Four educational videos with text description from Illy university of coffee

The journey of coffee, brewing methods for coffee

Step by step, from cultivation to transport, from roasting to preparation, from faraway lands to the processing plant. And finally to our coffee shops and homes. Together we will discover what makes coffee unique and learn how best to taste it.
Best medium roast whole bean coffee
Four educational videos with text description from Illy university of coffee

The journey of coffee, brewing methods for coffee

Step by step, from cultivation to transport, from roasting to preparation, from faraway lands to the processing plant. And finally to our coffee shops and homes. Together we will discover what makes coffee unique and learn how best to taste it.
Quick page navigation
What is coffee? Types of coffee, Arabica and Robusta. Inside coffee bean. What is caffeine and where else can you find it besides coffee? Three ways to harvest coffee and selection stages. Dry and wet processing for coffee production. How green coffee is stored and transported.
Mixing and roasting coffee beans. How to preserve the aroma of coffee after roasting and grinding. Percolation brewing methods for coffee. Infusion brewing methods for coffee.
What is the perfect espresso? Correct grinding and tamping of espresso coffee.
Crema (foam) in espresso. 1000 aromas of roasted coffee. Body of espresso.
Grinding size for espresso. The extraction of the substances from the coffee. Coffee discovery. The first espresso machine.
Part 1

The journey of coffee: in the cultivating countries

Men and women have been drinking and enjoying coffee for centuries. For many people it is almost a cult. But where do these well-loved aromas, flavors and properties come from? Coffee undertakes a long and adventurous journey from a remote tropical field to reach our palate. Every stage of the trip is important, an essential link in the chain of quality.
Part 1

What is coffee?

First of all, coffee is a plant which is why going back to the very beginning the quality of the coffee in the cup depends most of all on botany and genetics. Coffea is an evergreen bush that belongs to the Rubiacee family. Its leaves which are a deep green resemble those of the bay laurel. They have a smooth surface, from the edges are slightly undulated. In its natural state the plants can grow to a substantial height up to 12 meters, but on plantations it is kept around 2 to 3 meters, to facilitate the harvest. It originates from the high plains of Kaffa, Ethiopia.
80
Coffee today grows in more than 80 countries around the world
5000
Maximum distance of 5,000 kilometers from the equator in the tropical regions of the globe.
17-30
Temperatures range between 17 Celsius and 30 Celsius
1200-2000
Precipitation varies between 1,200 and 2,000 millimeters a year.
Part 1

Types of coffee, Arabica and Robusta

Around a hundred species of coffee exist in nature, but essentially only two are consumed around the world. Coffea Arabica and Coffea canephora is known as Arabica and Robusta. Each brings different characteristics to the drinks they make, a more balanced taste and a wider aromatic spectrum for Arabica and a less aromatic more bitter taste for Robusta. These differences are also due to the geographic and climatic conditions in which the two species grow. Much more delicate Arabica is grown at high altitudes, where the fruit ripens at moderate temperatures and where temperature variations and alternating seasons flavor the development of aromas. Robusta on the other hand is much harder and grows at lower altitudes, no higher than 800 meters above sea level.

Inside coffee bean

Part 1
An unusual characteristic of coffea is that it's productive cycle is strictly linked to the rain pattern where it grows. The plant blooms after every intense rain that follows a dry period. Coffeas small white flowers are intensely perfumed. They wither after about a week and then the plant begins a new adventure, starting the process of fructification. The fruit of the coffee plant looks much like a cherry as it ripens its color changes from green to bright red or yellow. Each fruit contains two seeds, the coffee beans. Beneath the skin surrounded by the pulp there is a sugary layer called the mucilage. The seeds are then protected by a thick whitish membrane called the parchment and a second tight-fitting silvery membrane called the silver skin. Beneath this we find our beans.
Part 1

What is caffeine and where else can you find it besides coffee?

