Some 'Illy'-brand espresso in an 'Illy'-branded espresso cup.

Many (if not most) kitchens must contain at least one item whose origins are mysterious or forgotten. For example I cannot for the life of me recall when or how I obtained the Illy espresso cup shown above. It’s the only one of its kind I have: there is no matching saucer. My guess would be that someone helped themselves to it from a café or restaurant and passed it on to me: but who? And when?

Some 'Illy'-brand coffee beans.

Appropriately the coffee in it was also made from an Illy product, specifically from their Arabica Selection: Brasile Cerrado Minero beans. I had spent a few months very slowly working my way through a 1kg bag of lesser-quality beans and felt like trying something a little further upmarket for a change. I do enjoy its refined taste – meanwhile slightly missing the breadth of flavour that a good blend can provide.