A few months ago i had the opportunity to visit a very beautiful Italian city with long Coffee history, characterised as the capital of coffee in Europe. Trieste is a small Italian city with a very important port located at the norther sea side part of Italy close to Venice.
According to the coffee history this was the port where coffee was imported for the first time into Europe from the Dutch sailors of that time ( around 1650-1680 ).
Actually I was blessed to be chosen, from the company I am working for, to be sent to participate at the Coffee expert course of Illy University of coffee . A three days course full of coffee experiences and education. I had the opportunity also to take a tour around the huge factory and the warehouses of illy from green bean to portioning where the production numbers are incredibly high.
Lets take a tour together to this 3 days coffee trip together.
My flight was from Amsterdam to Rome and then a short one to a village outside of Trieste ( I don’t remember the name 😦 ) . After the second flight it took me around 1 hour with a bus to step on this beautiful Italian City.
The next morning a car from illy came to pick me up from the hotel together with other participants coming from all over the world. The weather was perfect and my mood also. We were welcomed from the marketing manager of illy worldwide at the lounch of the illy village. The area is so huge that some of the employees use golf cars to move around.
At the welcome desk I gave my ID and I got the illy ID, and except the entrance allowance to different illy buildings was also offering UNLIMITED COFFEEEEEEEEEEEE!!!!. The first espresso of the day was made for me from a lady in a beautifully decorated bar. The lady looked like she is working there for loooooong time and the bar was the meeting point of all employees and visitors and always very very busy. By the way every employ is allowed to take a coffee brake when ever he likes!!! What a job….
After a few coffees down there we took a move to start our coffee education at the building were the university of coffee takes place.
The classroom was dark with plenty of sits and decorated with illy cups and coffee cans. In front of the desks were two screen projectors displaying education materials and 4 coffee machines fully framed with all the equipment needed. The “lesson” started with some very interesting historical facts about Illy, the city of Trieste and for coffee in general. During this part of the lesson we had also the opportunity to see live the famous ‘illetta‘, the first automatic coffee machine which substituted pressurised water for steam, invented from the founder of ‘illycaffe’ Francesco Illy. Unfortunately we couldn’t use our phones-cameras during this presentation, but there are plenty of photos available online. After the lunch we got more into coffee process from green bean to cup and this was also part of the second day’s “lesson”. The rest of the second day we talked about different coffee beverages and the right procedure of preparing them. The third day was the practice day!!! I made a lot of cappuccino’s, latte’s and flat whites with decent latte art as you can see on the photo. After a day with a lot of fun, preparing coffees with unlimited coffee and milk available, I got my diploma from Illy University and my ID back with the feeling that I know a bit more about coffee.
The same evening we had the opportunity to have dinner with the illy trainers at a very traditional restaurant of Trieste named OSTERIA CON CUCINA with delicious seafood, very long catalogue of wines and a very friendly high level service.
Highly recommended for traditional Italian sea food!!!
Trieste is a small city and the Illy business located there gives work to more than 3000 citizens!!!! Of course most of the local cafe’s and restaurants are offering illy coffee. Although there are many small coffee roasters with great coffee!
The last day on this wonderful city I had also the opportunity to visit the coffee exhibition of Trieste named ‘ TRIESTE THE EUROPEAN CAPITAL OF COFFEE’. Located next to the port with a lot of coffee history books and more….
Trieste became one of my favorite cities and I will come back soon!
Grazie Trieste per la grande esperienza!!!!