If we look even further inside the coffee fruits at a molecular level, we find another component we recognize. But perhaps we don't know that much about it. Caffeine. Because this is such a technical question I'm going to pass you over to an expert. Marino will tell you all about the secrets of this mysterious molecule. Mysterious? Did you know that caffeine is the most studied molecule in alimentary pharmacology? There are thousands and thousands of articles in medical literature to describe the effects it has on the human organism. It's no surprise because caffeine is actually very common in the vegetable world, where plants use it as a kind of natural anti-parasite.

Human beings also consume it in many things. You might be surprised to know that there is caffeine in tea, there is caffeine in cola and there is caffeine in lots of traditional drinks popular in South America, such as guarana in Brazil or matte in Argentina. Caffeine is metabolized pretty quickly in a matter of hours and some people metabolize it faster than others, which explains why some have a greater desire for coffee than others. However, we should also remember that Arabica coffee the one we like grown in the mountains contains less caffeine than its cousin Robusta, up to half the amount.

Part 1

Three ways to harvest coffee and selection stages

Due to the fact that it flowers when there is intense rainfall after a dry spell a coffee plant can bear fruit in varying stages of ripeness, which makes harvesting a complex operation. There are essentially three ways to harvest coffee. Picking, where only the ripe fruits are collected by hand. Stripping, where all the fruit ripe and unripe is stripped off the branch. And mechanical stripping which is similar to hand stripping but use this special machine.

To guarantee the quality, coffee must go through several selection stages along its journey. The first takes place when the fruit of the coffee plant is harvested. This is necessary to separate the ripe and healthy fruit from many which is unripe or defective. This phase uses a giant cyst from the flotation technique, when immersed in water any overripe dry or insect-damaged roots float to the surface, where they can be discarded. Later when the beans have been extracted from the fruit they too must be selected. As well as discarding defective beans, this operation also sorts the beans by weight, color and size. Now in one of the most difficult stages of their journey, the coffee beans must be extracted from the harvested and selected fruit. This can be done by dry or wet processing.

Dry and wet processing for coffee producing

While dry processing natural coffee is produced. The fruit is laid out to dry in the sun on large cloths or tables for two or three weeks. Wet processing on the other hand uses washed coffee and is preferred in countries with rainy climates. This method strips the fruit of its skin on a large part of its pulp with specialty pulping machinery. However, the bean remains covered in mucilage. This can be removed either by drying which gives us cafe descascado or mechanically to make cafe desmucilado or by natural fermentation to make café despulpado.

How green coffee is stored and transported

Part 1
After selection coffee is stored in jute or polypropylene sacks. These come in different sizes but generally weigh 50 kilos. It is kept in warehouses ready to be loaded into containers on cargo ships. During this stage it is very important to protect the coffee from humidity, light and odors that could compromise the quality. Finally, the coffee is ready to set off on the long journey that will take it all over the globe.

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Part 2

The journey of coffee: traveling around the world

Together we will discover the great transformations that happen to coffee in consuming countries. Here it experiences a very different stage of its life. First, it is blended, roasted and packaged before being transformed for the last time into the drink. There are many types of drinks that coffee lovers desire. Like all stages that have gone before this phase is critical. One single error and the coffee in the cup is ruined

Mixing and roasting coffee beans

Part 2
Batches a coffee selected for their quality arrive in Trieste.
After these selection stages, the coffee beans can be blended. Blending coffee of different origins serves to create a perfectly balanced and consistent taste. This is exactly how the blend is created using nine carefully selected Arabica's. These are combined by constantly adjusting the quantities. The blend is mixed before it is roasted. This is the only way that it is possible to obtain a consistent result. Coffee experiences its most radical transformations inside the roasting machine. Here its chemical composition and appearance change forever and the beans acquire their final aromatic characteristics. The color changes from green to dark browns and the bean becomes very brittle.

While the volume increases by as much as 60% and the weight decreases by 18-20 % the ideal roasting process is gradual and uniform. It allows the beans to develop a huge number of substances that give coffee its aroma. The green beans contain around 300 composites but after roasting they contain mealy 1,000.
Part 2

Effect of coffee grinding on extraction

Grinding is the process that turns the beans into the powder used to prepare all coffee based drinks. Technically, its purpose is to increase the surface area of the coffee that will come into contact with water so that the water can extract the largest possible quantity of pleasant aromatic substances.

