The third-generation Italian coffee giant Illy has opened its first dedicated “University of Coffee” (Università del Caffè) facility in the United States, offering educational programming for a range of coffee professionals, as well as for consumers.
Joining 25 other Illy university locations throughout the world, the first U.S. branch is in the heart of downtown San Francisco, adjacent to an existing Illy café location at 220 Montgomery Street.
“For Illy, San Francisco is a natural choice for a first dedicated university location in America, given the city’s early embrace of high-quality coffee, its vibrant culinary scene and its well-earned reputation as a major hub for innovation and education,” Massimiliano Pogliani, CEO of illycaffè SpA, said in an announcement of the opening. “We are honoured to contribute to the city’s rich coffee culture by sharing our knowledge and passion.”
Illy launched its university program in 1999 in Italy, and expanded the program to North America in 2008 through partnerships with culinary institutions including The Culinary Institute of America (CIA) and the International Culinary Center (ICC). The scope of the education program has a wide range, from offering consumers courses on coffee appreciation all the way to an inter-university Master’s degree course in Coffee Economics and Science offered in Trieste.
Led by Illy Master Barista Giorgio Milos, classes currently offered at the San Francisco campus are targeted primarily for coffee-curious consumers, although a company representative told Daily Coffee News that the space will also be used for barista training, and for training and education for wholesale clients and other food-and-beverage professionals.