"illy Espresso Coffees; The world’s coffee of choice…"
Discover the extraordinary pleasure of illy, the celebrated Italian espresso coffee served in the finest restaurants and cafés and enjoyed by coffee connoisseurs worldwide. A blend so popular, it is served in Italy alone over 2 million times a day. Prized for its full, rich body and smooth, balanced flavor, illy's signature blend is meticulously selected and is 100% sustainably grown Arabica coffee. Espresso at its finest!
Try the latest Mono-Arabica single origin choices from the best coffee growers around the world.
*** From May 20, 2013 to September 7, 2013 you can print and mail in the following voucher to receive a complimentary Bodum French Press with the purchase of two or more cans of Illy ground coffee. ***
In honor of our second annual Father's Day Design a Mug contest, we're taking at look the story behind the everyday cup. So, before you take another sip, read on to discover the illustrious history behind the mug in your hand.
Our predecessors probably probably drank out of mugs tediously carved from bone or wood. The oldest mugs discovered by archeologists date back to the Neolithic Stone Age, some 10,000 years B.C. These drinking vessels, found in China and Japan, were durable yet lacked handles.
Eventually, bone and wood gave way to pottery and handles came about. Until the invention of the pottery wheel, clay mugs were made and decorated by hand. As with most ancient pottery, these clay cups had thick walls that made them cumbersome and difficult to drink out of.
By 2000 BCE, metal mugs made of gold, silver, bronze, and lead became popular. Aside from the obvious dangers posed by a lead cup, these mugs made drinking hot beverages particularly painful.
It wasn't until 600 CE, when porcelain was invented in China, that the world finally got a mug that was "just right." Well suited to hot and cold drinks, porcelain mugs are also relatively thin and lightweight. Til this day, they remain a coffee lover's favorite.
If you're an espresso drinker, you may be surprised to learn that up until 1992, espresso cups were only available in plain white. At most, some featured a logo for decoration. According to American Chronicle, Illy was the first company to marry art and espresso. Its groundbreaking decision to commission architect and designer Matteo Thun to reimagine the espresso cup lead to the creation of Illy's Art Collection sets, which many credit with ushering in the collector's cup era.
That mug you're holding has come a long way, baby.
Ask the experts and many of them will tell you the same thing: the single-serve coffee category is hotter than freshly brewed java. Fueled by convenience, the time-saving system that lets users prepare drinks by the cup is gaining popularity worldwide. Yet, since their inception, single-serve cups and capsules have had to dodge the criticism that they’re inherently bad for the environment.
Since single-serve capsules are discarded after each use, the brewing method is not as green as preparing drinks with ground coffee or espresso. And, we’re talking about a lot of cups and capsules. According to the National Coffee Association, single-serve coffee is the fastest-growing sector of the home market, as well as the second most popular brewing method after conventional drip coffee makers.
So, what’s an environmentally conscious coffee lover to do? Must eco-concerns be set aside in favor of fast, convenient, and reliable drinks by the cup? Fortunately, leading single-serve manufacturers are addressing the issue head on. Green Mountain Coffee Roasters (GMCR), the maker of K-Cups for Keurig, conducted a life cycle analysis to assess the environmental impact of its single-serve packs. Highlights of the study are as follows:
According to the study, even though the end-of-life cycle -- when a K-Cup is used and discarded -- is the most visible, it actually only accounts for only 5% of the potential global warming output. Nevertheless, GMCR has put together a program to allow workplace customers in the contiguous U.S. to collect and return spent K-Cups for composting and energy from waste processing. The Grounds to Grow On program is estimated to have recovered 4.1 million K-Cup packs and composted over 85,000 pounds of ground coffee in the same year. The plastic from spent K-Cups saved approximately 139 kilowatt hours.
Want to take matters into your own hands, give the Keurig My K-Cup filter basket a try. It is a reusable filter that lets you brew with any ground pre-ground coffee you choose. No hassle, no mess, and no waste.
At Nespresso, the talk centers around recycling as well as developing more sustainable aluminum for their single-serve capsules. In the U.S., the company has capsule collection systems in place in cities with Nespresso boutiques including: New York, Los Angeles, and San Francisco. Nespresso has also launched the AluCycle, partnering with mining, refining, retrieval, recycling organizations to improve the sustainability of aluminum. The company has also teamed up with the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) to promote environmentally sound aluminum practices.
