how to open a coffee shop workshop

For more than 25 years 

Bellissimo Coffee Advisors

has advised and set the standard for education in the specialty coffee industry

Our Story

For longer than any other coffee education or training business, Bellissimo Coffee Advisors has been the leader in the innovative and expansive specialty coffee industry. Its founder and Vice President, Bruce and Matt Milletto, expanded to open the American Barista & Coffee Workshops (now in its 16th year of operation). Here, coffee business owners have benefitted from our expertise and created successful, profitable operations all across the globe.

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.

Coffee Experts

Why Choose Bellissimo? 

We realize there are other coffee workshops you can learn from. Here’s why ours is the best. 

The ORIGINAL Coffee Workshop

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.

State of the Art Espresso Lab

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.

Taught by Industry Experts

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.

Real Success Stories

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.

Try State of the Art Equipment and Products

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 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.

Consulting: We're With You All the Way

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.

Located in the center of

The best coffee city in America

Portland, Or
(503) 232-2222

From Some of our past customers

Our Team

The American Barista & Coffee Workshops are led by a team of well-seasoned, nationally-recognized specialty coffee experts. In addition to our regular staff, we frequently invite guest speakers and instructors from industry-leading companies to lecture on hot topics in the industry.

bruce milletto

Bruce Milletto


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

Matt Milletto


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 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.

john leinonen

John Leinonen

Marketing Manager

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.

August Epstein

August Epstein

Director of Training

August has over 10 years of experience as a world-class barista and an encyclopedia of knowledge on all things coffee. As the Director of Training for Water Avenue Coffee and Bellissimo Coffee Advisors he regularly travels around the Portland Metro Area instructing Water Avenue clients on how best to prepare and serve our offerings. He is the primary instructor for all of Bellissimo’s monthly Barista Trainings and has helped hundreds of aspiring and established coffee entrepreneurs to refine their barista skills and coffee knowledge. 

In his spare time, August plays drums in a local Portland rock band and volunteers to teach youth musicianship. 

Our Valuable Sponsors

Companies We Love Working With

Interested in Consulting Services? 

Bellissimo has established itself as the single handed leader in specialty coffee consulting. We’ve helped literally thousands of coffee companies both large corporations and small independent shops find the success they deserve. 

To obtain our services, it is a requirement that interested parties participate in one of our workshops in Portland, Oregon before entering negotiations. We exclusively work with the serious and committed. 

Contact Us

(503) 232-2222

Scroll to Top

The Definitive Guide on How to Open a Coffee Shop

Get the ebook

The Definitive Guide on How to Open a Coffee Shop

Get the ebook