Caramel with Smokey notes
To my surprise, the brew is good, really good. There’s a healthy amount of crema and the espresso has a good body. I duplicated my efforts pretty simply and was happy with the taste and the strength of the brew.
Opening the interior tab of the illy Espresso reveals a one-size-fits-all coffee grind – the number one reason I prefer whole beans since machines often require a specific grind for a good brew. It’s not espresso grind, more of a sandy-fine grind. I assume that’s because it’s designed to work directly with Illy espresso machines which, I’ve noted before, don’t take fine espresso grinds very well.
First impression of illy espresso Classic Roast
I’ll admit it, I’m a sucker for packaging. There’s something about the perfect package that conveys how much the producer cares about their products. I know it’s a gimmick, I know it’s all sequins and sparkles… I don’t care. When I buy something, I want to buy an experience. The illy Caffe Medium Roast Ground coffee offered that exact experience. From the moment, my hands fell on the container with brushed metal accents and bold modern print I knew I was holding something special.
Even the price tag beckoned to me, just pricey enough that I couldn’t afford it every day… cheap enough to warrant trying it. Curse you illy!
So what comes with a can of illy Espresso? For twice the price of a traditional coffee pack, you’ll get a nitrogen sealed can that promises freshness for two year – yep! They’re claiming two whole years. A metal brushed illy espresso branded container with questionable air tight seals, and 8.8 ounces of illy Espresso coffee.
Making the Coffee
The grinds are easy to scoop and they give a darker aroma than I’d expect for a medium roast, however, I’ve had very little experience with Italian coffee outside of Lavazza. Tamping the beans into my illy espresso machine I had difficulty getting them to press firmly. After a bit of a struggle, I get them in the machine and turn it on.
For under an hours pay, once again I could close my eyes and sit next to crystal blue waters, sipping gently as music played in the background. The weather was warm, warmer than it had been in weeks. Down near the beach, children laughed as they ran in and out of the waters. It was early summer the water was cold against their hot skin. I was content to sit and relax for the rest of the day… Then my eyes open, I’m at home. Dinner needed to be cooked and the house was dirty.
Just for kicks, I tested out the illy Espresso grinds in a few more machines as well. I know most of them aren’t designed to accommodate espresso grinds, however, sometimes I find fascinating combinations.
illy espresso classic roast vs 7 different coffee methods:
Bialetti 6800 Moka Espresso Maker— Excellent flavor, a touch weak.
Bodum Chambord 8 cup French Press Coffee Maker– Weak flavor, poor taste, undrinkable.
Bodum French Press Cold Brew – Strong, espresso taste with a lighter finish. Really good in an Iced Latte.
Chemex 8-Cup Classic – Good profile, weak flavor.
BUNN BXB Velocity Brew – Too weak to drink, good aroma, though.
De’Longhi EC680 Dedica Espresso Machine– Strong brew, excellent crema.
Francis Francis for Illy 216556 X1 – Excellent brew, thick crema, full taste.