Espresso Italiano Trainers: the new ambassadors of the real Italian espresso

by Luigi Odello *

Anyone who travels knows that the expression “Italian espresso” is often improperly used to describe a kind of coffee that has nothing to do with the real Italian espresso essence. It is a reality showing the lack of real product culture and sometimes even bad faith.

In recent years, much has been done to try to effectively defend this “Made in Italy” symbol. The Italian Espresso National Institute, in collaboration with the International Institute of Coffee Tasters and the Centro Studi Assaggiatori – Italian Tasters encoded the Certified Italian Espresso profile and then launched an appropriate certification.

The efforts of the Italian Espresso National Institute did not remain unheard: today that sensory profile has international legitimacy. However, if we want to defend the Italian Espresso tradition we must gather everyone who, also in far countries, believes in this product and its culture.

This is the reason why the International Institute of Coffee Tasters, which boasts a register of more than 8,000 students in more than 40 countries worldwide, has decided to create a new position: the Espresso Italiano Trainer. The aim is to train ambassadors of the Italian Espresso culture spread to the four corners of the Earth who will pass on information and basic tasting techniques to students in order to evaluate the drink. They will have only one objective in mind: prepare their students to expose false Italian Espressos and reward the best ones.

If you want get more information, just write to carlo.odello@italiantasters.com.

* Chairman of the board of the International Institute of Coffee Tasters

How is espresso in Milan?

by Carlo Odello *

The Host show will take place next month in Milan. If you are attending it, why do not you consider to attend the Italian Espresso Tasting course just the day before the show (20 October)? Let us make you discover the real Italian Espresso culture. If you are interested in understanding how to recognize and evaluate the real Italian Espresso, just download the leaflet. You can also drop me an email at carlo.odello@italiantasters.com if you need further information about the course.

Do you want to prepare your trip and get more information about the espresso you will find in Milan? Just read the article about the coffee tradition in the area of Milan. And remember that if you are a member of the International Institute of Coffee Tasters you will receive a free selection of articles of our quarterly magazine in English.

 * Trainer and member of the board of the International Institute of Coffee Tasters

US: Consumers In Love with the Single Serving

A recent survey conducted by the American National Coffee Association on the national coffee consumption trend investigated the attitudes and behaviours consumers have regarding single-serve coffee. The survey revealed a complete turn around from 2005 to today in the consumer’s acceptance and adoption of this type of product.

In essence, the perception that the consumers have for single serving systems is improving. Consumers that evaluate these systems as “excellent” or “very good” have risen from 26% in 2007 to 45%.

In addition, the survey results show that awareness of the existence of such single serving systems has grown from 55% in 2007 to 73% in 2011. The owners of single serving coffee machines now make up 7% of consumers, compared with 1% in 2005. The number of people who have bought a single serving machine in the past six months has grown by 35% this year compared to 29% in 2007.



Italian Espresso tasting course just before the Host show in Milan (20 October 2011)

by Carlo Odello *

We just scheduled an Espresso Italiano Tasting course just the day before the Host show in Milan (20 October 2011). Many professionals wrote us asking about this course: here it is! The course will take place in Brescia, hometown to the International Institute of Coffee Tasters. This means just 1,5 hours fom the Host show in Milan.

Why should you attend an Espresso Italiano Tasting course? I can think of many good reasons, but one seems to me the most important: to go back to the roots of Espresso, to understand the culture in which it was born.

I have been working in the coffee business for some years (not counting the years I was at the university but already spent some time at the events of the International Institute of Coffee Tasters and of the Italian Espresso National Institute). And I have been travelling around the world in the last few years training people how to taste Italian Espresso.

What did I discover? Easy to say: coffee is culture, means it is strongly connected to real life. It is like Chinese tea: you cannot understand it unless a Chinese explains it to you. That’s because he or she is Chinese and was born and raisen up in the real Chinese tea culture. The same for Japanese tea. And for any other specific tea culture.

