Interview with Giorgio Rancilio

From the age of four I would watch the workers

Giorgio Rancilio never considered a career outside the coffee industry. “Ever since I was a child I never dreamt of any other job than running the family business,” he says. “It was a natural progression for me.”

Rancilio, manufacturer of espresso coffee machines, has endured a long family tradition. The company was founded by Giorgio’s grandfather Roberto in 1927. Giorgio explains that the family business was intertwined into his upbringing.“The usual conversation in our household was always about coffee, coffee, coffee,” he recalls. “Every occasion was related to the family business. Even as a young boy my father [Antonio] would buy lots of small domestic machines from competitors and our house would become a testing ground.”

The family household was situated in front of the old Rancilio factory before its relocation to Villastanza di Parabiago near Milan, Italy in 1972.

“From the age of four I would watch the workers each day from the balcony,” Giorgio says. “When I was a little older I remember visiting the factory in the evenings because it was the only way I could spend time with my father. I would steal spare parts like bolts from the production line to play with. My father wasn’t always happy with me.”

Giorgio’s father inherited the family business, which he ran with his two brothers from the 1950s to the 1980s. From the mid-1990s, the third generation of Rancilio family members took over the daily business operations, including Giorgio, his brother and two cousins.
Like any job pathway, Giorgio says he had to “earn his stripes” in the company.

“I was spared special treatment and worked my way up the chain in the family business, starting at age 20,” he says. “When you are thrown in the swimming pool, you sink or swim. Lucky for me I found that I could swim.”

Foto: BeanScene magazine

Giorgio admits it’s not easy to inherit a company when there’s pressure to maintain a good position in the market, and a constant need for progression and development of products. “For a long period I felt as though my father, grandfather and uncles were looking at me from heaven with a serious face. It was a big challenge to begin with, but I’m very happy now,” he says.

In 2008 the Rancilio Group acquired Swiss company Egro Coffee Systems. Thanks to this alliance, Giorgio says Rancilio now offers more options by blending the Italian excellence in manufacturing traditional coffee machines with the Swiss expertise of fully automatic coffee machines.

“We decided we wanted to invest in a segment of technology we didn’t have at the time. We believed Egro’s business would help place Rancilio at the forefront of the market and add another dimension to the company,” says Giorgio. “It was a very important experience for me, but also an intense time.”

The challenge seems to have paid off. For 86 years Rancilio has devoted its services to developing machines and components with high-technical and stylistic quality. The aim – to transmit Italian espresso coffee tastes to the world.
“We like to say we are coffeeing the world,” says Giorgio. “We have more than 20 people working in our Rancilio Lab which is focused on analysing the market, bringing innovation and trying to guarantee unique product features. I don’t want to be a follower in the industry so it’s necessary that Rancilio is a leader in espresso machine manufacturing.”

To do this, Rancilio has developed its newest espresso machine technology, Xcelsius. This technology uses extraction temperature profiling to enhance individual flavour characteristics of each blend by varying the temperature stability for consistent cup results.

The temperature can be controlled with an increase or decrease of up to 5°C. Independent microboilers allow multiple profiles to be set independently across all group heads, while a simple interface ensures baristas can easily adjust and monitor extraction parameters.
There is a wide range of coffees worldwide with different aromatic characteristics and taste profile. Xcelsius is the innovative technology developed and patented by Rancilio Lab to gaurentee the best extraction of coffee using temperature profiling. In the extraction process, the water temperature is one of the most important and influent parametres to manage. Until now, this process has been managed only by constant temperature.

To read the article in full, see the June issue of BeanScene. Click here to subscribehttp://primecreative.myshopify.com/products/beanscene-subscription

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