The Finest Quality Is Still Selected by Hand
Coffee picking is extremely efficient nowadays: numerous batches are harvested by machine, while others (apart from very rare exceptions) are picked very quickly by hand. This results in a large quantity of defects in almost every batch we buy. These defects cannot affect our Amici blend. Almost 50 years of experience in selecting green coffee, bean by bean, have enabled us to precisely identify the best beans for our blend, eliminating 100% of the defective beans. My father, Ernesto Illy, began developing this selection procedure in 1968: since then, all the coffees roasted by the Illy family have been selected bean by bean.
Our Arabicas undergo electronic selection and are then often selected twice more by hand. Every woman selects the beans from a single 60 kg sack, which takes a whole working day. So it takes two days to prepare a perfectly pure sack. Only then do we have perfect beans only. It has to be said that the ladies who do the selecting made the decision to do this work seated on the ground. After trying to do it at the selection table, they decided this method was more comfortable for them.