At The Dylan we love coffee, L-O-V-E, there is no better way to express it. A perfect Cappuccino, a Naked Doppio, Macchiato or a good old fashioned espresso, we cannot get enough of it. So when we got the opportunity to welcome Mr. Coffee himself, Andrea Illy, we were thrilled.
Andrea Illy is the chairman and CEO of illy Café , he represents the third generation to lead this family business. The company is founded over 80 years ago and its core values never changed over time; to create the highest quality coffee; an authentic Italian experience in every cup.
We asked Mr. Illy to make us the perfect Cappuccino and to tell us some more about his insights on coffee.
What defines the illy way of serving coffee?
‘Coffee of the highest order, coffee that delights: this is illy’s mission, passion and obsession. A simple idea created through complex means: eight decades of experience; unmatched knowledge of coffee biology and chemistry; unrivalled skill at roasting; the pioneering of innovative, enabling technologies; and a family’s entrepreneurial passion. There is a taste, a feel, an aroma that is all illy’s own. Velvety, immediately sweet, delicately balancing floral and fruity notes with caramel, toast and chocolate, naturally fragrant with aromas of almond and honey. This is balance that comes only from a blend: the singular illy blend of nine highest-order Arabica beans, selected and directly purchased by illy from farms spanning four continents. Each individual bean contributing to a greater whole, for the pleasure of those who appreciate all that coffee can and should be. In the cup, the illy blend becomes a symphony: rich, full, multi-faceted, yet subtle, comprised of immensely talented soloists, each coaxed to their finest performance under the hand of an expert conductor.’
How do you see the Amsterdam coffee culture?
‘It is improving year by year.’
With what kind of coffee do you start your day normally?
‘I start my day with an illy coffee without sugar or milk. I love coffee and it makes me feel good.’
Any insights on what the newest coffee trends will be?
‘Coffee is going to go the same way as wine did. Costumers will be increasingly quality-aware, paying attention to where the product comes from, the variety of the bean, the excellence of the finished product, and the areas where it is grown. I expect there to be constant improvement in the three main pillars of the coffee production process, which are transformation (with special emphasis on roasting), packaging, and preparation. The transformation process is where we will probably see the most improvement. I expect many more innovations in the techniques for differentiating and personalizing the coffee product, to make it much more “reliable”, and much less subject to the hand of the person making it.
Thanks to electronics and digital input, it is becoming increasingly possible to tailor coffee to the customer’s personal tastes. In terms of packaging, we need to provide a response, sooner rather than later, to the need for sustainability, harnessing the circular economy. The idea is that nothing is wasted, and that it is, instead, re-used in some form.’
What is your favorite food – coffee pairing?
‘I like coffee without anything combining with it. I like to taste it alone.’
Next to a good cup of coffee, what do you value the most during a hotel stay?
‘I evaluate the experience and, of course, the facilities it offer.’
Founded nearly 80 years ago upon the invention of the modern espresso method, the company’s uncompromising passion and vision is to create the highest quality coffee: an authentic Italian experience in every cup, whether at a favorite restaurant or café, or right at home.