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Mozzo coffee professionals making latte art

It's March 2019 and on Bowery Street in New York’s Lower East Side Thomas, a former teacher now newly-professional barista, has travelled from Houston, Texas to NYC to take part in his first major coffee competition, commemorating the moment with a new tattoo. Across the street from the tattoo parlour, the CitizenM Hotels team is busy behind shrouded scenes with the pre-opening preparations of their second New York hotel.

Neither side of the street knows it yet, but Mozzo and CitizenM are destined to meet.

Mozzo meets CitizenM

Fast forward 3 years and it’s 5 am in NYC, our new USA Mozzo Master Thomas is up and meeting the overnight team of the now established CitizenM New York Bowery Hotel as they enter the final two hours of their shift (never a better time for a kickass coffee). Travelling across the country, Thomas has been leading coffee training with CitizenM in USA since March 2022, partnering to elevate the coffee offering at every point within their 11 (soon to be 12) country wide hotels including NYC, Seattle, Chicago, Washington, San Francisco, Boston, Miami, and LA.

Showing up as the team’s coffee hype-man, offering unwavering support and encouragement as they tackle the busy breakfast service. Thomas steps in as a teammate, mentor, and teacher. Adapting to each individual barista’s learning style, he tailors his approach recognising opportunities for development, and patient practice and offering tips and tricks to help the service team smoothly knock out stellar coffee, one after another.

Making good coffee accessible

Relishing the value match between Mozzo and CitizenM, the belief in the power of raising people up and connecting them through a common purpose. Thomas works hard to ensure that Mozzo Coffee represents CitizenM as best it can, and vice versa. A true partnership in making good coffee accessible. Budding baristas and customers alike, Thomas reflects on the journey the US coffee market has been through in the last 15-20 years. From a super exclusive “gatekeeping” era as the speciality coffee scene exploded to a more relaxed and inclusive movement of making coffee appealing and reachable for everyone. Something he and Mozzo are all for. Thomas remarks:

“I can’t think of anything more fun than being part of a legacy that uses coffee as a force for good. Watching someone realise they can be involved in something as emotive as coffee, and build their own skills and personal development around it, all while positively contributing to their customer’s day and giving them a reason to smile… it is so rewarding.”

And there it is our philosophy in perfect practice. Coffee has such power to connect people and fuel positive change at every part of the value chain. And that’s why we love it.