How to preserve the aroma of coffee after roasting and grinding

Part 2
coffee'sOnce roasted coffee quickly loses its aroma. Particularly, if it has been ground but there is a special way of preserving it. This is pressurization. Which means packing coffee using an inert gas.

This was an intuition by the founder of Illy coffee and that was over 80 years ago. He decided to inject nitrogen which is an inert gas to the coffee packed in solid steel cans in order to protect the coffee from contact with oxygen in the air. Now oxygen is vital for us to breathe, but it is coffees worst enemy. Because it causes it to deteriorate very quickly. Surprisingly, Francesco Illy discovered that the pressure which develops over the weeks does not just protect the coffee but actually improves the aroma just like a seasoning process.
Part 2

Percolation brewing methods for coffee

Now the roasted coffee bean has arrived at the final important stage of its journey. Its transformation into a drink. The beloved little cup full in the world is made with only two ingredients: water and coffee. Plus, two main preparation techniques: percolation and infusion. The most widespread way to prepare coffee in the world today uses percolation. Pressure forces hot water through a layer of coffee and extracts aroma and properties. There are three main types of drink prepared with percolation: espresso, moka and filtered coffees.
Espresso brewing method
Espresso
Espresso is the technique that makes the most of the coffee beans. Guaranteeing maximum concentration, a wide range of aromas and a long aftertaste. Espresso uses quite high pressure.
Moka coffee brewing method
Moka
The moka is the method most widely used in Italian homes. It uses percolation caused by the steam produced when water is heated in the pot. It makes a drink that is medium bodied and less sweet than espresso, with notes of chocolate and a slightly smoky taste.
Pour over coffee brewing method
Filtered coffee
Filtered coffees make use of the force of gravity. Hot water passes from top to bottom through a filter containing ground coffee. The resulting drink is aromatic, sweet and has a light body.
Part 2

Infusion brewing methods for coffee

Infusion is the most ancient way to make coffee. Similar to the method used to prepare tea, it relies on a period of contact with hot water to liberate the properties of coffee. The drink obtained can subsequently be filtered. There are essentially two drinks that are made through infusion. French press and oriental coffee.
Oriental coffee brewing method
Oriental coffee
Oriental coffee uses the infusion method and goes back to the days of the ottoman empire. It is prepared with chats berry or ibrick. The typical conical long handle brass pot, where coffee is left to infuse. Here there is no separation, the ground coffee remains as a sediment on the bottom of the pot and some particles float in the drink. This type of preparation produces a higher concentration of caffeine than other methods.
French press brewing method
French press coffee
French press coffee is also prepared by infusion using a special carafe with a piston. Ground coffee is placed in the bottom of the carafe and boiling water is poured over it. After 3-4 minutes the drink is filtered. French press coffee is particularly sweet, with notes of toasted bread.

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Part 3

The espresso experience

Prepared expressly for you and enjoyed straightaway espresso is a genuine concentration of flavors and perfumes. The 25 to 30 milliliters in the cup reward you with incomparable sensations of taste and aroma as you drink it. Which stay with you long afterwards thanks to its unique aftertaste. Many people believe that espresso is the quintessential coffee, the greatest expression of the drink.

What is perfect espresso?

Part 3
When the right quantity of hot water at just the right temperature and pressure is forced through finely ground carefully pressed coffee, the result is a perfect espresso. Perfect preparation depends on the correct balance between extraction time and the volume of coffee in the cup. 30 seconds per 25 milliliters of espresso, excellence then depends on other critical factors such as the amount of pressure, temperature, dosage. Here are the numbers for a perfect cup of espresso: 7 grams of coffee, 92 degrees Celsius water temperature for preparation. 30 seconds extraction including five from pre-infusion. 9 bar water pressure, 25 milliliters volume in the cup.

