Decades of expertise and a hard-core passion for fine coffee make this luxury brand a hard cup to follow
Not all coffees, it would seem, are created equal: there’s coffee, and then there’s illy coffee. Those in the know and in the caffeine habit would attest to the fact that illy’s signature high-quality blend, which is made of nine kinds of pure Arabica, makes the renowned brand a cup above the rest. One might even say that a cup of perfectly brewed illy coffee is a hard cup to follow.
“Delighting people who love the quality of life thanks to the best coffee that nature can offer, enhanced even more by the most advanced technologies: this is illycaffè mission, passion, and obsession. My family has been committed to this challenge for four generations: to give a smile at each cup of coffee,” says Andrea Illy, Chairman and CEO of illycaffè, and descendant of Illy founder, Francesco Illy.
In Manila, illy is brought in by Delizio Fine Foods, Inc., much to the delight of coffee aficionados in the Metro. Delizio’s general Manager, Yuki Esteban, shares that the reception to illy in Manila “has been very positive.”
“The Espressamente illy franchise coffee shops in Rockwell, Mall of Asia and Terminal 3 helped to build the brand and increase awareness and today we are seeing many hotels, such as Sofitel, and restaurant groups preferring to use illy to ensure a high standard for their coffee preparation,” Esteban adds.
Perfection and innovation
Illy’s commitment towards the perfection and innovation of the science and the art of coffee pleasure is such that the company established the Università del Caffè. This university dedicated to coffee aims to spread the illy heritage of skill to coffee producers and growers, coffee bar businessmen and baristas, and to consumers and connoisseurs, as well. Università del Caffè has its main campus in Trieste, and looks to opening a total of 25 campuses outside of Italy. More than 106,000 people have been trained by the university, worldwide, since it started in the year 2000.
“Many people don’t realize the effort it takes to make a great cup of coffee,” notes Joey Esteban, President of Delizio Fine Foods, Inc. “From the maintenance of the machines, to the decision as to what particular grind you should use, all the way to the temperature required for making the perfect coffee variant, the way the milk is steamed, etcetera, etcetera. It’s very intricate; there are a lot of different components that go into the preparation of all the different kinds of coffee varieties.”
Barista of baristas
Among the roster of coffee experts at the Università del Caffè is Barista Trainer, Nicola Scognamiglio; the Barista of baristas. With over a decade of coffee smarts under his belt – having been exposed to the world of coffee since the age of 14 – Scognamiglio teaches a class on becoming a Coffee Expert, from basic cupping theory, to becoming a true “sommelier” of coffee. He likewise conducts a course on Creative Coffee, which is a highly specialized practical course, designed to train students in various techniques such as frothing milk and froth design for that perfect and artistic cup of cappuccino, creating new recipes for alcoholic and non-alcoholic coffee variants, etc.
Scognamiglio was recently in Manila, for training and demonstration series at the Sofitel Philippine Plaza, where he wowed diners at Spiral with his intricate froth art, and his refreshing, exciting alcoholic coffee creation, the Coffee Mojito. “I go to different countries in the Asia-Pacific that carry the illy brand twice a year, to conduct training. I also introduce new recipes and techniques to illy’s partners and customers,” Scognamiglio points out.
Take your coffee enjoyment to the next level with a cup (or glass!) of illy, and delight in the perfectly-balanced taste and full-bodied flavor of coffee, like no other.
Illy’s Coffee Mojito Recipe
try it and love it!
1 tbsp plus 2 tsp (25 ml) Espresso
5-6 fresh mint leaves
2 tsp (6 g) white cane sugar
1 tbsp (15 ml) mineral water
2 tbsp (30 ml) white vodka
A spring of fresh mint
A fascinating variation on the timeless cocktail born in Havana, and favorite of legendary writer Ernest Hemingway. Here, rum gives way to white vodka, and coffee becomes the star. A curious pairing of Espresso with mint offers the palate fresh notes and new flavors. Perfect for parties.
Chill the glass.
Prepare the Espresso in a small cup.
Put the mint leaves and sugar in the glass and crush gently with the pestle.
Add the water, without letting the sugar dissolve.
Break the ice cubes into the smallest pieces possible and add them to the mixture.
Add the white vodka and, last of all, the Espresso.
Garnish with a sprig of fresh mint and serve.
By ANGIE DUARTE