Posted in Kafevend Blog
The Italian coffee company Illy was started a little over eighty years ago in 1933 by Fransisco Illy. Fransisco was a Hungarian from the Austro-Hungarian Empire, and fought throughout WW1. During the war, Italy annexed the city of Trieste which sits in a small strip of land between modern day Slovenia and the Gulf of Venice. It was here in 1993 that he started Illycaffè. He focussed on producing espresso coffee early on and invented both a new type of espresso machine and pressurized packaging which put him in good stead to sell his coffee further abroad.
Fransisco passed on the business to his son Ernesto. Ernesto helped to expand the company, and with his background in chemistry also established a laboratory to better understand how and why coffee tastes the way it does- information that no doubt came in handy. Ernesto in turn passed on the business to his son Andrea, the current chairman, though his other children- Anna, Ricardo and Francesco- also have roles within the company.
Illy uses arabica coffee beans in its espresso blends. They purchase the beans from the source rather than through an international market, and have established an educational scheme for farmers to help to teach them proper farming practices. Illy uses coffee from a number of countries all over the world, including Brazil, Columbia, Costa Rica, Ethiopia, Guatemala and India.
If you like to keep your coffee simple and wonder why people bother masking the taste of it behind cream and chocolate, I recommend you seek out Illy for a shot of the good stuff!