Once the roasting stage is complete, the coffee must be packaged as quickly as possible because exposure to the air causes the beans to lose their aroma rapidly, and all the more so in the case of ground coffee. Proper packaging helps the coffee to remain in optimum condition, improving its sensory characteristics.
The packaging technique patented by Francesco Illy consists of a coffee “pressurisation” system. The secret is using nitrogen in the containers instead of oxygen, at a pressure greater than that of the atmosphere. This pressurisation technique allows us to guarantee that the aroma of the coffee will remain fresh for over three years, so that illy coffee can be exported all over the world from a single production site. What’s more, this method also allows the coffee to undergo a sort of aging process: like wine resting in a bottle, the flavours of the coffee inside the can are enhanced over time.
To make sure the properties of every single bean remain unaltered, we take good care of them from the moment they arrive at Distripark, our logistics centre. The green coffee passes through here, as does the packaged product, before being distributed worldwide. Packaging is a key element, even when the coffee beans are still green. Every year, 400,000 bags of coffee arrive at Distripark and are carefully stored to ensure proper ventilation for the beans, in order to prevent any alteration to their quality.
Here at illy, the sustainability of our packaging is a matter of crucial importance. The cans that hold our coffee are made from tinplate, the perfect material for preserving the coffee beans without causing pollution: in fact, even if it is disposed of in general waste, it is picked up by magnets to be sent for recycling.
REST OF THE WORLD
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