All the awarded coffees of the International Coffee Tasting Asia 2017

The eleventh edition of the international competition organised by the International Institute of Coffee Tasters (Iiac) was held in Guangzhou, China; 39 gold medals were awarded to coffees from Italy, Canada, China, Korea, Spain, Taiwan and Thailand

The eleventh edition of International Coffee Tasting took place in Asia, in the city of Guangzhou (China). 162 coffees from nine countries (Australia, Canada, China, Italy, Japan, Korea, Spain, Taiwan and Thailand) took part in this edition. The judges were 28 tasters of the International Institute of Coffee Tasters (IIAC), all Asian professionals.

Iiac member of the board and director of this year’s event Carlo Odello had this to say, “As always, International Coffee Tasting applies the strictest tasting and scoring methods, with a minimum threshold for a medal and up to a 30% cutdown of the competitors. We can observe significant qualitative growth in the coffees produced in the new Asian markets and a positive affirmation of thos Italian coffees which manage to balance structure and aromatic richness”.

The Asian market is probably the largest coffee laboratory in the world right now. Mr Odello added that, “The vast majority of the countries in the area are tea-based cultures; light roasting with fruity, floral and acid notes can satisfy the palate of the new consumers. Espresso, including the Italian one, is playing an increasingly important role, especially as a base for milk-based drinks, much loved in this part of the world. Pure espresso is a cult for a few connoisseurs”.

List of the Gold Medals by category and in alphabetical order.

  • China, Beijing Edyd Trade Co. Ltd, Ej Coffee Ethiopia Hanbelle G1
  • Korea, Café Waan, Amore
  • Taiwan, Cama Coffee Inc., Golden Mandheling And Brazil Blend
  • Korea, Coffea Syndrome, Yirgacheffe
  • Korea, Croc & Coffee, Khk

  • Taiwan, Cama Coffee Inc., Cama Breakfast Blend 1
  • Taiwan, Cama Coffee Inc., Cama House Blend (HB)

  • Italy, Torrefazione Paranà S.r.l., Miscela Espresso Italiano in Monodose
  • Italy, Torrefazione San Salvador S.r.l., Capsule San Salvador

  • Italy, Angelo Morettino S.r.l., Caffè Morettino Reserve 100% Arabica
  • Italy, Apulia Vending S.r.l., Caffè Morola Oro
  • Italy, Caffè Fantino di Fantino Paolo & C. S.a.s., Start Miscela Bar Biologica 100% Arabica
  • Italy, Dacatè S.r.l., Golden Brasil Coffee in Black
  • Italy, Diemme Industria Caffè Torrefatti S.p.a., Miscela Oro
  • Italy, Errepi S.r.l., Subito
  • Italy, Taurocaf di Alberto & Anzola S.n.c., Caffè Alberto Miscela Pappagallo Rosso
  • Italy, Taurocaf di Alberto & Anzola S.n.c., Caffè Alberto Miscela Pappagallo Oro
  • Italy, Torrefazione Caffe Roen di Sergio Bendinelli, Espresso Bendinelli 100% Arabica Gourmet
  • Italy, Torrefazione Caffe Roen di Sergio Bendinelli, Caffè Roen 100% Arabica
  • Italy, Torrefazione Saturno Notti Pietro & C. S.r.l., Miscela di caffè "1 Bar Super"

  • China, Beijing Edyd Trade Co. Ltd, Ej Coffee Select Blend Espresso
  • China, C•Taipei, M9 Coffee Blend
  • Taiwan, Café Bank, Emperor Seal
  • Korea, Coffee Bang-A, Red Orange
  • Korea, Coffee Bang-A, Rainbow
  • Taiwan, Da Vinci Creative International Company Ltd., Colnago Blend
  • Spain, Grupo Dromedario S.a., Dromedario Especial Espresso
  • China, Guangzhou City Bai Li Fresh Food Co. Ltd, Semi-Automatic Coffee
  • China, Guangzhou City Bai Li Fresh Food Co. Ltd, Moka Coffee
  • China, Hainan Wancup Food Co. Ltd., Wancup Green Label Espresso
  • Taiwan, Hsieh Ming Wei, Angel Coffee
  • Thailand, K.V.N. Import Export (1991) Co. Ltd., Amabile Blend (Aroma Brand)
  • Canada, Milano Coffee Ltd., Concept #9
  • Canada, Milano Coffee Ltd., Silk Lili
  • Korea, Orosy Coffee, Orosy-Dal
  • Korea, Orosy Coffee, Shining Rosy
  • China, Replus Coffee Co. Ltd, Carter Espresso Coffee
  • Taiwan, Saki Café, Saki Espresso
  • China, Seng Pan Food Company Limited, Aden Blend
  • China, Shanghai Jinzhan Food Management Co. Ltd., Mask Coffee
  • China, Shanghai Jinzhan Food Management Co. Ltd., Lady Coffee
  • Taiwan, T Champion Coffee Company, Blackcat In Tango
  • Taiwan, Tsun-Wu Liu, Etude
  • China, Wahshing Coffee Limited, Sunshine Blend
  • China, Wahshing Coffee Limited, Blooming Season
  • China, Wahshing Coffee Limited, Espresso
  • Taiwan, Yao Wen Chang, Super Sweet Poetry
  • China, Yu Zuo Zhi International Trading (Shanghai) Co. Ltd, Tjc Classical Formula

