Coffee and love are two words often found in the same sentence, but rarely would you find it like this.
In 2006 a young Logan boy packed his bag and travelled to Europe for an end of University holiday. Little did he know that a chance stopover in Sicily, Italy would have him eventually marry the girl of his dreams and bring Sicily’s favourite coffee, Bellcaffe, into boutique Australian cafes and coffee connoisseurs’ cups.
“A friend of mine suggested I visit his family hometown in Sicily while I travelled through Europe. So I did, I set aside five days out of my six week holiday to explore Sicily. It was there at one of his relatives homes tasting sweets and coffee where a meeting with one of his cousins Luisa changed everything” says Matthew. “It was a very special moment”.
The real challenge though was the language “I could not speak any Italian and she could speak only a few words in English, but I knew deep down I had to get to know this girl.”
A long distance love brews
The two stayed in contact via telephone and where possible skype for seven years.
This long distance relationship was unique from many others with not just the time but the distance. Over 8.804 miles (14.168 km) came between the two lovers.
This was only overcome by Matthew visiting Luisa five times during that period. A 28 hour one-way journey (consisting of three different planes and one bus). Matthew slowly learned basic Italian and found it very difficult to converse with Luisa’s Family.
“In the early days it was quite difficult, I couldn’t hold a conversation especially with her family. I remember eating at Luisa’s house for a family dinner and family lunches and all I could say was hello, how are you?, good afternoon, good night etc.. So I shut up and just at the food which was delicious. I think I fell in love not just with Luisa but also the Italian cuisine”
The long-distance relationship for seven years was not always smooth sailing, there was a few difficult periods where the relationship was tested.
“Being so far apart for so long was difficult however the ‘language barrier’ amplified everything. When we did briefly see each other it only made the time together that much more special and sweeter. But after being so happy with Luisa for that short period of time the hardest thing for me was making that lonely long journey back to Australia. That was the worst part and the months after.”
On the back of a very difficult period in 2012 Matthew travelled the long journey alone from Australia to Modica to surprise Luisa only a few days before her sister’s wedding. Luckily it turned out well for Matthew and he successfully proposed to Luisa and some will say that the rest is history.
The couple married in St Peters Church (San Pietro) Modica Bassa on 25th September 2013. Even the marriage ceremony was unique, the couple had two priests present at the ceremony, one speaking Italian and one speaking English.
He found more than love in Italy
But it was not just the women of Italy Matthew wanted to take back to Australia. It was the Espresso coffee, Bellcaffe Italia, a local coffee manufacturer (less than 4kms from Luisa’s house) caught the young Australians palate.
“In Australia I could never tolerate a short black coffee, it would be sour or bitter, I come here to Italy and I have it every morning with my breakfast and I love it, I said to myself that I had to bring this coffee back with me and share it with Australia!”
The couple now reside in Brisbane, Australia and are planning a family and growing their coffee business. Matteo coffee distributes gourmet Italian espresso coffee from Italy to Australia. The difference between Italian espresso is that it is aged and has a more refined taste than Australian roasted coffee.