I think of Illy coffee shops as sort of like the Starbucks of Italy. If you travel at all in Italy, you’re bound to run into one. You can find one of their shops, with Illy’s cheery red-and-white logo, on practically every corner.
But Illy has an illustrious history that pre-dates Starbucks by several decades. Founded in 1933, Illy started using high-quality Arabica beans – the kind that produce the finest coffees – years before it was common. And way back in the ‘30s, company founder Ernesto Illy invented both the predecessor to the modern espresso machine, and a patented pressurization system that allowed Illy to preserve the fresh taste of its coffee roasts after packaging.
In other words, these folks know their coffee. Today, the company is still run by the Illy family. Their signature blend is a mix of nine types of robust Arabica beans, sustainably grown and purchased from the growers, not from third-party brokers.
Coffee connoisseurs the world over love Illy for its full, smooth, rich taste, and robust aroma. Try drip varieties in espresso, medium roast and decaf, or for the real gourmet experience, pick up whole beans and grind them yourself.