The History of the Infusion Coffee Experience
Like many great stories, Patrick O'Malley's journey to becoming a coffee expert began decades ago with a single, fateful meeting under seemingly ordinary circumstances.
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Patrick O’Malley worked on Maui in Hawaii at a small deli and cafe. As fate would have it, he got the chance to repair a broken espresso machine during one of his shifts – and discovered his calling along with it.
Patrick, being good with his hands, took to learning these machines and quickly fell in love with the artistic and scientific nature of how coffee was produced.
Patrick had sold his repair and sales business to embark on the journey of wholesale and distribution of fine coffee and teas with Espresso Italia – his new company.
Espresso Italia products and services can now be found in nearly 500 cafés, restaurants, clubs, hotels and roasteries statewide.
With a desire to share his enthusiasm and knowledge with others, Patrick opened the International Barista & Coffee Academy (IBCA) in 2012. From humble beginnings in the Espresso Italia warehouse, IBCA now features state of the art equipment housed in one of 31 certified coffee labs in the world.
IBCA offers classes and workshop to train everyone from the casual coffee enthusiast to the next coffee entrepreneur.
Patrick quit his job as a barman and returned home to Arizona in 1989 to start a company specializing in the sale and repair of espresso machines.
Always looking for new challenges, Patrick began roasting coffee and introduced several teas to his customers.
Nearly a decade later and ready to expand again, Patrick purchased a 15-kilo roaster and returned to the art of roasting coffee. Soon after, he became the 43rd participant in the world to achieve his diploma from the Specialty Coffee Association (SCA) of Europe.
Patrick has since been recognized as a distinguished Education Coordinator and is a licensed Quality Q Grader for SCA.
In collaboration with IBCA, Patrick opened Infusion Coffee and Tea Crafters in Tempe, AZ in 2015. When walking into the café, guests can get a feel for all of this history, witness grading and testing in the lab, and watch the roasting process.
Patrick was recently awarded the SCAE Trainer of the Year and still travels the world to teach, talk to coffee growers, and judge coffee competitions. In fact, he's away from Arizona so often that Infusion has a special clock for "Patrick Time" so that the team can keep up with him.