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).

Tutti i vincitori di International Coffee Tasting 2014, il concorso internazionale del caffè

International Coffee Tasting 2014Si è chiusa a Brescia la sesta edizione di International Coffee Tasting 2014, il concorso tra caffè organizzato dall’Istituto Internazionale Assaggiatori Caffè (Iiac). Iscritti al concorso 149 caffè da 15 paesi (Italia, Corea, Australia, Canada, Cina, Germania, Giappone, Portogallo, Slovenia, Spagna, Svizzera, Thailandia, Taiwan, Stati Uniti, Vietnam). Le valutazioni sensoriali sono state affidate a 26 giudici di 9 paesi diversi (Corea, Danimarca, Giappone, Italia, Malesia, Serbia, Slovenia, Spagna, Svezia).
Il concorso è stata anche l’occasione per cogliere le linee di tendenza del settore. “Per quanto riguarda i caffè italiani emergono alcuni nuovi prodotti, tra cui alcune monorigini, e si riconfermano alcuni classici della nostra tradizione – ha commentato Luigi Odello, presidente Iiac – Segno di una bella vitalità del mercato che è capace di evolversi in un solco però di continuità con il proprio passato”.
I caffè provenienti dall’estero confermano che sempre di più anche nei cosiddetti nuovi mercati, come quelli asiatici, il traguardo principale è l’equilibrio e la complessità del prodotto. “Si tratta tra l’altro di tratti tipici dell’espresso italiano – ha continuato Odello – Ciò ci fa ben sperare per il futuro del nostro caffè sui mercati più nuovi, i quali assumono naturalmente un rilievo importante per il nostro export”.
Il concorso è stato sponsorizzato da Wega Macchine per Caffè e Compak Coffee Grinders e organizzato con la collaborazione tecnico-scientifico del Centro Studi Assaggiatori.
Espresso italiano
100% Arabica N. 23 (1), Torrefazione Caffè Gran Salvador, Brescia
Caffè Alberto Miscela Pappagallo Oro, Caffè Alberto Taurocaf, Torino
Caffè Alberto Miscela Pappagallo Rosso, Caffè Alberto Taurocaf, Torino
Caffè Miscela Crema Bar, Torrefazione Caffè Avana, Brescia
Caffè Morettino "Grangusto", Angelo Morettino, Palermo
Caffè Oro (Top Quality), Dersut Caffè, Treviso
Caffè Qualità Royal, La Genovese, Savona
Caffè Roen "Extra Bar", Torrefazione Caffè Roen, Verona
Eccellenza, Artcafé, Parma
Espresso Bendinelli "100% Arabica Gourmet", Torrefazione Caffè Roen, Verona
Estrella Del Caribe, Corsino Corsini, Arezzo
Extra Bar, Torrefazione San Salvador, Sondrio
Faraglia Barrique, Torrefazione Olimpica, Rieti
Gold Arabica, Torrefazione A. Castorino, Salerno
Kavè, G.I.Fi.Ze, Bologna
Milani Gran Aroma, Milani, Como
Miscela Caffè "1 Bar Caracol", Torrefazione Saturno, Alessandria
Miscela Miguel "Reserva Do Fundador", Torrefazione El Miguel, Varese
Miscela Orobar, Caffè Campetelli, Frosinone 
Perfero Velvet, Perfero Caffè, Fermo
Platino Premium Barista, Omkafè, Trento
Espresso non Italiano
Barcaffé Bar, Droga Kolinska, Slovenia
Barcaffé Prestige Crema SRB, Droga Kolinska, Slovenia
Barcaffé Prestige SLO, Droga Kolinska, Slovenia
Caffè Bruno / Espresso Italiano, Caffè Bruno, Tailandia
Coffellection Blend, Coffellection, Taiwan
Dromedario Colombia Nariño Supremo "El Tambo", Café Dromedario, Spagna
Dromedario Especial Espresso, Café Dromedario, Spagna
Dromedario Etiopia Limu, Café Dromedario, Spagna
Espresso Anniversario, Orinoco Coffee & Tea, Usa
Espresso Blend Butter, Milano Coffee, Canada
Espresso Blend Velvet, Milano Coffee, Canada
Genovese Super Brazil Blend, Genovese Coffee, Australia
Golden Espresso, Season Coffee Food , Taiwan
La Brasileña 5 Alturas, Café Dromedario, Spagna
Pearls Original Espresso, Coffee Kissa Pearls, Giappone
Pozo Artesania, Café Dromedario, Spagna
Coffee Atelier Story, Coffee Atelier, Corea
Barcaffé Filter, Droga Kolinska D.d., Slovenia
Kes 1, Koo Eune Sune Coffee, Corea
Kes 3, Koo Eune Sune Coffee, Corea
Kotobukiya A Premium Blend, Kotobukiya Coffee, Giappone
Miscela Evoluzione Macinato Moka, Torrefazione Musetti, Piacenza
Miscela Primo Aroma – 100% Arabica, Torrefazione Morandini, Brescia
Monodose (cialde e capsule)
Cialde Marodda "Limited Edition", Marodda, Taranto
Cialde Miscela Cremissimo, Torrefazione Musetti S.r.l, Piacenza
Elegante, Caffè Agust, Brescia
Espresso Love 100% Arabica Cialda, Minuto Caffè, Savona
Natura Equa Bio/Fairtrade, Caffè Agust, Brescia
Per macchina automatica casa
Schäumle, Kaffeeroesterei Principe, Germania

