Innovation runs deep at illycaffè, going back to the company’s very beginning. So perhaps not surprisingly, three of the industry’s eight transformational innovations were developed by illy.

Pressurized Packaging

The first, pressurized packaging, came in 1934, just one year after the company’s founding.  By adding inert nitrogen gas under pressure, an oxygen-free environment forms as illy cans are sealed, preserving essential aromas and promoting mingling of coffee’s naturally occurring oils.  Result: coffee that not only stays fresher longer than under any other packaging method, but whose flavor is actually enhanced over time by its surroundings.  

Modern Espresso Method

The second, came just one year later, in 1935: the Illetta, precursor of the modern espresso machine that, for the first time, separated pressure and heating elements.  Result: espresso that is consistently round, rich and balanced, not bitter or burnt-tasting.

E.S.E. Pods

1974 saw illy’s third revolutionary invention: pre-tamped, pre-dosed, expertly ground espresso in single serve paper pods.  Result: delightful espresso in reach of anyone, anywhere – at home, at the office, or at a favorite café or restaurant.  The system, called ESE (Easy Serving Espresso) became an industry standard.


illy’s latest major innovation is Iperespresso, an exclusive capsule-based espresso preparation method that extracts coffee in two distinct phases, the first a rapid “hyperinfusion,” the second an emulsification process.  Result: authentic espresso with a remarkably rich, velvety and long-lasting crema – at the touch of a button.