Piero grew up in the coffee-producing country of El Salvador and came to the United States to pursue his degree in finance at the University of Minnesota's Carlson School of Management. Piero’s family has been in the coffee business for over a century, so he wanted to proudly continue with this legacy from a different perspective.
As Piero was growing up, he traveled with his grandmother to Finca El Aguila in Los Naranjos, Santa Ana, on weekends and during the peak of the harvest season. Piero still has the vivid sensory experiences of the flowering, ripening of cherries, coffee picking, and the unforgettable pungent pulp smell at the mill during harvest. Piero wanted his family to produce a single-estate lot for many years, which is something he finally accomplished during the 2010/2011 harvest at Finca El Aguila.
In El Salvador, Piero was around the first Cup of Excellence in 2003 and had the opportunity to facilitate origin trips to coffee farms and processing facilities when the quality movement was in its infant stages. These experiences made Piero realize that he wanted to spend the rest of his career in the coffee business. It was not until the 2008 Specialty Coffee Association of America (SCAA) Expo in Minneapolis that he had the privilege to meet and experience the excitement of coffee professionals, which reassured Piero that this was the area of the coffee business he enjoyed the most. Instantly, Piero passionately fell in love with the café culture.
Piero’s first contact with Cafe Imports was in one of their origin trips to El Salvador. He also had the opportunity to work as a summer intern at Cafe Imports’ quality control lab in 2009 while also working as a barista in one of the first quality-focused coffee shops in the Twin Cities. This experience gave Piero an excellent base to fully connect with the coffee industry.
Piero is excited to be part of the Cafe Imports' green-coffee-buying team. His goal is to connect roasters and baristas to origin and help develop the Twin Cities coffee community.
Follow him on Instagram @pcristiani.