Posted by: dazza | October 8, 2007

illy espresso

Well sometimes being pathetic works – for example crying and going all puppy dog faced so that the driving test instructor would give you your license. So that’s exactly what we did when we could only afford the cheapest supermarket beans. And that is how we received a tin of Illy’s espresso beans.

illy espresso

At about S$14 – S$20 a tin for 250g (depending which supermarket you’re in), these supermarket imported beans is pretty much on the pricey side. Illy proudly inks on the tin that the blend is 100% Arabica and a caffeine content of 5%. I’ve been hearing from folks that they’ve been enjoying illy beans at cafes. Most comment on the milder, less acidic and less bitter taste which they enjoy.

The beans are packed in a screw top cap and sealed in a tin peel top sealing in the goodness. Feels quite shiok when you’re ‘unboxing’ the tin. ‘Made in Italy’ is printed on the tin which leaves you to wonder how long the shipping process occurred before these arrived on our shelves, even if the ‘Best Before’ date states 03/2009. The chocolate coloured beans look like a medium roast and is surprisingly aromatic.


In the week that we were drinking illy, you realise it is a mild bean. Though Crema was a little thin and weak (we’re told is due to the longer roast-to-distributor-to shelve process), the beans are a very forgiving blend. No matter how fine/coarse or hard/light tamp we made, the shots were never torrid or horribly bitter. I mean you just couldn’t pull a puke worthy shot. Like a priest in church – forgiving till your next confession session.


Bean Score: 3 3/4 out of 5 – At carrefour? Got money? Try it.



  1. Illy is the only brand avaliable from supermarkets from which I am able to make a drinkable shot. Have you tried lavazza’s espresso? The pre-groud stuff is coarse as hell!

  2. Hi,

    R they shots processed by a Rancilio Silvia? Thin crema from the Illy beans are somewhat disappointing for the price. Toby’s Estate (Woolloomooloo Blend) is awesome. 2/3s of each shot is thick crema, conforming to the “ideal” 21 second shot. Awesome!

    Any luck with Lavazza?

  3. Lavazza is mainly aimed at the Italian home market, meaning Moka pots. Hence the coarser grind! They have some lines aimed mainly at real espresso machines, though.

  4. The process Illy use to seal the beans in the tin is said to be the best way to store roasted coffee — hence the crazy 2009 best before date. The coffee tin is often associated with crap coffee due to its frequent use for packing instant and freeze dried coffee, but it is by far the best method for the long shelf life that the supermarkets and big coffee export companies demand. You will find that most of the supermarket coffee will have be nearly 6 months before it hits the shelf. *END USELESS COFFEE TRIVIA RANT*

  5. hey, I’ve read alot about Illy beans and I’m just wondering if you know any good cafes in Singapore that serves Illy coffee?

  6. illy as drinks or beans?

    I’ve seen them around, though I haven’t tried any.

    I’ve seen them at Parkway Parade, around Orchard… Sorry I can’t point you to the right cafes this round…

    Let’s let each other know, if we do!

  7. Check out the joint call Geek Terminal at 55 Market St. It just opposite the Golden shoe Carpark. The illy coffee served there really rocks!

  8. Illy and Campos beans (Newtown NSW Australia) are fantastic, have excellent aroma and great after-taste. Hopefully more cafes will begin serving Illy coffee. You can order the Campos beans from their website:

  9. i think haagen daz serves illy.

  10. illy commited 1.5% caffeine level instead of 5% . Thanks

  11. Any idea if we can find Illy Issimo in Singapore?
    Thanks a lot 🙂

  12. Hi coffee lovers
    Can anyone give me some suggestions on where to get a single big, wide cappuccino cup without buying a whole set of 4? And where to get a small 12oz metal frothing pitcher? I’ve searched high and low for them in orchard road to no avail…

    Thanks in advance!

  13. I was given a tin of illy ground roasted coffee. This is new to me. What do I need to make coffee? Can a standard coffee maker do the job?

  14. Hi Folks, was looking for an Illy coffee maker and reading the posts. I have been staying at Studio M Hotel at Robertson Quay, they have an Illy expresso bar. The sell Illy coffee makers, pods and illy coffee. From this prices I have seen online, it looks to be good value.

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