Italian treasure in every cup
Black as night and sweet as sin. This was how Neil Gaiman, in Anansi Boys, described coffee – that universal wake-me-up, pick-me-up, go-to-drink for most people, and Filipinos are no exception to this.
According to the Philippine Coffee Board Inc., coffee consumption is rising among Filipinos in all forms, be it roasted or ground, instant or specialty. In 2017, coffee consumption stood at 170,000 metric tons, of which less than a fourth is covered by local production.
It came as no surprise then that Italy’s premium coffee brand, illy, opened last week another location at Paseo Center, one of Makati’s most active business hubs.
“Coffee has become an integral part of the Filipino lifestyle,” said Joey Esteban, president of Delizio Fine Foods Inc., the exclusive distributor of illy in the country.
“We open our third store at a unique time. People are identifying with the brand. Coffee has become an affordable luxury,” added Esteban.
The new location reflects the shift toward a younger, quirkier, and more comfortable vibe of the renovated first two branches – the first at Rockwell and the second at Mall of Asia.
“illy has been accepted in the Philippines. Our coffee is more balanced. There is no need to cover up acidity. If anything, what we offer is consistency in every single cup for our global market,” said Esteban.
Andrew Nathan, general manager of illy for Asia-Pacific, said the company’s 85-year-old heritage ensures a unique taste and fragrant aroma recognized by coffee connoisseurs around the world as the “treasure of Italian coffee” in every cup.
“When the founder of illy started the company in 1933 in Trieste, Italy, he had a singular vision of coming up with the best coffee in the world,” said Nathan.
The company, illycaffè, produces and markets only one blend of high-quality coffee worldwide made from nine kinds of pure Arabica coming from South America, Central America, India, Africa, and China.
“Taste and aroma are always the same in each cup of coffee sipped in any country of the planet,” added Nathan.
And that global market covers almost 7 million cups of illy coffee enjoyed every day all over the world, sold in more than 140 countries and available in over 100,000 of the best restaurants and bars.
Globally renowned master barista trainer Fabrizio Aquè, a graduate of illy’s very own Università del Caffè that is responsible for training budding baristas within Asia-Pacific, attended the event and held an exclusive media hour at the Paseo Center branch, the largest among the three Philippine-based branches. Aquè invited guests to appreciate espresso and the classic cappuccino the Italian way, which means using proper cups and serving it with a side of biscotti, a tradition that illycaffè respects.
“Our aim is not to open hundreds of branches in the Philippines. What we offer is for people who want to experience a higher expression of Italian coffee,” said Esteban.
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