They say that in the past in Naples, anyone having a coffee at the bar who was particularly happy would pay for two coffees, not one, the second one being for the next client. Every now and then someone would put their head around the door and enquire as to whether there was a “coffee up for the taking”. A coffee offered to humanity, in other words. In this same city, in the fifties, there was one coffee that was the talk of the town, a coffee that became a legend.
Some waxed lyrical about its inebriating aroma, others praised its firm long-lasting foam or crema, and yet others were bewitched by its persistent, velvety flavour. There were even those who came from the other side of the city to try it at least once.
It was served at the bar-cum-pastry-shop belonging to the Rubino family in Naples. Nobody then imagined just how many stories would be told about that particular coffee.
The one about a coffee at night, with friends going on holiday. That rather bitter tale of coffee, one morning at the station, before saying goodbye to her. The unforgettable coffee when you met Him.
The partnership with Kimbo: a coffee story
From idea to action
- Sight: thick foam, hazelnut to dark brown in colour
- Smell: aromatic richness, character
- Touch: full-bodied, syrupy coffee.
- Taste: complex, persistent "mouth-aroma
In 2012, in collaboration with the Centro Studi Assaggiatori del Caffè, the Coffee Tasters’ Study Centre, sensorial mapping was made of the “ideal” blend. This was followed by a quality survey that optimised that special blend to meet the needs of consumers on the move.
The arrival of Kimbo
It was then that Kimbo came into play, called on to step up to the plate, to present our customers with a new blend specially created for the occasion. Five other major Italian companies also competed in this challenge.
And Kimbo won. After more than 1,800 interviews and 2,500 taste trials carried out all over Italy, both blind and branded, the Kimbo blend was judged the best by our customers.
Nothing was left to chance, with plenty of attention also given to the equipment for preparing the espressos and the management and maintenance procedures, which included a specific training that led to the birth of the Coffee Ambassador, the reference expert for customers and colleagues at sales point Autogrill.
By April 2012 we were ready: “Coffee Stories”, the range developed using high-quality blends studied specifically by Kimbo for Autogrill, began to be served in the over 500 Autogrill bars in Italy.
And in the summer of 2012, Coffee Stories started to expand into Europe, initially in 270 locations.
Two years later, there are around 2,000 sales points in 10 European countries, with more than 200 million cups served since the launch.