Taking its commitment one step further, Nespresso has equipped some of its single-serve machines with an ECO button, which will automatically turn the machine off after 30 minutes of inactivity to conserve energy. The feature is available on the latest generation of the CitiZ machines. As an added bonus, purchase any Nespresso single-serve machine over $199 from now until June 17, 2013 and you can register for a $50 Nespresso Club credit good for free capsules.
Illy iperEspresso fans can take heart in knowing that their capsules are made from recycled plastic. The company is working on a method to allow consumers to open, clean, and recycle their capsules.
While single-serve systems may not be as eco-friendly as other more traditional brewing methods, the leading manufacturers are taking notes and continually making improvements to their products. Don’t write them off just yet.
Green coffee beans are usually shipped in 132lb bags, (60 Kilograms) and world-wide production statistics are compiled on the number of bags.
World production for 2012 includes 88,818 bags of Arabica and 62,440 of Robusta.
To give you perspective on worldwide coffee production and the rarity of some highly prized regional coffees like Hawaiian Kona and Jamaican Blue Mountain that make up a tiny fraction of all coffees, here are statistics for 2012 compiled by the US Department of Agriculture.
Brazil leads the world in total production again in 2012 with 40,200 bags of Arabica and 15,700 of Robusta for a total of 55,900 bags or 7,378,800 lb.
Vietnam is second for total production with 850 bags of Arabica and 24,150 of Robusta for a total of 25,000 bags or 3,300,000 lb.
The United States, mostly Hawaii, (100/0) and Mexico (4,500/200) make up North American production of 4,600 bags of Arabica and 200 bags of Robusta.
Central America produces 14,605 bags of Arabica and 10 bags of Robusta from: Costa Rica (1,600/0), El Salvador (1,475/0), Guatemala (3,840/10), Honduras (5,800/0), Nicaragua (1,800/0) and Panama (90/0).
South American countries including Bolivia (4/150), Brazil (40,200/15,700), Colombia (7,500/0), Ecuador (415/190), Paraguay (25/0), Peru (4,800/0) and Venezuela (880/0) combined to produce 53,970 bags of Arabica and 15,890 bags of Robusta.
Caribbean countries produce 920 bags of Arabica from: Cuba (125), Dominican Republic (475), Haiti (300) and Jamaica (20).
Middle East coffee comes from Yemen at 150 bags of Arabica.
Papua New Guinea, 1,100 bags of Arabica and 50 bags of Robusta, represents Oceania’s total production.
South Asia contributes 1,650 bags of Arabica and 3,685 bags of Robusta from: India (1,640/3,660) and Sri Lanka (10/25).
Sub-Saharan Africa contributes 9,243 bags of Arabica and 7,580 bags of Robusta from: Angola (0/30), Burundi (225/0), Cameroon (100/700), Central African Republic (0/15), Kinshasa (200/165), Cote d'Ivoire (0/1,800), Ethiopia (6,500/0), Ghana (0/90), Guinea (0/425), Kenya (850/0), Liberia (0/5), Madagascar (25/500), Malawi (25/0), Nigeria (0/30), Rwanda (250/0), Sierra Leone (0/70), Tanzania (500/300), Togo (0/650), Uganda (650/2,800), Zambia 10/0) and Zimbabwe (8/0).
While exploring our site, you may notice that we've broken our coffee selection down to two main categories: espresso and drip coffee. To an outsider, the difference between drip and espresso coffee is dubious, at best. Most people simply accept that grind fineness determines if a coffee is destined for the espresso machine or coffee maker. While the grind is a major contributing factor, it is not the only determining factor.
If you're talking about whole bean, any combination therein can be ground for drip coffee. However, not all coffees are suitable for espresso. Espresso usually requires a blend, consisting of three or more origins, since the hallmark of a good shot is rich crema—which can only be achieved under the right conditions. That's not to say drip coffee doesn't have its distinguishing traits.
Many roasters will designate certain coffees for drip, as opposed to espresso. Without the need to deliver crema, there's a little bit more leeway to play with when creating drip coffee. For instance, you may find a nice bouquet of flavors and aroma in drip coffee that's not otherwise available in espresso. Caffe D'arte Meaning of Life and Gourmet Drip Whole Bean (available in medium and dark roasts as well as decaf) are prime examples of exclusive drip coffee blends. The roaster has taken into account the slower brewing process and lower temperature used to create drip coffee and altered the composition of the blend to suit.
