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Illy Espresso and Coffee Beans

Illy is without a doubt my single favorite coffee bean for making both coffee and espresso, but what many people don't realize is that they also make espresso machines under their FrancisFrancis! brand. But since we already have an entire section of the site focusing on FrancisFrancis! espresso machines, I'm going to discuss Illy beans here instead.

Yes, it's true that we normally only tend to spotlight espresso machines here at but I thought I'd make an exception and dedicate a section of the site just to Illy beans.

And ok, we already have a section of the site that talks about beans, but I wanted to make a "dedicated Illy bean" section because they're really just about the best beans on the market (in my opinion) and they offer such a diverse range of options; they deserve their own section. And anyway, it's my web site so I'll do what I want or take my ball and go home!

The Company

Before we go into the beans, I want to say a word or two on the company in case you want to know about that sort of thing. The company is headquartered in Trieste Italy and was founded by Francesco Illy somewhere around 1933. They have around 700 employees and sell their coffee in over 130 countries.

illycaffe S.p.A.
Ph: 1-877-469-4559

So let's get down to the coffee. With all the different options available, it's hard to realize that Illy only really offers one blend of Arabica bean. Granted, they offer it in different variations, namely:

  • Normal Roast - Great for coffee
  • Medium Roast - Good for coffee or Espresso
  • Dark Roast - Great for Espresso
  • Decaffeinated Roast - Great for...uh...something I'm sure!

But the variations don't stop there because you can get each of those different roasts in either:

  • Whole Beans - My favorite
  • Pre-Ground
  • E.S.E. pods
  • iperEspresso Capsules

The great thing about Illy coffee, besides the taste, is the price. Granted, it's not the cheapest stuff around, but it's also not the most expensive. You won't be spending $30 for a small supply like with some of your more exotic high end coffee's out there.

You can expect to pay anywhere from $12 to $15 per 8.8 oz can. Packages of 18-count ESE pods are priced about the same, but you can expect to pay just a little more for the iperEspresso capsules (a 21 count package costs around $15-$16 bucks depending on where you buy it).

Tracking down Illy coffee can be a bit of a hassle, but it's getting easier as the coffee becomes more and more popular. You can often find it at WholeFoods, WorldMarket, and at high end specialty grocery stores. You can also order it directly from Illy's web site.

It also pops up in places you might not think to look. For instance, there's a small Italian deli near my home that sells it. Check your local deli's and bakeries and you might get lucky.

It's hard to categorize the coffee because I'm so biased but here goes. If you don't care what you drink, spend $3-5 and get whatever your grocery store sells in those big tin cans. If you like good coffee but want to spend less than $10 bucks or so, pick out something from Starbucks.

But, if you really want to taste amazing coffee or espresso every day but don't want to spend hundreds of dollars, go with Illy. It allows you to feel like you're drinking the most expensive espresso in the world, without spending your kid's college money! Trust me, you won't regret it!

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