SANTI RIGONI / TOMA CAFÉ
Upon entering Toma 3, you could think you’re just walking into another specialty coffee house, with refined aesthetics and an unmistakable aroma that surpasses the entrance door. All these preconceptions fall at the very moment Santi shares some words with you. Close, friendly and with an admirable ability to convince you of almost anything, his Argentine roots probably assist him, making it practically impossible to believe that he is just another hipster making coffee.
In one sentence, Santi is able to accurately summarize his love for the product he works with: “it is such an incredible thing that from a small coffee seed one can obtain such a wide variety of smells, nuances… from a single seed. A whole science has been elaborated around it”. There is little more to add to describe how far love for a product can go.
From import tasks to the distribution of coffee once it is roasted, Santi keeps a close eye on all stages of production. He chases coffee from Colombia, Ethiopia, Kenya or Congo, where he says there is some of the best quality coffee, but import problems make it virtually impossible to work there.
In his Madrid-based Toma 3 roaster, where apart from coffee you can also find a unique selection of music, this Bonaerense holds a 2-litre thermo full of brewed coffee in hand while focusing on roasting and extracting the maximum potential of each coffee bean that arrives at this very place in Madrid from all over the world, later to be distributed among the main coffee shops in Madrid and all of Spain.
After emigrating to Spain more than 20 years ago when he started working as a publicist, over time he found an opportunity that, until then, he believes had not been fully exploited in a way that was faithful towards the product. There was a lack of people and companies that would truly dedicate most of their resources to product care, instead of simply refurbishing spaces to attract more people. "Against marketing strategies, there is love for coffee," he says.
However, he is still aware of the need to support the product with a defined identity that ultimately makes it stand out from the competition. Proof of this is his commitment to music: the covers of albums by Miles Davies and Sonic Youth that decorate the walls and also chessboards on tables impress all visitors.
That’s how it is, with an unparalleled passion for the things one does, is how we understand at Neutrale how things must be done. We found a friend and partner in Santi ever since we met. Our shared understanding and values regarding turning sustainable raw materials into a fine product can explain why we chose him as one of our characters to present the collection, apart from partnering up to offer his coffee at Casa Neutrale, our coffee shop located in Madrid.
Thanks for everything Santi!