Is caffeine good for us, or for the plant?

Luigi_Odelloby Luigi Odello (president of the International Institute of Coffee Tasters)

When a country does not feel threatened, it dismisses the army. This is precisely what the coffee plant does to caffeine, which in practice represents one of its weapons against attacking diseases. The tendency to produce caffeine is however part of a plant’s genetics, and as such is difficult to change.

However, the Brazilian researcher Mazzafera achieved just this, through genetic manipulation, to obtain a plant that produced no caffeine at all, but when reproduced, this same plant then returned to producing the traditional caffeine content. The fact remains that when the plant no longer needs to defend itself against external attack, it produces less caffeine: the Robusta coffee plant, when grown in a healthy environment, such as at high altitudes, reduces its own production of caffeine.

This is the same case of the Arabica. In a virtually parallel manner, the trend of chlorogenic acids acts in the same way, constituting another essential defence mechanism for any compounds exposed to the risk of mould, as these acids neutralise their enzymes by acting on the protein part. Thus for humans, it is important to obtain coffee from plants that had less need to defend themselves, as doctors generally agree on the maximum recommended daily intake of caffeine: 300 milligrams.

This means that we can actually drink 6 or 7 espresso coffees, if the alkaloid content is around 40-50 milligrams, but we should halve this in the case of coffee with a high caffeine content. Here is another advantage that the world would have passing to Italian Espresso: an Italian moka coffee can contain twice the caffeine and a filter coffee even three times. But we were talking of Italian Espresso: 7 grams of coffee to obtain a cup of 25 millilitres in 25 seconds. Obviously, that changes if we take the case of the recent inventions of 9/10 grams.

International Coffee Tasting 2012: The Winners

For two days judges from various countries tasted and assessed coffee from all over the world

Brescia, 7 november – The fourth edition of the International Coffee Tasting held in Brescia on the 29th and 31st October has closed. Coffees from all around the world have been challenging each other. 26 judges from 11 countries were given the task of assessing as many as 113 coffees from 13 countries: the winning products of the competition were chosen from a truly international selection (Editor’s note: the list is below).

"The winning coffees possess an exceptionally wide range of aromas – commented Luigi Odello, president of the International Institute of Coffee Tasters and Professor of Sensory Analysis at various Italian and foreign universities – accompanied by a bold but round and smooth body".

Among the competing products there were also coffee pods and capsules, a phenomenon which has increasingly grown in recent years. It is very interesting to observe how these coffees come very close to perform as espresso, but are still not able to reach its silkiness, rich body and powerful aroma.