Correct grinding and tamping of espresso coffee

Part 3
What enables water to flow through a panel of coffee in 30 seconds to produce exactly 25 milliliters of espresso? First and foremost, the grind. The coffee powder must have the right granulometry, that is the correct distribution of small and large particles in order to adequately resist the pressure of the water flowing through it. Extracting the best aromas and substances from the coffee as it does so. The coffee must be tamping down correctly so that the layer of coffee in the filter holder has the right density to allow the extraction of a perfect espresso.

The barista does this with a tool called a tamper, using a circular motion and applying about 20 kilograms of pressure. Water heated in the machine's boiler flows through the coffee to create espresso at a temperature of 92 degrees Celsius. A higher temperature would burn the ground coffee and produce a bitter taste. Espresso reaches the cup at about 65 degrees Celsius and it's ready to be tasted. The correct temperature is an important part of the pleasure of espresso. So the cup it is served in should always be kept warm. the name says it all. espresso is created quickly and should be consumed quickly too.

Crema (foam) in espresso

Part 3
The perfect espresso engages all five senses and each sense plays its part in recognizing a perfectly prepared cup of espresso. This is why tasting is an experience that engages us so completely. We can discover a lot about the espresso we are about to drink by looking at the crema on the surface. In technical terms, this is a foam and is created when the carbon dioxide that has developed during roasting is released. The carbon dioxide forms bubbles and creates emotion with the fat contained in the coffee, which then rises to the surface.

When espresso is perfectly prepared, the crema should be hazelnut colored tending towards dark brown, with delicate brown or reddish tiger stripes. The crema should be two to five-millimeter-thick, made of tight densely packed almost invisible air bubbles. And should last at least two minutes. The crema is like the lid of a precious treasure chest protecting the aromas contained in the cup.
Part 3

1000 aromas of roasted coffee

There are roughly 1,000 aromas in roasted coffee, but our sense of smell is not able to identify each one. Aroma is a molecule, so each of the senses that surrounds us is made up of a molecule. There are a great number of these odor molecules. Essentially one for each odor, but we very rarely come across them in isolation. They are usually grouped you know des compounds.

Of the 1,000 aromas that make up coffee, we can easily recognize at least the 16 main ones divided into six families. A family of floral aromas recalls the pleasant light and delicate scent of fresh flowers. There are fruity scents, which called to mind the sugary notes of ripe fruit. The family of green aromas is perhaps their hardest to recognize in the cards. They recall the fresh and alive vegetable notes of plants and leaves. Then we have roasted aromas, warn and heavy notes, delicately sweet with hints of bitterness. These are the aromas we most readily associate with coffee, they recall chocolate. The family of spicy notes on the other hand evokes exotic, aromatic, woods and spices. Lastly, we have caramel aromas, which cover all the notes of sugar from delicate to flambé and vanilla.
Part 3

Body of espresso

However, every cup of coffee has a different aroma, they differ due to the combination of aromas and to the relative intensity of each one. But why? Because each cup of coffee is made with a different coffee or rather they are most commonly made with a skillful blend of coffees, mixing different origins and roasts. This is why our tasting experience can vary so much from cup to cup.

Even the senses of touch and hearing help us to taste espresso. One of the tactile sensations that espresso produces in the mouth is known as the body. Ideally, the body of espresso should be syrupy. A combination of viscosity and density, that gives a sensation similar to milk in the mouth. The pleasure of espresso is always preceded by certain acoustics cues. From the noise of the espresso machine to the clicking of the teaspoon in the cup. From the noises around us in the coffee shop to the voices of people nearby. Sounds also have a significant influence on the espresso drinker's experience.

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Part 4

Espresso close up

It is amazing how much there is to be discovered in a simple cup of espresso. Loved by coffee drinkers the world over espresso still has many secrets to reveal and many stories to tell. A wealth of knowledge for both connoisseurs and coffee lovers. In order to really understand espresso, we need to leave behind the things we all think we know and discover some of the genuine tricks of the trade.
Part 4

Grinding size for espresso

To prepare an espresso, whether it's normal, ristretto or lungo, it always takes the same amount of time, the obligatory 30 seconds. The difference lies in the grind., the finer the grind the more the coffee powder resists the hot water to produce a smaller amount of coffee, a ristretto. The coarser grind allows the water to flow more freely filling more of the cup and creating a lungo. When the magic formula for preparing espresso is not respected, the poor results are easy to see. There are two main types of imperfect espresso. Under extracted and over-extracted. Luckily they are very easy to recognize.