Drip coffee is also well suited to savoring the specific flavors and aroma of a single origin. A lot of single-origin coffees are meant for your drip coffee maker. In fact, some of our most prestigious single-origin offerings are classified as drip coffee including: Supreme Bean Organic Rainforest, J Martinez Jamaica Blue Mountain and Antica Tostura Triestina's 100% Arabica Ground.
If you're a flavored coffee fan, drip coffee is the only way to go. Thanks to the gentle brewing process used to create drip coffee, roasters are able to infuse a wide variety of flavors and aroma into the coffee and have them translate in the cup. When well-done, the result is a fine drip coffee with exotic notes. Try Aloha Island Chocolate, Hazelnut Paradise or Vanilla Dream (available in ground and whole bean), if you're tempted by flavored coffees.
Another hallmark of drip coffee is the caffeine content. Although a lot of people assume that espresso contains more caffeine than drip coffee, one of Whole Latte Love's own staff members, Mike, has effectively debunked this myth in his blog. The truth to the matter is, when compared by serving size, drip coffee actually contains more caffeine than espresso. It also has a lighter body, when compared to espresso, which tends to be more viscous by nature. If you're an espresso fan looking for lighter fare, consider taking the plunge with well-known roaster. Lavazza and Illy both offer drip coffee options. If you enjoy their respective espresso blends, give these roasters a shot when you want a cup of Joe.A well-brewed cup of Joe can be every bit as enticing as a shot of your favorite espresso. We're not talking about the slush served at the local diner or gas station, so put your mind at ease. One of the best ways to sample great drip coffee is through—surprise—a sampler. We currently have 14 packages available, with premium coffees from Whole Latte Love, Lavazza, J. Martinez, Aloha Island and more. The summer is almost upon us, don’t let it go by without an ice coffee in hand!
Most espresso lovers are open to experimenting with different blends, various grinds, tamp pressure and more in pursuit of the perfect beverage. But, few are actually brave enough to attempt roasting a custom coffee at home.
Unlike brewing, frothing, tamping and grinding techniques, much of the roasting process is shrouded in secrecy. As a chef may guard a prized recipe, many roasters consider their particular roasting method a trade secret. The knowledge used to transform a green bean into premium coffee is often guarded under lock and key. That's not to say you're doomed to be shut out of the roasting world. If you want to try your hand at creating a custom coffee, keep in mind that the roasting process is rooted in hard science. Understanding a few key concepts and exercising a little patience can get you well on your way to being a home roaster.
You'll need most of your five senses in order to create a successful batch of roasted coffee—hearing, sight and smell in particular. Before you begin, take a moment to make note of the color of your un-roasted beans.
It takes quite a bit of heat to transform the average green bean; we're talking 460°F -530°F. Heating virtually anything at these temperatures will generate a certain amount of smoke and odor, so it's best to roast by an open window or an otherwise well-ventilated area.
As they are introduced to heat, your beans will first turn yellow and then begin to brown. Listen carefully, a few minutes after your green beans being to roast, you'll hear a cracking sound. At this point, the natural sugars found in the beans are starting to caramelize and you have achieved a light roast. The steam being emitted will also begin take on a roasted coffee scent.
Keep roasting, if you want a medium or dark roast. If you leave the beans exposed to heat beyond a medium roast, you'll hear a second crack. At this point, you should have a very dark roast. Do not venture much beyond this point, your beans will begin to burn and the natural sugars will all be gone, leaving you with very bitter coffee.
After your beans are done roasting, they will need to be cooled before they can be stored. If you like the results, set aside some of the beans so that you will have a reference point for the next batch. Otherwise, keep experimenting!
I've heard of people roasting coffee in everything from a popcorn popper to a skillet and even a cookie tray in the oven. The popcorn popper seems to be the most popular improvised coffee roaster. However, it is important to keep in mind that using your popcorn popper to roast coffee will most likely void the warranty as it is certainly outside its intended use. At proper roasting temperatures, 460°F -530°F, you will be pushing the limits of the popper to the max. Don't be surprised if it burns out within a few short months.
My advice? Use the popcorn popper as it was intended; invest in a coffee roaster if you want to make coffee at home. Makeshift methods may not yield the proper results and could pose serious safety risks.
