Infinitely small to infinitely big

What’s the link between LIFT, blog, coffee, the world, the atom, the intimate and the infinite?
Dottore Ernesto Illy. My uncle.

He invented the espresso, Illy caffè, and brought it all over the world, like a missionair, the coffee evangelist, teaching everyone how to prepare it, how to taste it, even how to cultivate it.
As a chemist, he studied different aspects of the coffee and its mollecules, analyzing its impacts on human health, on the taste. He developed in his laboratory sophisticated engines to obtain the best roasted beans. Saying that one could taste if only one bean was corrupted in the whole process of making a cup of espresso!
So, on one side he harnesslessly researched and created the best possible coffee, say on a technical point of view. He even created international scientific coffe associations. He also helped a whole region in Brazil to develop and learn how to grow high quality of coffe, sustaining them with a higher purchase price (among others).

On the other hand, he travelled all over the world, all his lifelong, to spread the good word, the love of coffee, his science and his humanity.

The purpose here is not to rewrite his whole story. No.
My uncle, Dr. Illy, saddly passed away a couple of days ago. I am very sad, of course, he was an important figure of my childhood and many happy souvenirs relate to him. But I also remember one day when he was explaining the quantic theory: every infinite part of a whole can contain the whole and the inverse (this is what I got !).

And now, I think that I understand what he meant that day. I think that he is the embodyment of this theory.

These last days, I saw on http://www.illy.com all the testimonials praising his extraordinary qualities, from all over the world, in many languages. A taste of universality.
More personnally, my mind broadened a bit more at LIFT08, showing me unsuspected connections between things, between people, where emotion was a connector. A link was emerging between different elements, and I was decided to continue to “digg”, to identify such links. Strangely, the inventor of the “capsule Nespresso” was among the speakers explaining how he invented it… Illy was there! (for me). The link was starting to take shape inside of me. I already knew that my uncle had left us.
After that, I found a very interesting and thourough article on Illy caffè, which also touched me: I found an Illy coffe amateur reading an article on the internet! I wrote to the author, who in turn told me that his father, hungarian like Illy’s foundator (and mine!), started to drink Illy coffe in 1973 and that he never stopped! For him, this coffee is synonymous of special delightful moments in the day.

By allowing such intense experiences, Ernesto Illy touched people in their intimacy. Many times a day. For thousands of people. All over the world.

The universality of an emotion in the specificity of the moment. This universality becoming visible to everyone in the world through technological media and maybe reinforcing it by the way. The community of Illy espresso lovers virtually united through a real emotion.

To the infinite intimate presence of my uncle.
With all my love to him.
Dottore Ernesto Illy

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30 thoughts on “Infinitely small to infinitely big

  1. Hello,

    Quelle surprise ! Le monde est petit ! Je suis un grand consommateur de café Illy pour descendre régulièrement en faire provision dans le Nord de l’Italie ! Toutes mes condoléances pour ton oncle et félicitations pour ton premier post !

    Au plaisir de te recroiser à l’occasion.

  2. Coucou ma belle,

    Très touchant ton premier article et je crois qu’après ça, on va devoir vite renoncer au Nespresso !!!! On savait déjà que c’était duTRÈS bon café et on connaissait l’histoire mais lire l’histoire comme ça lui donne encore une autre couleur ! Je me réjouis déjà de la tasse que nous partagerons bientôt; elle aura une autre saveur.

    Baci.

    Marianne

  3. Ciao bella,

    très touché de m’avoir invité à partager ce toi-pixel…cet article est très touchant. On sent dans tes mots toute l’admiration qu’il suscite par sa passion.

    Quand les grands hommes partent, ils ont l’infini privilège de rejoindre soudainement le propre mythe qu’ils eux-même construit. C’est seulement à ce moment-là que l’on sait que l’on a vraiment fait quelque chose de bien.
    Et lui, son histoire est si actuelle, si contemporaine. On se trouve exactement entre Davos et Porto Allegre, avec le meilleur des deux. Quel visionnaire. Je ne l’ai pas connu, mais c’est pas l’envie qui manque.

    Réussir un tel modèle industriel et commercial, en préservant l’excellence du produit du début à la fin de la fameuse “supply chain”. Alors qu’il a tiré sa révérence, je lui tire mon chapeau.
    Aaaah, et puis le café…quel parfait délice ,-)….

    Merci et à bientôt pour plus d’histoire please.

    L.

  4. love this post, our world is created by passion and dedication. your uncle was clearly one of these people. I shall think of him when I drink coffee. thanks for sharing this story, it’s inspiration to all of us.

  5. Lost in my remote city, I have found (by chance) a place that sells Illy Cafe. The very same day, I have closed my eyes while sipping a “big” espresso, and I have finally understood what the taste of universality meant
    …….You there, me here, but at the same time so close… A real emotion

  6. Pingback: From Lift08 to Lift09: Convergent Tracks « Convergent Tracks

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