illy employs a team of master blenders, experts in bean selection and tasting known as liquorers, each with special skills and sensitivities ideal for determining the cru—in coffee’s case, the particular beans—that will comprise the illy blend.
Tasting is a delicate process. Every two months after purchase, coffee is re-tasted, to ensure beans are maintaining the characteristics for which they were originally chosen. The same batch is evaluated up to eight times before becoming part of the illy blend.
The liquorer is to coffee what the oenologist is to wine: the person responsible for ensuring perfect balance and consistency regardless of variations from one harvest to another.
Season after season, the coffee liquorer works tirelessly to analyze harvest characteristics. The liquorer then chooses, with great precision, coffee lots worthy of purchase. Lots are analyzed and evaluated repeatedly to ensure their fitness for the illy blend. Nothing less than excellence will do.
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