Sensory analysis of the Italian espresso at Host 2017 with the International Institute of Coffee Tasters (Iiac)

The International Institute of Coffee Tasters (Iiac) is at Host 2017 with a series of events devoted to the Sensory analysis of the Italian espresso. At Host 2017, in Milan from 20 to 24 October, the International Institute of Coffee Tasters (Iiac) offers three events devoted to the Sensory analysis of the Italian espresso, in collaboration with three different partners.

The first is a seminar dedicated to Italian espresso tasting, which will be held on Friday 20 October from 2 pm to 2.45 pm as part of Cafe Chronology, a show organized by Specialty Coffee Association (Sca) and World Coffee Events (Wce) in partnership with MUMAC. An opportunity to discover the Iiac tasting method, the same used in Italian Espresso National Institute (Inei) certification. The seminar will be conducted in English by Carlo Odello, Iiac member of the board.

Iiac will also provide scientific support for Caffè Milani in its historical tasting sessions throughout the whole fair. Today’s espresso does not have the same aroma as the espresso sipped by our grandparents and great-grandparents. What was the coffee profile of the past and what will it be in the future? To answer this question, Caffè Milani restores and displays coffee machines from three different eras, with the recreation of the blends used in the past and a guide available for visitors.

On Monday 23 October, from 2.30 to 3.30 pm, IIAC will be the guest of Mumac Academy, with a new seminar on sensory analysis, taking advantage of the opportunity to study in more detail certain technical points tied to the psycho-physiology of the sensory analysis of our coffee. In particular, it will focus on the function of the olfactory system and on the olfactory components of a cup of Italian Espresso. The seminar will be conducted in English by Carlo Odello.

Again at Host 2017, IIAC presents the new edition of Espresso Italiano Tasting at Stand T32 in Pav. 22. This book has been an essential guide for numerous operators in the coffee sector in their training on Italian espresso tasting. The previous edition of 2002 was a bet that paid off for Iiac, who translated it into 11 languages, intended primarily for its own community of associates (more than 10,000 in over 40 countries around the world) and, naturally, for whoever wishes to learn more on the subject.

New edition of Espresso Italiano Tasting: the sensory analysis of the Italian espresso in a single volume

The new edition of the International Institute of Coffee Tasters’ book, a bestseller in the coffee business, will be presented at Host 2017. The book that has proved essential in the training of many professionals in the coffee business returns with a totally new edition: Espresso Italiano Tasting, guide to the sensory analysis of the Italian espresso. A bestseller right from the first edition in 2002 and a bet that paid off for the International Institute of Coffee Tasters (Iiac), which has translated it into 11 languages, intended principally for its associates (more than 10,000 in over 40 countries around the world) and, naturally, for anyone who wishes to learn more on the subject.

A book with one eye on the future right from the very first edition. “Iiac’s year of foundation puts it among the longest-operating organizations of the sector: 1993. Created to develop coffee tasting methods, its success story has been interwoven with the unique and compelling coffee extraction that is the Italian espresso,” points out Luigi Odello, Iiac Chairman and co-author of the book. “It was clear to the founders of the Iiac right from the start that they needed an accurate method of sensory analysis to measure the characteristics of the Italians’ best-loved cup of coffee.”

A book that serves and is of immediate use primarily to the coffee sector. “Indeed, the coffee industry distinguishes itself inasmuch as it is incredibly fragmented over space and time,” continues Carlo Odello, Iiac advisor and co-author of the volume, “so there is the risk that the different parts fail to understand each other, which is why sensory analysis assumes a crucial role today: it enables the parts involved to discuss the product in an effective manner and contributes to achieving their set objectives, the most worthy of which is to offer a high-quality espresso.”

