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I'm no coffee expert - I can't describe flavours well, but I know what I like. And I'd like to learn to describe tastes better.

Illy is my favourite coffee (for French press use) - it seems a lot lighter than other brands. For example, Douwe Egberts seems too thick, and impossible to drink black.

How would you describe the main qualities of Illy? And if I want to get more in depth and buy fresh beans, what types might share some of these qualities?

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First you need to be precise in what you want to describe. What kind of Illy are we talking about? –  iwein Dec 12 '10 at 13:30

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I don't know anything about Illy coffe but you may find these can answer the question I think you are asking. Here is a flavor wheel for coffee: http://www.flickr.com/photos/visualthinkmap/2741624371/ and here is a link and a great website for pretty much everything coffee: http://www.wholelattelove.com/articles/coffee_tasting.cfm.

Also just to be complete here is a direct quote from the site above, Whole Latte Love, about Illy coffee:

"The world’s coffee of choice." Discover the extraordinary pleasure of illy, the celebrated Italian espresso coffee served in the finest restaurants and cafés and enjoyed by coffee connoisseurs worldwide. A blend so popular, it is served in Italy alone over 2 million times a day. Prized for its full, rich body and smooth, balanced flavor, illy's signature blend is meticulously selected and is 100% sustainably grown Arabica coffee. Espresso at it's finest!

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