Illy – Coffee As A Science


Illy Cup

Born to a Hungarian-Italian chocolate maker Francesco Illy, Ernesto was destined to perfect the cup of coffee.  Francesco, an officer in WWI, came to Italy and created the famous Illy brand in 1933.

Ernesto majored in Chemistry at the University of Bologna and spent his entire life creating the perfect cup of coffee for the average coffee drinker.  He took over the company in 1956 and created a high-tech manufacturing process for espresso coffee.

Referred to as the Bell Labs of coffee in Trieste, Ernesto Illy built a laboratory equipped with sophisticated instrumentation like infrared emission pyrometers, flame ionization detectors and gas chromatographs.

In 1999 the Universita del Caffe was established in Naples and then moved to Trieste to promote and disseminate the culture of quality coffee.  Using a wide array of courses people from managers to restaurant owners, bartenders, hotel managers, and coffee growers to consumers learn all about coffee.

The Universita del Caffee has branches in Brazil, India, China, South Korea, Egypt, the Netherlands, France, Germany, Croatia, Great Britain, the U.S., Greece, Turkey, the Czech Republic and Malaysia, with over 10,000 people attending courses each year.

The rules for a perfect espresso using Illy coffee

* Water temperature should be 90°-95°C

* Coffee in cup temperature should be 80°-85°C

* Dosage should be 6-7 grams per espresso cup

* Volume in cup should be 30 ml

* Time extraction should be 25-30 seconds.

“Fine espresso paints the tongue”, he was quoted to have said of his favorite beverage of which he indeed made perfect.  Ernesto Illy passed away on February 3, 2008, his dream fulfilled.

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