If the goal is to create a semi-professional roast, a coffee roaster is definitely the way to go. Not only are coffee roasters designed to deliver an even roast, they also offer greater heat control. The Nesco Professional Coffee Bean Roaster, available on our Website, goes above and beyond; it is the only home roaster with a catalytic converter to eliminate unpleasant smoke and odor generated by the roasting process. This model also has a dedicated roasting chamber and auger to mix your beans and ensure an even roast.
Roasting is very straightforward with this Nesco model. It has a 1/3-pound capacity, which should yield enough beans for approximately 36 cups of coffee. There's a powerful heating element and two-speed fan to direct heated or cooled air through your coffee as necessary. The Nesco Professional Roaster's most convenient feature is arguably the recall option, which will let you store and recall the roasting duration. This feature makes it easy to replicate previous results.
Priced under $250, the Nesco coffee roaster is an affordable way to create fresh, custom coffee. If you're a true espresso lover, roasting your own coffee at home is an experience worth exploring.
In this video, we’ll be talking light and dark-roasted coffee. We’ll be brewing with Lavazza, Illy, Whole Latte Love, and Filicori Zechinni coffees to give you an in-depth look at the different types of coffee roasts.
If you're tired of the same old drinks, break out of the rut with a creative latte. This month's recipe is perfect for the adventurous latte lovers out there.
In a tall 16oz glass, combine the espresso, syrup and milk. Stir the contents and add ice. Garnish with whipped cream, if desired, and enjoy!
With St. Patrick's Day right around the corner, may the luck...and drinks, of the Irish be with you. Given the upcoming festivities, now is as good a time as any to take a look at the history of one of the most (in)famous, drinks in the world—the Irish Coffee.
In true Celtic fashion, think Leprechauns and pots of gold, the origins of the Irish Coffee begins with a local folklore...Legend has it that the drink was invented in a cafe at the now-defunct Foynes Airport. In 1943, on a particularly nasty winter evening, a flight bound for Botwood, Newfoundland made the critical decision to return to Foynes after several hours in the air. Consider that 1943 was during WWII and commercial air travel was really in its infancy—think well-heeled men and women on a flying-boat voyage. The circumstances of the diverted flight were trying at best and left passengers a little bit more than peeved.
Upon making the decision to head back to Foynes, the captain reportedly sent a Morse-code message to the control tower, alerting ground operations personnel of the impending return. At the terminal, preparations were made to welcome back the crew and passengers. I know, you're skeptical already; but keep in mind, this was the 1940s...flying was a glitzy affair.
Back to the regularly scheduled story...Head chef Joe Sheridan of the airport restaurant was hastily asked to make something to warm the passengers and lift their spirits. He decided to...well...add a little spirit to their drinks. After all what could keep you warmer and happier than a hot coffee and some good old Irish whiskey? As the night progressed and everybody had been served, one of the passengers approached Sheridan to thank him for the hospitality. Making small talk, the passenger asked if Brazilian coffee had been used to prepare the drink...To which Sheridan responded "No, that was Irish Coffee." The rest is history.
From that night forward, Irish Coffee was served to all passengers going through Foynes Airport. The tradition continues to this day; dignitaries arriving at Shannon Airport are still welcomed with a warm cup of Irish Coffee. Want to celebrate St. Patrick's Day in style? Try this authentic Irish Coffee Recipe:
Joe Sheridan's Original Irish Coffee
Preheat an Irish Coffee Mug using hot water. Try our Stout, Classic or Pedestal version of the mug. Pour freshly brewed coffee into the mug; add sugar and whiskey. Top with cream.
The Gaggia for Illy Plus Single Serve Espresso machine is the culmination of a joint venture between two of Italy's most respected coffee authorities. At first, Gaggia and Illy may seem like strange bedfellows but, upon reflection, the partnership makes perfect sense. Gaggia brings to the table its vast engineering expertise and rich history. After all, it was Achille Gaggia who invented the first espresso machine. With over 50 years of espresso innovation, Gaggia has earned its place as the #1 manufacturer of home espresso machines in Italy.
