A staple of education in the coffee industry for 30 years
For over 30 years, we at Bellissimo Coffee Advisors have made it our mission to help everyday people follow their dreams and open coffee businesses. In pursuit of that mission, we created the American Barista and Coffee Workshops nearly 20 years ago. Through our consulting and workshops, we have helped hundreds of aspiring coffee shop owners learn the skills they need to survive and thrive in the coffee industry.
In 2009, our founders Bruce and Matt Milletto opened the doors of Water Avenue Coffee, a roastery and retail coffee bar that has since grown into one of the premiere coffee suppliers in the Pacific Northwest. We don’t just hand out theory, our advice comes from years of consulting and operating right alongside you through the ups and downs of the coffee industry.
What we do
Our workshops are led by nationally-recognized coffee experts, providing students with the fundamentals of opening a successful specialty coffee business both from the business and technical coffee perspective. Bellissimo exposes its students to a broad range of coffee-related equipment, products, and educational materials.
Our workshops have hosted students from over 60 different countries and all 50 States.
Who we do it for
Our American Barista & Coffee Workshop attendees range from representatives of large established corporations, to entrepreneurs seeking insight to open their first coffeehouse. We draw existing retailers looking to boost profits as well as baristas looking to fine-tune their skills to prepare for barista competitions.
Why choose us
Bellissimo Coffee Advisors has been operating our Coffee Education Workshops for the last 17 years, longer than any of our competitors. Our program was created by Bruce Milletto, one of the Specialty Coffee Association’s “Coffee Luminaries”, in order to help other industry professionals by giving them actionable information and the confidence to go into business for themselves. Since their inception, our workshops have grown and now include topics on everything a coffee business owner needs to know.
Our coffee lab has nine of the top espresso machine brands you can get, plus a variety of grinders, blenders, and dishware. You’ll be able to try out everything and figure out what works for you. The truth is, there are a lot of good pieces of equipment out there, but just because equipment is good doesn’t mean it’s right for you or your shop. We make it so you don’t have to guess.
The topics we cover are all taught by experts in their field. Our lead instructors Bruce Milletto and Matt Milletto have helped hundreds of coffee shops open and train their staff, and they personally operate Water Avenue Coffee, a hugely successful roastery and cafe. This isn’t just theory; our advice is proven to help you succeed.
Many of our graduates have gone on to open their own businesses. Our testimonials come from real business owners who have used our workshops to get a head start on their dreams. Some of our graduates decide coffee isn’t for them, and we consider that a different kind of success. Saving someone tens, sometimes hundreds of thousands of dollars on a business they won’t love with all their heart matters to us. Whatever you decide after our workshops, you can feel confident that you’re making an informed choice.
Learning in Portland, OR not only gets you access to our training facility, it also means you’ll be exposed to one of the most diverse and cutting edge coffee scenes in the world. If you’re in need of any kind of inspiration, you’ll find it in Portland with us.
If you try out a brand you like in our lab, we can help you get it for less. Our workshop is partnered with many of the top manufacturers who are happy to make deals with our graduates. We also offer product samples of all kinds of food and merchandise that is just hitting the market, so if anything strikes your fancy you can be sure you’re getting it before anyone else.
We don’t like to leave our graduates hanging. For some, our workshops are just the start of their work with us. We offer continued consultation and services long beyond our workshops. These services are one-on-one personalized advice on anything your business needs directly from our experts.
Bruce is recognized by the press and the coffee industry internationally as the voice of the specialty coffee industry. He has been interviewed by, or quoted in: the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, Time Magazine, Newsweek, 60 Minutes, Kiplinger’s, Starbucks Annual Report, Forbes, the Economist, Harvard Management Update, Crain’s Business Review, the Seattle Times, the Washington Post, Business Week and Entrepreneur.
The Specialty Coffee Association (SCA) named Bruce Milletto one of its 20 “Coffee Luminaries,” and he appeared in Gourmet Retailer’s 25th anniversary issue on the list of the 25 individuals who helped shape the specialty coffee industry.
Bruce wrote a column for many years for Fresh Cup magazine, the specialty coffee industry’s leading publication. He continues to frequently author articles for the magazine as well as provide articles and interviews for such trade publications as Fancy Food, Gourmet Retailer, Coffee and Beverage Euro Coffee and Coffeenet.
Matt Milletto has extensive experience in retail coffee, and has opened and managed multiple coffeehouses. Matt has personally trained more than 2500 new coffee retail business owners and barista trainers/managers over the past 20 years. He regularly speaks at Coffee Fest, SCA, and other industry trade shows and has been quoted in numerous newspapers and industry magazines, including the Wall Street Journal.
Matt is the current President the Oregon Coffee Board and a recipient of Portland Business Journal’s 2018 40 Under 40 Award. Through Bellissimo Coffee Advisors, he founded BaristaExchange.com and is also a head judge for all CoffeeFest Latte Art Competitions. Matt is the director and developer of Online Barista Training, and coordinates all consulting services with Bellissimo’s clients and past graduates. In 2009, Matt partnered with his father, Bruce to open Water Avenue Coffee, Portland’s premiere Micro-Roaster and Retail coffee operation.
With over 10 years spent as a trainer and technician in the coffee industry, there are few better people to learn from than Dillon. He not only is an expert at brewing coffee, but also at fixing all manner of coffee equipment. Ask him anything about a piece of equipment you’re considering and he’ll have an answer.
John comes to Bellissimo with a love for digital marketing, strategy, and coffee. We stole him away from the publishing industry to manage Bellissimo’s online presence. He wears many hats here, and not just because his head gets cold.
Outside of work, you can find John nerding out over tabletop games and mystery novels, and he’s always looking for a good plant based meal.