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The Science of Coffee: Andrea Illy in NYC by Liz Clayton
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MarkPrince
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Posted Tue Jan 22, 2008, 3:51pm
Subject: Re: The Science of Coffee: Andrea Illy in NYC by Liz Clayton
 

Most Italian households to this day still wake up to a moka brew of coffee. It's tradition, much like in the US or Canada it's waking up to the auto drip.

On an anthropological level, it always spoke volumes to me. Moka's pretty hands on; auto drip is not.

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MarkPrince
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Posted Tue Jan 22, 2008, 7:12pm
Subject: Re: The Science of Coffee: Andrea Illy in NYC by Liz Clayton
 

As an aside - there's a Digg link on the bottom of the main article page which I added a few days ago. We'll be adding Digg This (as well as other linkthings) to future select articles. If you think this article should get out there in the "cloud" more (as Steve Jobs and Bill Gates like to call it), can you go back to the article page and click the digg this link?

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JVBorella
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Posted Tue Jan 22, 2008, 8:42pm
Subject: Re: The Science of Coffee: Andrea Illy in NYC by Liz Clayton
 

andys Said:

And in North America the plastic is not going to be incinerated, either. No matter how creatively he spins it, his pods are going into the landfill along with millions of pounds of other useless crap. (Oops, did I really say that?  ;-)

I just sent an email to info@illyusa.com:

Posted January 20, 2008 link

Do you still have landfills in your area? In southern New England they've been closed for years. What isn't recycled is most definitely incinerated. There is an incinerator about 25 miles south of here. As you might imagine they are equipped with scrubbers/filters to clean the emissions but the plastic in the garbage bags is being burnt.

 
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Posted Tue Jan 22, 2008, 10:26pm
Subject: Re: The Science of Coffee: Andrea Illy in NYC by Liz Clayton
 

mrgnomer Said:

I think at one point he used 800F as a finishing temp for a roast.

Posted January 20, 2008 link

The_Mighty_Bean Said:

Oh, cool! I had no idea Illy was going into partnership with Starbucks.

;)

Posted January 20, 2008 link

pstam Said:

It might be the general understanding that SUCCESS plus SUCCESS get a bigger SUCCESS.  It is a general way of thinking of business.

Posted January 21, 2008 link

Hi Peter, I know the language issues sometimes get in the way. I was joking. :)  Starbucks is known for roasting their beans to the point of charring.   800 degrees F  would actually be a fire, not a roast temp.  

Just having a little fun.

-bean
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Posted Wed Jan 23, 2008, 5:37am
Subject: Re: The Science of Coffee: Andrea Illy in NYC by Liz Clayton
 

"Espresso is a nightmare in terms of preparation," explained Illy. "To grind, to dose, to tamp," he lamented, adding that the process is "messy" and "inelegant".

Am I the only one who feels a little insulted when Mr. Illy claims that espresso preparation is "inelegant"? To me it's a real pleasure to watch an experienced barista prepare his shots! It's elegant not inelegant!

Maybe it's just because English is not my first language. Does "inelegant" have another meaning than as the opposite of "elegant"?

I do agree that it's messy, though ;)

 
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Posted Wed Jan 23, 2008, 6:10am
Subject: Re: The Science of Coffee: Andrea Illy in NYC by Liz Clayton
 

MoBak Said:

"Espresso is a nightmare in terms of preparation," explained Illy. "To grind, to dose, to tamp," he lamented, adding that the process is "messy" and "inelegant".

Am I the only one who feels a little insulted when Mr. Illy claims that espresso preparation is "inelegant"? To me it's a real pleasure to watch an experienced barista prepare his shots! It's elegant not inelegant!

Maybe it's just because English is not my first language. Does "inelegant" have another meaning than as the opposite of "elegant"?

I do agree that it's messy, though ;)

Posted January 23, 2008 link

Good point.  I heard him slip in an intentionally biased opinion against hands on espresso preperation as well.

I think he did it for a couple reasons.  First to show he's aware of the standards for preparing good espresso.  Then create a bias against it in order to set up his introduction of the HyperEspresso system.  Kind of a we know espresso and can offer you barista quality espresso in a quick, clean, lean, mean, proprietary pod machine.

I seriously doubt a pod machine could match the quality of espresso a commited enthusiast would be capable of.  I wouldn't know Andrea Illy's real position on what is the most effective way of preparing the best possible espresso.  Being Italian I imagine it would favour good manually operated equipment and the experienced hand of a barista.  He's probably just setting up and putting some spin on a pitch to a relatively new North American specialty espresso market.  Did he ever say HyperEspresso would be good as barista prepared espresso?

Pod machines or any fully automatic espresso extraction system must be like automatic transmission cars in Europe.  My parents are European and I don't know if the sentiment has changed, it's been a few years since I've been back, but, because of a lot of hills and mountains here and there, manual transmissions were favoured.  The people I spoke to like to have full control over their car.  If you're a good driver you insist on a manual transmission.  Better on gas for the most part as well.  Not so good drivers go to automatics because they can't handle manuals, or atleast that's the bias that was impressed on me from all the times I was over.  I prefer a manual ;)
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Posted Wed Jan 23, 2008, 11:04am
Subject: Re: The Science of Coffee: Andrea Illy in NYC by Liz Clayton
 

Indeed, Signore Illy might have chosen his words more carefully if he'd been speaking to us, but he wasn't. I think if he succeeds in advancing the super-automatic side of the market, he'll be doing the coffee culture a service -- even if Hyper-Espresso is only a marginal improvement over Nespresso. I would love to see more people enjoying espresso, even if it's not as good as we would make it.

If in the long run our barista skills start to look hopelessly retro, like baking bread from scratch, I can deal with that. If Illy's machines produce better quality than Starbucks, I hope to see more of his machines out there -- it would improve the palate of the mass market, IMO.

 
"Non la macchina, la mano."
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Posted Thu Feb 21, 2008, 1:34am
Subject: Re: The Science of Coffee: Andrea Illy in NYC by Liz Clayton
 

Any idea about whether those glass/frosted glass Illy espresso cups in the pictures are currently available to the public?  I checked Illy's site and couldn't find them.  I really like the Bodum double wall cups so that I can look below the surface of my nectar.  Those Illy cups would also be really great.
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