The extraction of the substances from the coffee

Espresso naturally offers perfect balance. Without the addition of sugar or milk. However, many coffee lovers are reluctant to change their habits and prefer to add a little sugar or milk to their espresso. There's nothing wrong with this, but those who wish to deepen their knowledge of coffee and become true connoisseurs should gradually accustom their palates to the taste of espresso without distractions.
Under-extracted espresso
Under-extracted espresso happens when the extraction time, the quantity of coffee powder or the water temperature are lower than they should be. The extraction of the substances from the coffee is incomplete and the resulting espresso will be weak and too acidic. The crema will be light-colored and not very long-lasting.
Over-extracted espresso
Over extracted espresso happens when the extraction time, the quantity of coffee powder or the water temperature are greater than they should be. In this case too many substances are extracted from the coffee and it will taste bitter and astringent. The crema will be dark often with a wide spot in the center.

Coffee discovery

Part 4
According to the legend it was an Ethiopian shepherd who first discovered the properties of coffee many centuries ago. In the hands of the best baristas it has now conquered the world. Myths and legends are always fascinating. They are part of the poetry of peoples around the world. But I prefer to base myself on documentary sources. The oldest known work is by the monk Fausto Narroness, who wrote this Aluberima Poticione in 1671, making it the first treatise dedicated to coffee. This is where we find the story of a goatherd, called Shadley, who some say was from Ethiopia or maybe from Yemen and who was struck by the agitation of his herd of goats.

However, there is the story in the original Latin and that version talks about camels. Finding the animals, grazing on a bush filled with shiny red cherries, the shepherd realizes the stimulating effect must be caused by the fruit. He even set off on a journey to bring the mysterious fruit to a monk. The monk took one look at the cherries and declared them the work of the devil. Throwing them into the fire where they released their unique contenting aroma. Probably, when those very beans were ground and soaked in a bowl of hot water the first cup of coffee in the world was created. It is said that this dark bitter drink enabled the monks to fight off sleep on their long nights of prayer and that the beans came to be seen as a true gift from God.


The first espresso machine

Part 4
The start of the 20th century saw experiments in Europe to find the best techniques to prepare a new kind of coffee. More aromatic full-bodied and quick to make. In keeping with an era that was so in love with speed and modernity. To obtain a drink that was satisfyingly intense, it was necessary to work with pressure. The first espresso machine was presented at the 1884 World's Fair in Turin. Designed by Angelo Moriondo, this was followed by legendary models such as the Bezzera, Pavoni, and the Victoria Arduino. The result was coffee that was bitter, not very intense, with a slightly burnt taste. Very different from what we drink today.

The first espresso machine from Illy

Part 4
The turning point came in 1935, when Francesco Illy had the inspiration to use an external pump to produce the pressure for his espresso machine. This was the origin of the Illeta, one of the forerunners of contemporary espresso machines. The water used for the preparation never exceeded a hundred degrees Celsius and the result was quite similar to today's espresso. As well as the Illeta, Illy caffe has created or introduced many important innovations in the 80 years since the company was founded. Pressurization to improve the packaging of ground coffee and beans, which actually improved in the can. Single portion pods and the invention of ether espresso capsules to enable impeccable preparation in any context. Espresso may be the most complex drink that we consume.
Part 4

The symbol of coffee shop is espresso

It is only thanks to the barista's talent and skills that tasting an espresso can be transformed into a truly memorable moment. The symbol of the Italian-style coffee shop espresso and today is consumed and loved by millions of enthusiasts. It is at the heart of rituals that accompany age-old traditions. Every day 7 million cups of Illy espresso are enjoyed around the globe. In little more than a century, espresso has conquered the world.

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