Espresso Coffee

The Science of Quality

Edited by

  • Andrea Illy, Nestle Research Department and illycaffe
  • Rinantonio Viani, Nestle Research Laboratories in Switzerland
  • Rinantonio Viani, Nestle Research Laboratories in Switzerland


  • Andrea Illy, Nestle Research Department and illycaffe

Written by leading coffee technology specialists in consultation with some of the world's biggest coffee manufacturers, the second edition of the successful Espresso Coffee will once again comprehensively cover the current status of the chemistry and technology of espresso coffee. It comprehensively covers topics such as agronomy, green coffee processing, roasting/grinding, packaging, percolating and decaffeination techniques. It provides a comprehensive resource for those interested in the fundamental notions of coffee quality; with a point of reference given in the form of a detailed bibliography to provide direction to the wider literature.
View full description


Food researchers, food technologists, food chemists, and food biologists


Book information

  • Published: December 2004
  • ISBN: 978-0-12-370371-2


"Overall this book serves as a complete overview not only of espresso coffee but also of coffee in general. With its comprehensive overview of the parameters important to coffee quality and coffee consumption on human health it becomes a good reference book for both food scientists and nutritionists in the field." - Massimo Marcone, University of Guelph, Canada for FOOD RESEARCH INTERNATIONAL (2005) "A vital resource for anyone wishing to deepen their knowledge of coffee and its production, this book, with its industrial and historical perspectives, manages to combine the delivery of complex scientific data with pure enthusiasm for the product." - CAFE CULTURE (July 2005) “…the book’s precision with the details of coffee science is unparalleled. It balances scientific prowess and readability without overwhelming the reader, whether new to the coffee world or a veteran.” - FRESH CUP (June 2005)

Table of Contents



1 Quality

1.1 Origins and Meanings of Quality

1.2 Definition of Quality

1.3 Commercial Quality

1.4 Quality of Food Products

1.5 The Experience of Coffee Consumption

1.6 The Quality of Espresso Coffee

1.7 Definition of Espresso

1.8 Conclusions


2 The Plant

2.1 Origin, Production and Botany

2.2 Variety Development

2.3 Agronomy

2.4 Biochemical Ecology

2.5 Molecular Genetics of Coffee


3 The Raw Bean

3.1 Introduction

3.2 Harvesting

3.3 Processing of the Harvest

3.4 Drying

3.5 Final Processing for Export and Roasting

3.6 Logistics

3.7 Defects

3.8 Classification: Physical and Sensorial Analysis

3.9 Blending

3.10 Decaffeination

3.11 Raw Bean Composition

References and Further Reading

4 Roasting

4.1 The Process

4.2 Roasting Techniques

4.3 Changes Produced by Roasting

4.4 Volatile Aroma Compounds

4.5 Melanoidins

4.6 Contaminants


5 Grinding

5.1 Theory of Fracture Mechanics

5.2 Coffee Grinders

5.3 Methods for Measuring Ground Product Fineness

5.4 Parameters Influencing Grinding

5.5 Physico-Chemical Modifications Due to Grinding


6 Storage and Packaging

6.1 Physical and Chemical Changes of Roasted Coffee during Storage

6.2 Packaging of Roasted Coffee


7 Percolation

7.1 Conceptual Definitions

7.2 Physical and Chemical Characterization of the Percolation Process

7.3 Modeling of the Percolation Process

7.4 The Espresso Machine

7.5 Parameters Influencing Percolation


8 The Cup

8.1 Physical and Chemical Characterization of the Espresso Beverage

8.2 Organoleptic Characteristics of Espresso (Practical Aspects)

8.3 Espresso Definition Again

8.4 Espresso-Milk Mixes


9 Physiology of Perception

9.1 Introduction

9.2 Gustation

9.3 Olfaction

9.4 Human Chemosensory Psychophysics


10 Coffee Consumption and Health

10.1 Consumption Patterns

10.2 Coffee is More than Caffeine

10.3 Coffee is Beneficial to Health

10.4 Coffee is not Harmful to Health

10.5 Conclusions


Closing Remarks