Thursday, February 07, 2008

Ernesto Illy, Italy coffee giant, dies

The Associated Press
Article Launched: 02/06/2008 01:09:33 PM PST

ROME—Ernesto Illy, the longtime head of Italian coffee giant illycaffe SpA who traveled the world in search of the best blend of beans, has died at age 82.
Illy died Sunday in a hospital in Trieste, the port city in northeastern Italy where the company has its headquarters, company publicists said Wednesday. No cause of death was given.
A chemist and son of Francesco Illy, who founded the company in 1933, Ernesto Illy traveled extensively to select beans he hoped would yield a perfect cup of coffee. The company boasts it has an exclusive blend of beans from Brazil, Central America, India and Africa.
Illy is survived by four children and his wife. One son, Andrea, is chairman of the company, which distributes its coffee in more than 140 countries.