Espresso Con Panna Is A Rich Delight

Espresso Con Pana is an Italian original now popular in the U.S.

Espresso by itself is a dark, robust blend of coffee bean perfection.  The drink that put Italy on the map has been transformed by some of the top coffee sellers in the world into many different varieties.  But one such blend is just as well known as espresso by itself, and that is espresso con panna.

The Italian drink is translated as, “espresso with cream“.  After the espresso is created through high pressured hot water then sweet homemade whipped cream is added.  And of course if you do not want the added sugar then the cream by itself is just enough to take the bite out of the dark coffee taste.

The espresso con panna is a favorite in the United States.  In fact, Starbucks has it on the menu, which can be made with one, two or three shots.  Because of it’s bitter taste this drink may not be for everyone, especially if you enjoy tasting less of the coffee and more of the filler.  But for the robust taste buds this drink is a creamy delight and very simple to make.

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.

Espresso Cafes, A Culture Is Born



A nice creamy cup of espresso begins by forcing hot water through finely ground coffee.  It may then be used as a base for many specialty coffee drinks or enjoyed as is with a lemon rind to rim your cup.

Espresso has more caffeine per typical 30ml (1 fluid ounce) cup than other beverages.  Compared to a 6 ounce cup of drip coffee it has about half of the caffeine.

In Italy espresso bars provided a place for socialization with the advent of growing urbanized areas.  Local authorities controlled the price of espresso with the understanding that it would be consumed standing, hence the “stand-up” café.

Due to the equipment that was needed to make espresso they were only available in cafes or restaurants with the machines.  The domestic espresso machine was popularized in the 1970’s but was still large, expensive and required a bit of know-how to use them.  In recent years the espresso machine has evolved through the introduction of the coffee pod concept.

The origin of the word is debatable but it has been said it means “pressed out” or similar to the English word express meaning a quick coffee. 

Express can also mean to squeeze the flavor from, espres can refer to the speed of a train and espresso can mean especially for someone. 

The first espresso machines the Bezzera and Pavoni from 1906 took 45 seconds to make a cup of espresso, one cup at a time, “just for you”.