Illy coffee is my new wine, and chain coffee is arse gravy.

Let’s just look at my daily caffeine intake: 6.45 I rise to shine to knock out a feeble boost of Earl Grey, and I ruin it by adding both sugar and milk – not to builder proportions but enough to drown the delicate Bergamot. Shocking I know.

Mid morning, after I’m employed as an unpaid Uber driver by son and daughter, I plunge head first into caffeine after my breakfast toe-dip with the Earl.

Illy coffee, no less.

In a tin, which has a satisfying whoosh when I pull the ring pull on it, for the first time.

Simple things please simple minds.

That Illy 100% Arabica smell too.

It would sell a dilapidated terraced home in Middlesbrough on that scent alone.

Two dessert spoons in the Bialetti stove top, a quick tighten, timer set for 4 minutes and milk frother prepped.

One sugar, large measure of coffee hotter than me in Speedos, hot semi skimmed lavished on top.


An ex-pupil, who was in my first form group in 1987 at Crompton House, Oldham, remarked that seeing me drink instant coffee would be akin to watching an episode of “I’m a Celebrity” – Peter Shipton knows me so well.

I don’t do instant and increasingly I shun those two coffee behemoths: Costa and Starbucks.


When you’ve sampled Illy stovetop, their fare tastes akin to arse gravy: weak, tasteless and overpriced.

It wasn’t always thus however.

I did used to drink crap coffee at home and out until Rome.

Booking an AirBnB last October in a fancy apartment there, we were greeted with a full tin of Illy, a gluten free chocolate cake and a Bialetti stove top.

The Italians know how to greet guests and since then I’m quite happy to spend £30 a month on Illy.



Worth it?


So if you’re ever near Bradwell in Great Yarmouth, don’t stop for a ubiquitous cup of brown slop at a garage or chain coffee store, call at 11 Colby Drive (look for diggers) and I’ll prove that Norfolk is actually Illy.