|Roaster Location:||Trieste, Italy|
|Coffee Origin:||Not disclosed.|
|Review Date:||August 2007|
Blind Assessment: As usual this famously refined espresso comes across either as elegantly refined or excessively delicate depending on taste, expectation and (despite Illy's rigorous quality assurance) slight variations in the blend itself. This time around I was impressed by the purity of the aroma and its floral, apple, lemon and milk chocolate notes. The mouthfeel certainly is not fat, but could be praised as silky. The cup could be criticized as a bit too sharp and simple, or valued (as I did) for its gentle tartness and hints of cedar, flowers and lemon. The finish could be praised for its floral and fruit persistence or criticized for a slight lean toward astringency. In short milk one could find it quietly sweet with a fine crisp chocolate (as I did) or lazy and wanting in power and fatness.
Notes: Sold in a handsome, reusable 8.8-ounce can. Illy, among the world's most technically sophisticated coffee roasters, has successfully positioned its quietly graceful, rather expensive espresso blend as a worldwide prestige brand. Visit
Who Should Drink It: Brand snobs and straight-shot and short-milk drinkers who value subtlety more than power and body. One thing is sure: This is not a blend for drinkers of big, sloppy American-style caffe lattes.
This review originally appeared in the August, 2007 tasting report: Italy Seen from America: Nine (Genuine) Italian and Three American Espressos