The prelude to taste and coffee’s first impression. At the optimum temperature of 80°C let the first waves of aroma cascade over you as you stir it to life. Notice the light notes of flowers and fruit, marked by jasmine and almond. The next wave comes after you’ve had your first sip, with hints of freshly baked bread and chocolate.


The main event. Best enjoyed at around 65°C, this is when espresso is at its best for tasting. With a tiny sip, there is a bold fullness with an unmistakable balance of sweet, bitter and acidic. Should you opt for a touch of sugar, we recommend you add it after the first sip; after you’ve allowed your palate to experience this masterpiece in its purest form.


Touch and texture play a big part in an espresso’s body. We feel it in its crema where the light-brown top layer laces itself across the tongue in deep, velvety and creamy swathes. This all adds to the culinary journey and experience of espresso.


From the din of a busy coffee shop, with grinders holding assembly, to the morning’s silent sigh at home with the gentle bubbling bubbling bubbling: coffee is all-immersive. As the cup delicately chimes against its saucer and the spoon rings in high-pitched melody with each rotation, coffee is a symphony for the senses.


It’s good to know what good looks like. Cast your eyes over the surface to the crema on top and its sublime textures of brown, streaked by light reddish streaks, akin to those of a tiger.

Remember, if the crema is dark brown, has a white button or black hole at the centre, please send it back. These are telltale signs for lack of care in the espresso ranging from too fine a grind, excessive temperature and pressure, to overly long extraction time. Also beware of light and flimsy crema with its mirror-image issues.

illy Art Collection

A meeting of two passions: Coffee and Art

Ultimate Coffee Course

Gain an understanding of espresso equipment, settings & maintenance, producing the perfect espresso and cappuccino in store, increasing customer satisfaction.

We put the “Cru” in Crucial

In coffee lingo, cru refers to the particular beans selected for the blend. So when you drink our coffee you can be sure that you’re drinking only the finest. Furthermore, through our delicate tasting and re-tasting process we ensure that our beans maintain their original characteristics – the reason we chose them in the first place. In fact, we test them up to eight times before they make the cut to be a part of the illy brand.

Coffee, the illy Way: Delicious, distinct and consistent.

Coffee of the highest order, coffee that delights: this is illy’s mission, passion and obsession. A simple idea created through complex means: eight decades of experience; unmatched knowledge of coffee biology and chemistry; unrivalled skill at roasting; the pioneering of innovative, enabling technologies; and a family’s entrepreneurial passion.

There is a taste, a feel, an aroma that is all illy’s own. Velvety, immediately sweet, delicately balancing floral and fruity notes with caramel, toast and chocolate, naturally fragrant with aromas of almond and honey. You just might hold the sugar, for the very first time.

This is balance that comes only from a blend: the singular illy blend of nine highest-order Arabica beans, selected and directly purchased by illy from farms spanning four continents. Each individual bean contributing to a greater whole, for the pleasure of those who appreciate all that coffee can and should be.

In the cup, the illy blend becomes a symphony: rich, full, multi-faceted, yet subtle, comprised of immensely talented soloists, each coaxed to their finest performance under the hand of an expert conductor.

1. Unique and Delicious.

In the cup, the illy blend becomes a symphony: rich, full, multi-faceted, yet subtle, comprised of immensely talented soloists, each coaxed to their finest performance under the hand of an expert conductor.

2. Consistent and Distinct.

The Arabica coffees comprising the illy blend come from nine different growing regions around the world, each with unique environmental conditions that impart a characteristic flavor profile to the illy identity.

3. Only the Best Will Do.

illy employs a team of master blenders, experts in bean selection and tasting known as liquorers, each with special skills and sensitivities ideal for determining the cru—in coffee’s case, the particular beans—that will comprise the illy blend.

Where it all begins

There’s no mistaking the brilliant white and fragrant flowers of the Arabica plant. These signal the eight to nine month countdown, after the first rains, before the deep red cherry-like fruits come to life, bearing two Arabica seeds beneath their skin.

Talking about beans…

The coffee bean is actually the seed of the coffee plant, found in the red fruit known as the cherry. With a fairly flat and elongated profile with a sinuous groove, each bean is surrounded by a membrane known as the parchment and a layer of sweet pulp. When it comes to harvesting the fruits, great care must be taken since both ripe and unripe fruits may be present, making precision harvesting critical.

An eye for quality

Fully fragrant, sweet and round with a slight and pleasant acidity – often chocolaty – followed by an aftertaste of caramel and a mild whisper of bitterness are key tasting notes to look out for when it comes to a well-prepared espresso borne of exclusively high-quality Arabica.

Thinking About Coffee Inside Out

Coffee is something to overcome all senses, so by packaging illy coffee in cans along with inert nitrogen under pressure, we are able to trap essential aromas and protect them for over a year.
Next time you buy and open a can of illy, breath in deep the alluring aroma and listen for the signature “whoosh”. That’s the sound of fresh coffee at its freshest.

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