The new edition of Espresso Italiano Tasting will be presented at Host 2017 in Milan from 20 to 24 October in the area of the Italian National Espresso Institute and the International Institute of Coffee Tasters (Pav. 22, Stand T32).

Free entry tickets to Host 2017 for Iiac members

Host 2017, the most important exhibition in the world for hospitality, is back from the 20th to the 24th of October in Milan. As usual it will be a remarkable showcase for the international coffee business. 

Thanks to the agreement between the International Institute of Coffee Tasters (Iiac) and the organization of Host 2017, Iiac members are entitled to get a free entry ticket to the exhibition. A great opportunity to see what is new in the coffee business, take a look at the new editions (in Italian and in English) of the book Espresso Italiano Tasting and enjoy the international semifinal and the final of the Espresso Italiano Champion 2017 organized by the Italian Espresso National Institute (Inei).
Iiac and Inei will be at pavillion 22, booth T32.
Iiac members will receive by e-mail the invitation code to download their entry ticket.

Italian Espresso certification programme and certification for Espresso Italiano Trainers in Fall 2016

New certification sessions for Italian Espresso and for Espresso Italiano Trainers will take place in Brescia (Italy) from the 25th to the 28th of October 2016. 

The Italian Espresso certification programme is run by the Italian Espresso National Institute (Inei) in cooperation with the International Institute of Coffee Tasters (Iiac). It is made up of two modules (M1 Espresso Italiano Tasting and M2 Espresso Italiano Specialist). The two courses will take place on the 25th and 26th of October.

The certification programme for Espresso Italiano Trainers will immediately follow on the 27th and 28th of October. Candidate trainers have to attend two more modules (M3 Senses Brain Sensory Analysis and EIT Espresso Italiano Trainer course). Certified trainers will be entitled to hold the sensory seminar Espresso Italiano Experience on behalf of the Iiac. The content of the seminar includes information on espresso and tasting techniques with the final aim of teaching the students how to assess the quality of Italian coffee. Each student receives a certificate after passing the thoery and tasting exams at the end of the seminar. There are more than 190 Espresso Italiano Trainers in the world.

For more information, please see the attachment or write to

Flavors, coffee seeds maturity and fashion trends​


By Luigi Odello, chairman of the International Institute of Coffee Tasters (Iiac)

The biological world, on which we rely on for food and many of life’s pleasures, is selfish. We should not think that fruits develop flavors for the enjoyment of humans. Actually, they do so as a means to find “collaborators” for the propagation of their species. Consequently, until the seeds are ripe we shouldn’t dream of an appealing flavor, and we shouldn’t expect a rewarding tactile or taste sensation. Only when the seeds are ripe, and the plants reduce their defenses against external attacks do the fruits become sweeter and reduce their astringency. Unfortunately, most of the fruits that are available commercially are acidic, sometimes astringent and often flavorless, because (amongst other reasons) they have been picked too early. 

This is a straightforward concept, but historically various trends have managed to quietly push against it. Remembering wines of the 80’s, there was a movement that encouraged the picking of grapes before the point of physiological maturity. A little acidity was convenient and the wines were surely easier to preserve. The results however weren’t great.

Now this is happening to coffees, sometimes by necessity and sometimes by lack of competence. On one hand, labor cost increases have lead to mechanical picking wherever possible. The effect of this is that in many places only a small part of the coffee fruits achieve sugar levels of 20 Brix (which is the threshold required to get minimum flavor) and an even smaller part achieves 25 Brix, which is the level necessary for a first class coffee.  In addition to this, to avoid surprises in the logistic chain, many coffee farmers resort now to accelerated drying. In addition to these factors, there is the modern trend of lightly roasting to maintain acidity. Together these lead to a failure to develop even the minimal precursors of flavors that exist in beans.

Some roasters would like the public to believe that coffee that contains a mix of citric and malic acids is the best coffee there can be. Among the supporters of this new trend there are some who, if the coffee has citric acid, will comment that it has citrus notes, and if it has malic acid, they will say it has apple notes. For us, these are reasons to mistrust many representatives of these new trends, and to reaffirm the philosophy of the fathers of our Espresso Italiano: roast slowly and roast fully, using only perfectly mature coffee beans. We’re happy to be out of fashion.

Translated by Cris and Martin at, a Swiss and UK based website dedicated to gourmet Italian coffee and the Italian espresso bar culture.