Let us make you discover the real Italian Espresso culture. If you are interested in understanding how to recognize and evaluate the real Italian Espresso, just download the brochure from the link below. You can also drop me an email at carlo.odello@italiantasters.com if you need further information about the course.


Italian Espresso Tasting course: brochure (PDF)

* Trainer and member of the board of the International Institute of Coffee Tasters

Italian Espresso in China: new book and new courses

 Espresso Italiano Tasting Chinese

Espresso Italiano Tasting, the official handbook of the International Institute of Coffee Tasters, has just been published in Chinese. And more courses and seminars on tasting Italian Espresso are coming in Guangzhou next week (July 26th-31st). The classes will be held by Carlo Odello, member of the board of the International Institute of Coffee Tasters. For  more information about the courses and the book please contact Ms Jolin (jolin@acoffee.cn).

Espresso machines: 75% are sold abroad, boom in the Far East

According to data put out by Anima-Ucimac the espresso machine market grew in 2010 compared to 2009 (+16.4% of machines sold for a total of about 112,000 pieces), and three out of every four machines are sent abroad. The diffusion of espresso throughout the world continues, with the Italian espresso machine producers as the undisputed leaders on the five continents.

The data processed by the Italian Espresso National Institute, show the development of espresso in the world. If, on the one hand, Europe is confirmed as the main opening of the market (55% of the machines sold abroad in 2010), it is also true on the other hand that compared to 2009 this market loses about 6% both in volume and value compared to global sales. The espresso machines are sent particularly to the Far East (China, Japan, Korea and other countries in the region) so much so that in 2010 they earned about 5% more in volume than value when compared to the same sales the year before. The Far East marked a growth of +86% in volume and +81% in value compared to the same global sales the year before, while the rest of Asia grew +73% in volume and +75% in value. The North American market is also doing well, the United States and Canada with machine purchases in 2010 at a volume of 8% and a value of 7.5%, up 50% in volume and 40% in value from 2009.

"Espresso has, for many years, achieved global notoriety and appreciation" said Gianluigi Sora, chairman of the Italian Espresso National Institute, commenting on the data. "An extremely large majority of our espresso machines are sent abroad and it will increasein the future, just consider the tumultuous growth in Asia and North America."

"Italian Espresso is, in this global market, a specific way to drink espresso" Sora continued. "For the Italian Espresso National Institute the conservation is therefore twofold. Continue to improve the quality of the product on the Italian market while at the same time spread a major part of our culture abroad with the support of our roasters that are using increasing resources for exportation."

The return of the blend: for love or for money?

by Carlo Odello *

The blend seems to be regaining ground in several countries where for many years the espresso has been seen as a single origin product. We are actually receiving signs of interest in the blend from the United States, and the same can be said for Japan.

This situation often leads to a double interpretation. Some rejoice saying that the rediscovery of the blend is a clear sign of more complex aromatic research. Others however, perhaps the more pessimistic, see it from a different light: the carefully selected single origins, particularly some washed Central American origins, have become very expensive in their pure form. Laws: the profit margin has fallen drastically compared to the past.

However the fact remains that for money or for love, the blend seems to catch on again. Not a bad thing for the Italian espresso which has always cherished the blend.

* Trainer and member of the board of the International Institute of Coffee Tasters

June 2011: advanced coffee training in Italy

The 2011 Professional Master of Coffee Science and Sensory Analysis will be held in Brescia (Italy) from June 27 to July 1. The Professional Master will be taught in English.

The goal of this Professional Master is of providing, through sensory analysis, criteria and practical application tools for orientating production, along the whole production process, towards the achievement of a product able to ensure customers’ maximum pleasure.

