Master’s in Coffee Economics and Science

In Trieste, the official presentation has taken place for the New Academic Year of the Master's degree promoted by illycaffè.

Trieste, 16th January 2015
- This morning, the fifth academic year of the inter-university 2nd level Master’s degree in Coffee Economics and Science was inaugurated. It is promoted and organized by a group of partners from centres of academic excellence: the University of Trieste, the University of Udine, the University of Wageningen, the Fondazione Ernesto Illy, the Università del Caffè (illycaffè), SISSA (Trieste International Secondary School for Advanced Studies), the Consorzio di biomedicina molecolare (Cluster in Biomedicine, AREA Science Park, Trieste) and Trieste’s industrial zone for coffee (Trieste Coffee Cluster). The Fondazione Cassa di Risparmio di Udine e Pordenone (CRUP) and the Fondazione CRTrieste are also supporting the programme.

“The Master has entered the full maturity stage. - stated Roberto Morelli, President of the Council of the Master Course - As of this year, we will have trained 83 students from 20 different nationalities, making this a unique academic initiative at an international level. Further, and most importantly, it is a forward-looking model of cooperation between the academic system and private enterprises, as well as an example of collaboration among regional universities, and scientific institutions. 98% of the graduates said their expectations had been met and 89% stated that the Masters course was either useful or fundamental for their career. This demonstrates that Italy, and in particular our region, is able to achieve excellence in the higher education field.”

The aim of the Master’s is to offer in-depth training to graduates who want to work in the coffee industry and, more generally, in the agri-food sector. The course programme covers three main areas: economics and management, biological and agronomic studies, and technology. From cultivation to logistics, and from the industrial process to hospitality and retail, every aspect of the coffee production chain is covered from an ethical and sustainable perspective, where the common factor is the search for quality.

The Master's in Coffee Economics and Science, directed by the manager of illycaffè, Furio Suggi Liverani, is the only course of its kind in the world and has a strong international focus, confirming Trieste as a global centre for coffee culture. The teaching staff have come from centres of academic excellence both in Italy and abroad: the University of Northern Colorado, the University of San Paolo, the University of Ljubljana, the University of Udine, the University of Trieste, the MIB School of Management and the Università del Caffè. The 19 students enrolled for this academic year (graduates in Economics, Engineering, Sciences, Agriculture and related disciplines) come from 11 different countries: Brazil, Burundi, Colombia, El Salvador, Ethiopia, Honduras, India, Italy, Kenya, Lebanon and Portugal.

Totalling 400 hours of lessons, teaching will take place from 19 January to 19 June at the head office of illycaffè. The course will end with the submission of dissertations in mid-October.

The Master’s students will also be involved with activities for Expo 2015: some of the courses included in the Master’s 12 study modules will be held at the Coffee Cluster sponsored by illycaffè. The 3-day event (9 to 11 June) will be called “Le Pillole del Master”, meaning the “Master's Short Courses”: 4 mini-courses per day, totalling 12 during the event.

This year several scholarships will again be available: 4 full scholarships and 10 partial grants provided by Fondazione Ernesto Illy to fourteen students from coffee producing countries, one provided by Fondazione Cassa di Risparmio di Udine e Pordenone (CRUP) for a student from the province of Udine or Pordenone and one supported by Fondazione CRTrieste for a local student.

Details on the Master’s in Coffee Economics and Science:

  • Academic Year 2014/2015: from 19 January to 19 June 2015
  • 400 hours of lessons (200 hours taught by university lecturers, 200 hours by illycaffè lecturers)
  • No. of university credits: 60
  • Location: illycaffè, Trieste
  • Language: English

illycaffè, based in Trieste, produces and sells a single blend of espresso coffee and is a leading brand in the market for high quality coffee. illycaffè is the official partner of Expo 2015, responsible for designing and managing coffee related content, displays and events in the communal area of the Coffee Cluster. Every day over 6 million cups of illy coffee are enjoyed. illy is sold in more than 140 countries throughout the world and is available in over 100,000 of the best restaurants and bars. Through its franchises, the Italian-style café chain, espressamente illy, is today present in over 30 countries with 230 cafés. With the aim of developing and spreading coffee culture, the company established the Università del Caffè, the centre for excellence that provides comprehensive theoretical and practical training to growers, baristas and enthusiasts on all subjects pertaining to coffee. Globally, the company employs approximately 1,050 people and in 2013 it produced a consolidated turnover of 374 million euros. Through partnerships based on sustainable development, illy buys green coffee directly from the growers of the finest Arabica beans. With the best growers in the world, from Brazil, Central America, India and Africa, the company based in Trieste develops relationships based on long-term collaboration, sharing knowledge and technology and paying growers a price that is above the market average.

The Università del Caffè, founded in 2000, is the centre for excellence created by illy to promote and spread coffee culture throughout Italy and the world, encouraging participation from producers, professionals and coffee enthusiasts. Producers are taught how to obtain the best from nature, without forgetting the rules of organizing a plantation. Professionals who work in the outlets are offered the best training and development opportunities on coffee as well as bar management and promotion. Finally, themed tasting evenings and dinners are dedicated to coffee experts and enthusiasts. Apart from its main premises in Trieste, the Università del Caffè has twenty-three sites outside of Italy. For further information, visit