For over ten years now, New Zealander Andrew Meo has been designing and developing some of the most meticulously manufactured espresso machines in the world. As co-owner and visionary behind Rocket Espresso Milano, he lives 40 kms from Milan, where he spends his time teaching the Italians a thing or two about good coffee. Cory Hodges had a quick catch up with Andrew about the biggest year yet for Rocket Espresso. How does the New Zealand market for Rocket Espresso machines compare to the rest of the world. Do you think we punch above our weight? New Zealand and Australia are seen globally as leaders in specialty coffee. Rocket Espresso has been enjoyed for a good many years in New Zealand. Non-traditional markets such as Korea have been growing considerably. Germany would be our largest market for the domestic Rocket Espresso range. I noticed that Rocket has worked with Peugeot Design Lab for a concept food truck, which featured at Milan Design Week. Have you worked with other large design exhibitions before? We’ve been approached by a number of prestigious brands to be part of projects and exhibitions with them. It’s a rewarding confirmation that we are producing a good product and marketing our brand properly. It has also given Rocket Espresso a huge amount of credibility. We have worked with bespoke cycling brand Rapha, Mavic cycling in North America, IWC watches in Switzerland and Fritz Hansen for Salon di Mobiliare in Milan. The Peugeot Design Lab are a renowned studio. How has your family coped with moving to Italy, where the culture, language and climate are so different? We live 40km away from Milan, where many speak English. However, we live in a small town amusingly called Crema, where we are one of only four English-speaking families. The initial hurdles were challenging. In saying that you always find a group of people who take it upon themselves to help with the initial hiccups and get you organised. Italy has become our home now, complete with cats and dogs. While the Mediterranean is beautiful, it still doesn’t compete with New Zealand beaches. Do you have any new products lined up for 2015? Are you expecting 2015 to be a big year for Rocket Espresso Milano? 2015 is a big year for Italy and in particular Milan. We have Milano Expo from May through to October. We have the food truck with Peugeot at the French Pavilion throughout Milano Expo. We are exhibiting in the biannual Host Milan show, which is the biggest espresso machine show in the world and the last show for the Milano Expo. This year we have several new products that we will present, including a new grinder to complement our domestic machine range. Click here to check out Rocket Espresso online.
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