Practical training will explain and illustrate the tools for recognizing through senses qualities and defects in the cup, how to obtain maximum sensory potential in extraction at the coffee shop, sensory analysis tests for assessing quality and stability of production result and, finally, sensory analysis data and the specific tests for fast selection of green coffee, roasting and blending methods, supported by scientific confidence. The whole with the aim of achieving consumers’ best satisfaction at cup stage.

More information: please download the form.


The new Iiac board has been elected. The coffee barometer and a new course on aromas will soon be available

The new Board of Directors of the International Institute of Coffee Tasters has elected its chairman. Luigi Odello, Professor of Sensory Analysis in several Italian and foreign universities and former general secretary of the Institute will be guiding the coffee tasters for the next three years. A three-year period that begins with the launch of a new study on the quality of coffee served in coffee shops. Over the next few months, in fact, members of the Institute, armed with tasting cards, will visit thousands of coffee shops, they will taste the coffee and then send their tasting cards to the Institute, which will process the data.

"A true barometer to measure the quality of coffee – comments Luigi Odello, President of the Institute – In fact the Institute will publish the results of the study on a regular basis. This study will involve a large number of Italian coffee shops, but not only: we must not forget that 10% of the 7,000 Institute members live abroad."

But the news does not stop here: a new course devoted entirely to the aromas of coffee will soon be available. "A whole day dedicated to the study of coffee aromas – Odello explains, – In the course we will use the new collection of aromas we have developed over the past two years."

In addition to President Luigi Odello, the Board of the Institute includes: Fausto Devoto (Vice President), Marcos Saña (Vice President), Stefano Abbo, Roberto Sala, Manuela Violoni, Gian Paolo Braceschi, Gian Luigi Sora, Giuseppe Battista, Pasquale Madeddu, Carlo Odello, Yumiko Momoi, Darcy Kai Sun, Lorenzo Quaranta, Dmitriy Emshanov, Lino Stoppani, Roberto Zironi. The auditors are: Alberto Cobianchi, Giuseppe Principe, Assunta Percuoco, Pierluigi Bosso, Fabio Verona. The arbitrators are: Cristina Dore, Vittorio Ventura, Erik Berglund, Angelo Greggio, Walter Pocobello. The secretary office is coordinated by Michela Beltrami.


Greater transparency at the coffee bar: the Italian Espresso National Institute is ready to classify 20,000 coffee shops

From one to three cups: this is the new classification system chosen by the Italian Espresso National Institute to ensure greater transparency for the customers of Italian coffee shops. In fact, for the very first time, customers entering in coffee shops adhering to the initiative will find an impartial indication of the coffee quality and of the equipment and the barista professional competence. A sign with a single cup lets customers know that they are in a bar that offers a blend of coffee that has been qualified by the Italian Espresso National Institute. Two cups means that in addition to coffee, the bar is equipped with certified coffee machines or coffee grinders. Three cups are reserved for coffee shops that, in addition to having coffee and certified equipment, can count on the services of a barista who has been qualified by the Italian Espresso National Institute.

"For the first time in our country the customer will be able to understand the quality level of the bar at a glance- explained Gianluigi Sora, President of the Italian Espresso National Institute – The coffee shops which will join the initiative, potentially around 20,000, will display the sign with the number of cups they have been awarded".

"Ultimately, this is an action aimed at bringing certified transparency in coffee shops, too – confirmed Luigi Odello, general secretary of the Italian Espresso National Institute – In fact, the number of cups awarded will clearly indicate whether the coffee shops use products qualified by the Italian Espresso National Institute and to what extent.”

A new step, therefore, towards the end customer who pays for his/her coffee every day and will soon be able to know the level of the coffee shop he/she attends every day. "Yet another initiative that we hope can act as a stimulus for the entire industry and reward those many coffee shops that focus on quality – added Sora – An action aimed at increasing communication, which is the actual objective pursued by the Institute, along with other initiatives such as the Espresso Italiano Day, scheduled for this coming April 15th, and Io Bevo Espresso, the open-day that will be organised again in November.”