Gaggia's partner, Illy, has an unmatched reputation for delivering premium coffee and espresso; in fact, 2 million cups of Illy coffee are served daily in Italy, a true testament to the brand's popularity. One of Illy's most significant contributions to the espresso industry has been its invention of the revolutionary iperEspresso system. Unlike most single-serve systems, iperEspresso capsules use a patented two-step extraction process to ensure maximum flavor, aroma and crema extraction. Since the brewing process is self-contained within the individual capsules, you won't run the risk of contaminating your machine with residual coffee. iperEspresso capsules are available in medium, dark and decaf roasts.
So, what do you get when you combine the efforts of Italy's leading espresso authorities? The Gaggia for Illy Plus, of course!
This groundbreaking machine is designed especially for the iperEspresso system and it brews espresso so good you won't believe your drink came from a capsule. It's one thing to streamline and simplify the brewing process, but it's rare for single-serve espresso to taste as good as its hand-brewed brethrens.Standard Operating Procedure
Steam it up
Like all Gaggia machines, the Gaggia for Illy Plus has pretty impressive steaming and frothing capabilities. In fact, Gaggia didn't scrimp on this single serve unit; it comes outfitted with the famous no-burn Pannarello steam wand. You'll be able to create rich steam and froth for lattes and cappuccino; it's the best of both worlds—the convenience of a single-serve machine with the steaming capabilities of a semi automatic.
Now that you have an idea of what the Gaggia for Illy Plus can do, here's how it does it...This machine is powered by a 15-bar pump and robust stainless steel boiler. The brew button is programmable to allow the Gaggia for Illy Plus to adapt to your preferences. You can set the brewing duration and subsequently drink volume by pressing and holding the brew button; this is one of the unique features that distinguishes the Gaggia for Illy Plus from its peers. Also exclusive to the Gaggia for Illy Plus is the adjustable cup holder and drip tray; it can be raised or lowered to make room for cups and mugs of all sizes. Water purification comes courtesy of a Mavea filter, which removes minerals from the contents of the one-liter reservoir to prevent scale buildup.
There are some pretty impressive gourmet restaurants out there. At times, the food may be debatable, but the presentation is always impeccable. Great chefs know that a part of the culinary experience lies in the table service. You just don't serve a gourmet meal on disposable plates. And, so it is with fine espresso. But, it's not solely aesthetics; the cup you're extracting into could have a tangible impact on your espresso.
Everything from the shape, size and material of a cup should be taken into account. Though there is no "standard" shape for an espresso cup, most of them tend have to a softly rounded form that is narrow at the bottom and gets progressively wider at the rim. The wider opening at the top is said to enhance crema presentation, while narrow bottom encourages espresso flavor concentration. The shape also allows to the cup to retain heat evenly so that you don't get hot and cold spots within your beverage.
The size of the cup is also critical. A widely respected espresso authority, the World Barista Championship (WBC), states in its Rules and Regulations that espresso must be served in two- to three-ounce (60-90ml) cups with handles. The Gaggia Logo, Rancilio Logo, Pasquini Logo, Illy Almodovar and Julian Schnabel espresso cups are all solid choices that fall within WBC guidelines. Espresso cups are made tiny for a reason. The compact size of the espresso cup is designed to promote heat retention by reducing the surface area exposed to the air. Also, a single shot of espresso is only 1-1.5 fl.oz, while a double shot barely tips the scale at 2-2.5 fl.oz, so the espresso would be lost in a large cup. A 2-ounce cup is perfect for a single shot; if you're brewing a double go for a 3-ounce demitasse.
Espresso-machine manufacturers go through great lengths to ensure heat stability during the brewing process, but once the espresso is extracted, it's up to the cup to prevent heat loss. We always advocate preheating your cups, but you can also guard against premature cooling by paying close attention to the material of your espresso cup. Most demitasses are made of porcelain, as it is an excellent insulator. Though, you should keep in mind that there are different grades of porcelain. Porcelain created using high firing temps is tougher and more durable; most connoisseurs prefer thick porcelain espresso cups like the Bodum Pavina Grip Porcelain, Francis Reptilia or Gaggia Platinum cups. Also particularly adept at heat preservation are double-walled cups. The contents stay hot while the exterior of the cups remain cool to the touch; if this is appealing to you, check out the Bodum Pavina, Assam or Canteen Glass cups. Of course, glass cups also have the added advantage of allowing you to see and appreciate your espresso.Next time you're pulling a shot, take a moment to consider the cup! Good espresso deserves to be enjoyed from great cups.