"It is equally interesting to see how non Italian espresso roasters are progressing – concluded Odello – Many of them are definitely trying to align themselves with the Italian style ".

The competition sponsors were Wega Macchine per Caffè, Luigi Bormioli and Compak. The competition also enjoyed the patronage of the Italian Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Forestry Policies and of the International Academy of Sensory Analysis.

The winners of International Coffee Tasting 2012 (ex aequo, in alphabetic order with the name of the winning product in brackets)

Espresso – Italian blends

  •  Costadoro, Turin (Coffee Lab)
  • Esperia Distribuzione, Monza Brianza (Caffè Milano)
  • G.I.Fi.Ze, Bologna (Club Kavè)
  • Holly di Ulivieri Raffaele, Perugia (Bar 100% Arabica)
  • Italcaffè, La Spezia (Excelso Bar)
  • La Genovese, Savona (Caffè Anniversario Metal Box)
  • La Genovese, Savona (Caffè Qualità Royal)
  • Milani, Como (Milani Gran Espresso)
  • Mokaor, Vercelli (Intenso)
  • Omkafè, Trento (Superbar blend)
  • Taurocaf di Alberto & Anzola, Turin (Caffè Alberto Pappagallo Rosso Blend)
  • Torrefazione Caffè Gran Salvador, Brescia (100% Arabica CE)
  • Torrefazione Caffè Gran Salvador, Brescia (100% Arabica N)
  • Torrefazione Caffè Roen, Verona (Espresso Bendinelli – 100% Arabica Gourmet)
  • Torrefazione dei F.lli Morandini, Brescia (Maxima Blend 100% Arabica)
  • Torrefazione El Miguel, Varese (La Cafferia – Portofino)
  • Torrefazione Olimpica, Rieti (Faraglia Espresso Barrique)
  • Torrefazione S. Salvador, Sondrio (Super Bar)

Espresso – Non Italian blends or single origins

  • Cafés Dromedario, Spain (Dromedario Colombia Nariño Supremo "El Tambo")
  • Cafés Dromedario, Spain (Pozo Artesania)
  • Cafés Dromedario, Spain (Tostadora Natural Hosteleria)
  • Caffè Principe, Germany (Ottanta)
  • Droga Kolinska, Slovenia (Barcaffè Bar)
  • Gourmet Coffee Roasters, South Africa (Häzz)
  • Milano Coffee, Canada (Espresso # 1)
  • P & F Coffee, Thailand (P & F Espresso Blend)
  • P & F Coffee, Thailand (P & F Splendid Blend)
  • Peaberry, Thailand (House Blend Coffee Roasted)
  • Peaberry, Thailand (Roadster Blend Coffee Roasted)

Coffee pods and capsules

  • Caffè Agust, Brescia (Natura Equa Biofairtrade capsule)
  • Mocoffee, Switzerland (Bel Canto – Strato Coffee Machine)
  • Torrefazione Caffè Roen, Verona (Monodose Capsule)

Coffee for non-professional automatic coffee machines

  • Milani, Como (Milani Guatemala Antigua El Pulcal)

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.”

International Coffee Tasting 2010: all the winners

The third edition of International Coffee Tasting, the international coffee contest organized by the International Institute of Coffee Tasters, ended on October 27. For two days, 27 tasters from nine different countries (Italy, Japan, Poland, Slovakia, Slovenia, Sweden, Switzerland, Serbia, Germany) evaluated 121 coffees from Italy, Germany, Mexico, Poland, Slovenia, Spain, Switzerland, Thailand, and the USA.

The major types of coffee competed for their place: espresso bar, moka, pods, capsules, and filter. All products were prepared by professional baristas and evaluated anonymously by the tasters who recorded their scores on taste cards. These were then processed statistically.

