My favorite caffe', the one I drink every day, is Illy.  The company is totally focused on absolutely every aspect of coffee.  A visit to their website or the factory in Trieste will probably make a believer out of most coffee lovers.  I’ve attended sessions at their Università del Caffè in Trieste, learned about all their obsessions.  Many have become my own, including an irrational love for their Art Collection cups.  I use their iper-espresso capsules, which make a perfect espresso with a perfect crema, eliminating the guesswork of grind, amount, tamping and pressure.  I’ve tried almost every kind of espresso machine (which I prefer to the stovetop Moka) and use the Illy machines with pleasure.  For cappuccino at home I find a separate frother works best. 

When I’m on the road I always look for a bar that serves Illy.  It means they’ve chosen quality, not price, and have probably been trained by Illy so their espresso will be perfect, the milk for cappuccino fresh, not long-life. I usually ask about local restaurants, trattorie and wine bars for beyond-guidebook suggestions


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