza Professional has a hard-earned reputation for the quality of its service and its coffee and my aim is to share this passion with our distributors and customers present and future.
Q Finally, what do you do when you’re not working with coffee, or talking about it? ‘
DAN: I like to drink it!
*Dan Matthams will be part of the Lavazza Professional team at Vendex Midlands (Milton Keynes MK Dons Stadium, 26 April)
*Would you be interested in an exclusive coffee tasting session with Dan? Register your interest by emailing: firstname.lastname@example.org
Read more about Lavazza Professional on Planet Vending, HERE.