"Espressos of extraordinary elegance are appearing on the coffee scene. Espressos that no longer amaze with a luxurious, full body and oodles of crema but seduce us with an incredible freshness and remarkable aromatic complexity” – commented Luigi Odello, the General Secretary of the International Institute of Coffee Tasters and Professor of Sensory Analysis at several universities in Italy and abroad. "These products certainly represent the cutting edge in the future of high-quality espresso, especially in those countries where espresso is not traditionally consumed”.

“There has also been a considerable improvement in the single-dose coffee sector”, Odello adds. “In fact, now we have pods that allow for the optimal extraction of coffee and innovative capsules, both frequently conceived for restaurant coffee menus”.

The Winners

Italian Blends for Espresso

  • Caffè Qualità Oro – La Genovese, Albenga (SV)
  • Bar – Caffen, Napoli
  • Bar 100% Arabica – Holly Caffè, Città di Castello (PG)
  • Caffè Tonino Lamborghini – Officina Gastronomica, Parma (PR)
  • Miscela Degustazione – Trismoka, Paratico (BS)
  • Cinquestelle – Caffè Cartapani, Brescia
  • Extra Bar – Caffè Fantino, Peveragno (CN)
  • Superoro – Caffè Cagliari, Modena (MO)
  • Oro Oro – Torrefazione Caffè Gran Salvador, Brescia
  • Natura Equa Bio Fairtrade – Caffè Agust, Brescia
  • Caffè Alberto Miscela Pappagallo Rosso – Taurocaf, Caselle Torinese (TO)
  • Caffè Elite Bar 100% Arabica – Italcaffè, La Spezia
  • Faraglia Espresso 100% Arabica – Torrefazione Olimpica, S. Rufina Cittaducale (RI)
  • Espresso Bendinelli 100% Arabica Gourmet – Caffè Roen, Verona
  • Olimpia – Torrefazione Parenti, Bologna
  • Noir – Paladini, Borgo San Lorenzo (FI)
  • Master Club Coffee – Costadoro, Torino
  • Pelourinho 100% Arabica – Magazzini del Caffè, Brescia
  • Super Bar – Torrefazione S. Salvador, Villa di Tirano (SO)
  • Battistino – Torrefazione Caffè Michele Battista, Triggiano (BA)

Non Italian Single Origins And Blends for Espresso

  • Barcaffè Prestige 100% Arabica – Droga Kolinska, Slovenia
  • Espresso Single Origin Malawi Mzuzu Geisha Viphya – Adesso, Poland
  • P&F Espresso Blend – P&F Coffee Limited, Thailand
  • Bizzarri Blend – 100% Arabica Coffee – Caffè Umbria, USA
  • Bacio Espresso Miscela Italiana – Bontà, Mexico
  • Extra Milano – Massimo Cerutti, Switzerland
  • P&F Splendid Espresso Blend – P&F Coffee Limited,Thailand

Single Origins or Blends for Italian Moka

  • Oro Oro – Torrefazione Caffè Gran Salvador, Brescia
  • Gayo Mountain Sumatra Indonesia – Corsino Corsini, Badia al Pino (AR)
  • Caffè Alberto Miscela Espresso Casa 100% Arabica – Taurocaf, Caselle Torinese (TO)

Single Origins or Blends in Pods or Capsules

  • Bacio Pods – Bontà, Mexico
  • Caffè Morettino 100% Arabica Espresso – Angelo Morettino, Palermo
  • Espresso Made In Italy – Caffè Agust, Brescia
  • Costadoro Coffee Pod – Costadoro, Torino
  • Caffè Roen Cialda Monodose – Caffè Roen, Verona
  • Cialda Densacrema – Zicaffè, Marsala (TP)

Single Origins or Blends for Filter Coffee

  • Barcaffè Filter 100% Arabica – Droga Kolinska, Slovenia

Coffee research: more expert Italian consumers look for brands and drink coffee with less sugar

Coffee Experience 2010, the largest coffee tasting event in the world, has made its verdict.  And it has done so based on over 8.000 tastings (a 17% increase from 2009) carried out in Verona from the 8th to the 12th of April at the Agrifood Club, a show hosted within Vinitaly.  Thousands of visitors from nearly forty countries came for the tasting and tried 35 Italian coffees through this event organized by the Taster Study Center with the support of the Italian Espresso National Institute and the International Institute of Coffee Tasters.

