Coffee Culture: thoughts and paradigms

As we expect, the Global Coffee Forum proposed a real “coffee experience” to the many visitors, started from a top level discussion around its three key virtues – Pleasure, Health and Sustainability – thanks to outstanding speaker as high representatives of some among the most important actors of the world of coffee – international institutions, brands and opinion leaders.

I firmly believe that coffee has this three defining traits: the pleasure it provides is more than just a reaction produced by our perception of its flavor and unmistakable aroma. As to health factors, many studies have brought to light, and are progressively revealing, that a regular and moderate consumption of coffee (3 to 5 cups of espresso per day) in adult subjects has several beneficial effects. And finally, sustainability: for four generations, illy has firmly believed in and followed the pathway of economic, social and environmental sustainability for all our stakeholders. Ethics are a fundamental value at illy; to us, this means building long-term value through transparency, sustainability and personal development.

About pleasure in particular, during the afternoon session of the first day, Francesco Morace, from Future Concept Lab, presented a research that highlights how the globalized world is undergoing radical change. The starting point is the valorization of human resources. Social innovation has brought to light a new concept of “value”: Human Value, which is a variable of Coffee Culture and lies at the basis of its happy and sustainable growth “Think locally, act globally”: the true potential of Coffee Culture lies in its local roots; through this extraordinary laboratory we must produce local quality, all the while looking to a universal horizon.

Nine points support this new, paradigmatic evidence of Coffee Culture and they are showing us innovative paths to follow in the world of coffee.

First and foremost: taste. Coffee Culture and its experience can only start from the gratification of the palate. Coffee’s unique taste must combine with the biodiversity of the coffee plantations around the world

Taste is complemented in sensorial immersion. The coffee experience surrounds its consumers when the five senses react in unison. This sensory immersion is increasingly developing into a demand for intensity and quality of life.

Taste and sensory immersion foster happy occasions. Happiness goes beyond satisfaction, and it must be measured through the unfolding of the unexpected, of wonder and memorable occasions. The economics of happiness can encourage an advanced model of growth.

In the world of consumption, Coffee Culture represents a highly emblematic example of one of the four social paradigms which guide the future of the world: “Quick & Deep.” (The other three are “Unique & Universal,” “Crucial & Sustainable,” and “Trust & Sharing.”) Coffee Culture is a genuine source of immediate proactivity, in all of life’s contexts.

We need permanent and advanced updating in order to keep track of and respect all the extraordinary characteristics of coffee, from the raw material up until the final experience. This calls for the creation of a system of complex activities through the work of teams of chemists and engineers, managers and creatives, agents and bartenders, who must show an ability to boost and revitalize the credibility of Coffee Culture, its supply chain and its experience.

Consumers are no longer passive; they choose, decide and exchange, transforming consumption into a permanent activity of social innovation that implies circular economies, social magnetism, aesthetic production and daily enhancement. In order to play this role to the fullest, Coffee Culture must become the essential fuel for this new metabolism, propagating knowledge and finding new forms and languages.

The upcoming years will continue to be marked by the importance of the human body and its activities, in its most natural dimensions and in more experimental ones. Food, diet and their management will enter into everyone’s daily agenda; they will have a decisive influence on more advanced topics. Coffee Culture must live up to these new protagonists of innovation, keeping the performance of the body constantly in mind.

Nowadays, sustainability has been transformed from militant environmentalism into the paradigm of the future and it cannot ignore the correctness of processes and respect for the producing territories. Coffee Culture is making a true breakthrough in this direction through sustainable processes: from control of origin to every stage of the supply chain, the uniqueness of techniques, the specificities of the territories, the processing of the beans, and scientific exploration of their organoleptic qualities.

Feel well and do good; receive approval and be in the right. This is encapsulated in a word that is also a new expression of the trend: well-being. Feeling well psychologically but also being physically well: this will increasingly become the direct expression of a Coffee Culture that looks to health factors.



Join the discussion