"Coffee: The Dream" - The new book by Andrea Illy
Accomplished and visionary businessman Andrea Illy takes us on a journey through his family’s and company’s history, in pursuit of the dream held by company founder, Grandpa Francesco: to produce the best coffee in the world. Many a tale about food has been published, but rarely have the stories of a businessman, expert, innovator and human being intertwined as interestingly as they do in Il sogno del caffè. The book was conceived as an extraordinarily positive message about what passion and hard work can achieve: the creation of an outstanding product in terms of beauty, pleasure, respect and breaking new ground.
The entire world is contained in our cup of coffee: countless cultures blended together, the fragrance and exoticism of wondrous places, not to mention a thousand years of history, art and travel. Lest we forget, there’s also science, expertise, innovation and labour: coffee contains around a thousand aromatic substances, it is produced in 60 different countries and provides work to a hundred million people – 25 million in growing countries alone.
From the origins of its discovery to how coffee stimulates creativity, this book covers every facet of one of the world’s most widely-consumed beverages. Above all, the book tells the story of a life.
The book is currently available in Italian. Translations into a variety of languages will appear in the coming months.
Andrea Illy is Chairman and CEO of illycaffè, the premium leader and standard-bearer of espresso coffee. Founded in 1933 in Trieste, illycaffè has taken its place as a symbol of Italian excellence. Under Andrea’s stewardship, illycaffè has become a brand recognized around the globe, not just for its coffee but for its ethical values and for the close relationships it has forged with growers, merchants and the contemporary art world. Winner of the Businessman of the Year award in 2004, Andrea Illy is the Honorary Chairman of the Association for Science and Information on Coffee, Chairman of the International Coffee Organization’s Coffee Market Promotion and Development Committee, and since 2013 Chairman of the Fondazione Altagamma, a foundation for firms that are worldwide ambassadors for Italian living. A chemist by training, Andrea Illy is the author of the book Espresso Coffee: the Chemistry of Quality.
The Beauty of Coffee
"When I think back to the joy I felt just after I graduated as I walked into the firm, the emotions I experienced the first time I entered the laboratory where I was to work for a number of years as a chemist, there’s only one way to describe it: it was so much more than just a job.
It was not yet a question of contributing to the long-standing family project of my father and my father’s father before him. No: that awareness would only arrive later. It was, rather, a state of mind closely bound up with the pursuit of an idea: the pursuit of something lofty, magnificent and great, something wrapped up with the idea of beauty itself.
Back then, I had no idea that the company would become my whole life; that it would become what my first wife ironically has dubbed “wife number two” (given the time and energy I’ve lavished on it). I had no idea that this job would launch me on a quest for the very idea of beauty, that the dream shared by my grandfather and my father would one day become mine through a kind of blood-borne contagion of ideals.
What I did understand immediately was that to offer the best coffee nature can provide is not a profession like any other: it is an idea that encompasses a plethora of other ideas. It is an overarching conception of the world that embraces the marvellous places where coffee plants grow and where the beans are harvested; elegant bars and refined conversations among intellectuals, the cinema, art, designer cups and zero-defects production; design, fractals and a thousand other things...
It is a concept that blends together excellence and beauty, one whose finest expression is balance, proportion and harmony.
This idea was to change my life."
For author interviews and additional material, please contact:
illycaffè Press Office
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