An interesting trend has emerged from the data that was collected: the percentage of consumers read the coffee shop sign and look for a specific brand has increased (from 3% in 2009 to 4.6% in 2010).  "These are people that refuse the simplification of ‘100% Arabica’," says Luigi Odello, president of the Taster Study Center and professor of Sensory Analysis in Italian and foreign universities.  "The world of clients is beginning to focus on specific sensory qualities and on the brands  People are starting to choose the coffee shop accordingly to the coffee that is served."  In fact, the number of consumers that claim to choose coffee based on their own personal tastes is increasing (from 35.2% in 2009 to 37.4% in 2010).  "These small variations in percentage indicate a trend that could have a strong impact on the market," Odello states.  "We must remember that in Italy about 70 million espresso cups are served every day."

The position on the sugar is also changing.  In fact, the results of this research show that the number of people consuming coffee without sugar is increasing (from 30% in 2009 to 32.4% in 2010) as is the number of people choosing the macchiato (from 16.6% in 2009 to 18% in 2010).  "These two tendencies are compatible but need to be further investigated," Odello remarked.  "Those who prefer bitterness do so because they choose coffees well. On the other hand, those who prefer the macchiato prefer it because they normally drink a lower quality coffee and add milk to improve it?  Or it could be that they are using milk to simply avoid the calories from sugar."

Registrations are now open for the International Coffee Tasting 2010, the world coffee tasting competition

The third edition of International Coffee Tasting will be held in Brescia (Italy) on October, 26-27. The  commissions of the International Institute of Coffee Tasters, the scientific and independent association that concentrates exclusively on the sensory analysis of the coffee, will meet in Brescia to evaluate samples of coffees coming from all over the world.

"At its third edition, International Coffee Tasting 2010 will be an excellent barometer to evaluate how things are going in the coffee market – said Mr. Luigi Odello, secretary general of the International Institute of Coffee Tasters and professor of sensory analysis in Italian universities and abroad – In the  last edition of the competition we had the chance to sample 130 different from all around the world". A real international showcase, useful to understand the latest trends.

International Coffee Tasting 2010 accepts coffee in all different styles, from espresso to capsules, from pods to filter coffee. Each company participating to the competition will receive its ranking and the sensory profile of its own product. The mission of the International Coffee Tasting 2010 is not only to award excellence, but also to support coffee roasters in reaching it. "The market is effectively polarizing itself, with peaks of high quality countered by example of poor quality", concluded Mr Odello.

International Coffee Tasting 2010 is open to coffee roasters from all around the world. Coffee roasters can register up until the June 30 (forms available at For more information please contact Claudia Ferretti (, tel. +39 030 397308).

>> Go to the International Coffee Tasting 2010 page

Coffee Experience is back, the largest coffee tasting event in the world

After last year’s lucky first edition, Coffee Experience is back, the largest coffee tasting event in the world. It will be held from the 8th to the 12th of April in Verona,at the Agrifood Club, the salon hosted within Vinitaly, the most important exhibition dedicated to wines and distillates. Even this year it will be possible to taste 35 different coffees available for the over 100,000 visitors that every year come to the exhibition in Verona.

"Last year we reached more than 7,000 tasting cards – says Luigi Odello, president of the Italian Tasters, VeronaFiere’s partner in the event – A precious amount of data that has evidenced industry trends. This year’s second edition will be an further test to verify the public’s tastes and preferences".

"Coffee Experience also represents a showroom of international importance for participating companies – continues Odello – The presence of foreign buyers and operators is in fact strong, strategic presence in a moment in which attention for expresso is growing abroad, and which in some nations has even surpassed traditional preparations".

Coffee Experience benefits the patronage of the Italian Espresso National Institute and of International Institute of Coffee Tasters.

The roasters that would like to participate with one or more products can write to or call 030 397308.