Illy Coffee Company

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The history of illycaffè is inextricably linked to the lives of the company’s founder, Francesco Illy, and his family. Born in Temesvár, Kingdom of Hungary, Austria-Hungary (since 1920 Timişoara, Romania), Francesco later came to Trieste during World War I as an officer in the army. After the war, he remained in the city, which had recently come under Italian rule, and in 1933 set up a business in the cocoa and coffee sector, eventually deciding to concentrate exclusively on coffee. From the beginning, Francesco Illy was interested in espresso coffee. In 1935 he invented the first automatic coffee machine which substituted compressed air for steam: the illetta, the predecessor of today’s espresso machines.

He also devised a new packaging system for preserving coffee in which the cans were filled with inert gases instead of air pressurization. illy coffee was soon “exported” outside the immediate Trieste area, and was eventually sold all over Italy.

After the Second World War, control of the company passed to Ernesto Illy (1925-2008), son of the founder, who started a research laboratory that soon became the source of numerous new inventions and patents. It was Ernesto, a scientist and researcher, who established cooperation agreements with universities and research centres, and who promoted premium coffee around the globe. His son, Andrea Illy is currently the chairman and CEO, and his sister Anna Illy and brother Riccardo Illy are on the board.

The Illy brand is available in many countries though with significant price differences depending on import duty rates.

Currently, illycaffè S.p.A. is a large international company, selling its coffee-related products in approximately 131 countries worldwide. The illy group is made up of several companies located in North America, France, Germany, Spain and Benelux. The group employs approximately 700 people throughout these six locations.

Since the end of the 1980s, illy has not purchased green coffee from the international commodity markets, but directly from the source. illycaffé exclusively purchases coffee of the Arabica species, in particular from Brazil, the largest producer worldwide, but also from Colombia, India, and countries in Africa and Central America.

illy was featured prominently in the 2006 documentary Black Gold, in reference to its marketing of coffee from Ethiopia.

illy Coffee

The illy coffee blend is obtained by selecting Arabica beans from multiple sources. These particular beans are considered to have a richer taste and lower caffeine content than Robusta beans.

The illy method is a pressurisation technique used by the company to preserve its coffee. In this process, air is extracted from the cans and replaced with inert gases at a higher-than-atmospheric pressure level.

The illy decaffeination method involves the coffee beans being first steamed for 30 minutes and then repeatedly rinsed with either methylene chloride (Dichloromethane/DCM) or ethyl acetate for about 10 hours. The solvent is then drained away and the beans steamed for an additional 10 hours to remove any residual solvent.

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Written by cyberiadmin

February 9, 2011 at 3:07 pm

Posted in Blog

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