What is Coffee? Why, It's the Beverage of Happiness

| No Comments

Andrea Illy.JPG

This gent, Andrea Illy, youngest of four siblings, runs Illy, his family's coffee empire from its headquarters in Trieste. Agricultural products grown in Africa, like coffee beans, destined for markets in northern and eastern Europe have long passed through the port of Trieste, at the northern tip of the Adriadic.

Suave, cultivated, impeccably turned out, Illy is in Seattle this week for a trade show, seminars & meetings, during which he extols coffe as "the beverage of happiness." As it happens, the highest per capita consumption of coffee is in Scandinavia, which also happens to be home to the world's most contented people. Coffee stimulates and inspires, Illy points out, simultaneously creating optimism and a caring social structure.

Coffee is by nature bitter, and humans have evolved to seek foods (like fruit) that are sweet. So why is coffee so popular? It's a combination, says Illy, of culture and aroma.

In his book, "A Coffee Dream," Illy writes, "Coffee must not be neither a luxury or a status symbol, nor must it underscore differences." The ancient Greeks used the word Eudaiemonia to signify the coming together of virtues, of which hedonism--a love of pleasure, such as a perfect cup of espresso--is but one. (He calls it a "virtuous circle." More on his blog.)

Parenthetically, Illy rejects the California judge's recent argument that coffee is carcinogenic, a decision totally unjustified by science, he says. On the other hand, the real threat to coffee, he continues, is climate change, and he joins his industry colleagues in tripling the investment in efforts to mitigate its effects on coffee farms around the world.

And in the meantime? "Live hapilly," he says. (Get it? Two "l"s.) Good advice.

Leave a comment


About this Entry

This page contains a single entry by Cornichon published on April 19, 2018 5:00 PM.

The Mermaid Under Assault: #NotMe was the previous entry in this blog.

Haute Cuisine in Madison Valley is the next entry in this blog.

Find recent content on the main index or look in the archives to find all content.