International Coffee Tasting Asia 2015: registration is open for the international coffee competition​

International Coffee Tasting Asia 2015International Coffee Tasting Asia 2015 returns on the 1st and 2nd December. This international competition is unique in that in order to select the best coffees it relies exclusively on the modern sensory analysis. The 2015 edition, which will be held in Taiwan, is organised by the local branch of the International Institute of Coffee Tasters (Iiac) with technical and scientific support from the CSA Italian Tasters.
In the 2014 edition, 149 coffees from 15 different countries were entered, and then evaluated by 26 international judges. The judges were divided into committees and checked by a sensory analysis software which measured their effectiveness. The coffee tastings were naturally carried out blind to eliminate any possible influences on the judges’ evaluation.
“A competition between coffees must set the objectivity of the evaluations as a prime goal”, commented Luigi Odello, president of the International Institute of Coffee Tasters (Iiac) “Therefore, not only will all the tasters at International Coffee Tasting Asia 2015 be Iiac qualified, but we will also evaluate effectively their reliability”.
The competition is organised with the support of Iiac Korea, Iiac Japan and Iiac Taiwan who are already gathering entries from Asian coffee roasters. Registration is open worldwide.
The rules of International Coffee Tasting Asia 2015 and the registration form for coffees are also available from

For more information, contact:

Coffee challenges Asian markets with International Coffee Tasting Asia 2013


International Coffee Tasting, the coffee competition from the International Institute of Coffee Tasters (Iiac), is poised to conquer the world. International Coffee Tasting Asia 2013 will in fact be held in Tokyo this November. After four editions organized in Italy, the competition moves to one of the most definitely interesting areas for the world of coffee: Asia.

The rules and methods implemented will be the same that helped International Coffee Tasting succeed so far: completely blind tastings performed by Iiac tasters and statistic validation of data. Only the winners will be announced (those who ranked in the first 30 %), the others will still receive a sensory profile and their placement so that they will be adequately informed about their performance (in this sense, the competition is also a useful market research).

"The big difference is that the tasting commissions will be made up exclusively of Asian Iiac tasters: Japanese, Korean, Taiwanese, Chinese," says the President of the International Institute of Coffee Tasters Luigi Odello, "Here is the real value of this competition: a sensorial evaluation performed by professionals who operate in arguably the most interesting export markets of the moment."

Many of the past winners have told us how being able to claim an International Coffee Tasting Gold Medal supported their export business. An award won in Asia for the Asian market could therefore have very important value.

Regulations and the application form are available at

Certification Session in October 2013: become an Espresso Italiano Trainer

Espresso Italiano Trainer - International Institute of Coffee TastersWe are glad to announce a new certification session to become an Espresso Italiano Trainer. It will take place in Brescia (Italy) from 14 to 17 October 2013, just before the international exhibition Host in Milan.

The Espresso Italiano Trainer is entitled to hold the seminars “Espresso Italiano Experience” on behalf of the International Institute of Coffee Tasters. He is an ambassador of the Italian espresso culture and passes on information and basic tasting techniques to students, in order to evaluate the coffee.

The seminar “Espresso Italiano Experience” provides a basic training for the Italian espresso tasting. The basic principles of sensory analysis and the use of the tasting card must be passed on to participants in an intuitive way, alternating theory and practice of tasting. This can only be done by a qualified trainer: the Espresso Italiano Trainer.

For more information, please download the application form or write to


Coffee and milk: Starbucks takes a step backwards

by Carlo Odello

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

In the September/October 2012 issue of the Global Coffee Review, Michelle Gass, Starbucks President EMEA, told about the flavour of the latte (according to the American-style recipe), judged by consumers from United Kingdom as being too…milky. Therefore, Starbucks had to work hard to create the right balance between coffee and milk.

In a recent training course with Japanese students, the Italian cappuccino, made with 25ml of espresso and 125ml of frothed milk, was thought to have a too low olfactory intensity as far as milk was concerned. This is probably due to the fact that in Japan the proportion of milk in coffee-based drinks has become more and more high, according to the American coffee style, where the longer the drink is, the better it will taste.

In short: in recent years, the world of coffee has been diluted by milk, and the Japanese case above shows how this has shaped the sensory trends. However, the fact that Starbucks has decided to take a step backwards gives us cause to hope for a greater balance between coffee and milk.

And, why not, you could even consider moving on from Latte Art, which has now probably reached peaks of graphomaniac autoeroticism, to a more balanced, and complex, Coffee Art.