Illy! It’s not just a coffee company that roasts beans in Italy. No, no, no! Illy is also a brand–a natural expansion of the ‘Made in Italy’ brand that is renowned for the quality and uniqueness of its products. Although Illy prides itself on its many different roasts of coffee–which you can explore yourself on their website, it also features collaborations with designers and artists on anything from their tins, to their coffee cups and accessories, and their machines. If you check out their Instagram page, you will see exactly what I’m talking about.
I LOVE Illy and how they not only bring the beauty of Italian-style coffee roasts to bars and households all over the world, but also how they bring the best of Italy to those same places and beyond as well! Illy is an incredible company that is responsible, ethical, and also chic!
But, apart from the company itself, we are fortunate enough here in Toronto to have a caffe dedicated exclusively to, but also owned and operated by the Illy brand–Espressamente Illy, located in the Yorkdale Shopping Centre at 3401 Dufferin Street in North York.
So, yesterday afternoon I was a little bit furbo and told my best friend to meet me there so we could go “shopping”… Well, let’s just say that she did most of the shopping, and I forced Illy down her throat (lol). The caffe is located on the half-level between the main floor and the food court, and cannot be missed. I told my bestie of 20-odd years that I needed a coffee pronto before I let my wallet bleed a bit. So we made our way to the bar. (Please tell me which 24-year old prefers a caffe bar to an alcohol bar?)
The whole place screams Italian shopping centre caffe, making me feel like I was back in an Italian mall for a quick coff while I shop. The interior is modern with bright red accents everywhere and Illy products (coffee tins, cups/mugs/accessories, and machines) for recreating the Illy experience from the comfort of our own homes. I think it’s important for customers to know that the coffee you can enjoy at the bar can easily be recreated at home. Coffee is accessible for everyone who takes an interest!
As we approached the bar to order, we saw a banister filled with lovely sweets and panini, but we stayed strong and ordered coffee only–my bestie ordered a macchiato (because espresso is simply too strong for her stomach), while I ordered a pick-me-up doppio espresso (two shots of coffee to get me going).
We sat down and planned our method of attacking Yorkdale and its maddening crowds on a Saturday, and I’d say we were pretty successful: she got some Christmas shopping done, and I thought about myself and bought a nice lil’ lightweight down jacket. I really am furbo. But anyway, above us was this funky chandelier made of Illy espresso cups, while in front of me was an interesting cup designed especially for the 2015 Universal Expo held in Milan, Italy; its theme, of course: sustainable food and drink–how Italian! But, that just goes to show you how Illy has expanded on the ‘Made in Italy’ mark I was talking about earlier, using a designer to capitalize on an international event to create a cute cup.
Comunque, my friend and I were discussing the coffee itself and we both agreed that, although delicious, left a somewhat acidic taste in our mouths. I’ve had many different types of coffee and I can say that I don’t drink American-style coffee for that exact reason. Illy’s coffee just tasted a little acidic but did not create any disturbance in my stomach. So that’s a big plus.
Illy was great, and I recommend it to anyone wanting some true Italian coffee.
Un bacione a tutti. Ciao for now!