Some of the giants of the European coffee world are Illy and Lavazza.
And for good reason; they’re both really good coffees!
When I’ve visited Australia two times, I noticed that Illy is super popular there.
If you’ve ever tried either of them, you probably have noticed, they both have that “European” coffee feel.
It would make sense that Lavazza is a big company in Europe, because well, it’s an Italian company. And Italian espresso and coffee just has that reputation…
But Illy isn’t quite as “Italian” as Lavazza.
The founder, Francesco Illy, was a Hungarian man who started the business and seemed to move around a bit.
I digress, not only is Illy a really big coffee company, but they have great coffee to show.
Illy coffee beans are delicious, and it’s like a taste of European coffee.
In this article, we’ll look more at this coffee giant, their coffee and other fun facts!
A Little History
Francesco Illy was born in Hungary in 1892.
He founded illycaffè, the coffee company, in 1933.
And in 1935, he invented the illetta, the first automatic coffee machine that used steam instead of pressurized water.
The illetta is considered the blueprint for modern espresso machines, and it revolutionized coffee preparation in its time.
His son, Ernesto, became involved in the business in the late 1940s.
In the 1950s, he lead the company expansion into homes as they sold smaller cans of ground coffee for the first time.
It was in 1965 that the company moved location to Trieste, Italy, where it’s still located to this day.
In 1980 illycaffè came to the United States, and interestingly enough it was the first Italian roaster to export the espresso culture of Italy across the ocean.
The company went through many innovations and changes in the 1990s, changing the logo, designing new technology for espresso, and other things.
And today, it’s one of the heavy hitters of Italian espresso we know and love.
Illy Coffee Beans
One of the cool things about Illy Coffee is the tins that it comes in.
Although I’ll say up front that most of their coffee is sold as ground beans.
That may or may not be a turn off for you, but I’m just giving you a friend reminder/FYI.
Anyway, I love that they have sleek looking, sturdy tins that they pack their coffee beans in.
The look of them and everything is just nice.
They also have a unique pressurized packaging system which preserves the flavor and complexity of the Illy blend while enhancing the coffee’s aroma and ensuring optimal freshness.
But – and it’s probably at least partly due to these awesome tins – their coffee is quite pricy.
By comparison, Lavazza would usually cost somewhere around 50 cents/ounce, but a tin of Illy generally costs somewhere around $1.35/ounce. Wow!
But the fact is that Illy produces some of the world’s most refined espresso, and is an advocate for quality and technical sophistication in coffee production.
Many of their coffees are espresso roasts, although they offer “regular” coffees also.
Their espresso and coffee is usually balanced, and something that refined coffee drinkers will enjoy.
Their popular Classico Medium Roast is a great choice if you want to be introduced to their coffee… or if you’ve tried Illy coffee before but you just want a good coffee for your daily brew!
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It’s a rich and balanced coffee with notes of caramel and chocolate.
The coffee is smooth with a full body.
It’s also wonderfully consistent, with a nice silkiness and balanced acidity, that in my opinion doesn’t call for any milk or creamer or anything because of the awesome balance and delicacy of it.
This is a coffee that not only I, but many coffee lovers/snobs/enthusiasts highly recommend!
The truth is that there are many great Italian espresso or coffee companies.
But Illy definitely stands out among them because their espresso and coffee are quality, fresh and delicious, but also because they have been great innovators in the coffee and coffee brewing industry for a long time.
So for that they definitely deserve some respect, and probably to try their coffee as well if you haven’t yet!
Illy coffee beans are pretty much always a great choice, whether you get the Classico roast or one of their espresso blends.
I hope that if you try the Classico medium roast that you’ll really enjoy it!
If you have any questions or comments about Illy or any of their roasts, I’d love to hear from you in the comments section below!
And with that, Illy coffee cheers!