Coffee lovers will already be familiar with Illy, the premium Italian brand famed for its quality, taste, aroma and stylish presentation.

Many Illy drinkers in Tokyo brew coffee at home or visit an Illy café for lunch but until now drinking Illy on the go has been a real challenge.

Recently launched Illy Issimo changed that, the new canned coffee, available in classic unsweetened espresso and sweet, creamy macchiato flavors, takes the same 100 percent Arabica coffee loved in Italian coffee bars and packages it in a stylish (and purse friendly) way, so now you can enjoy the taste of premium Italian espresso anywhere.

“People who love espresso, will really like Illy Issimo.” says Yasunori Watanabe, Illy Issimo’s marketing manager “The formula was a real challenge to perfect, we involved a quality assurance team to check all processes and are very happy with the result.”

Canned coffee first hit the shelves of Japan back in 1969 and brands such as Georgia have carved a niche with male drinkers across the country but the more picky, urban female market always proved more elusive.

The simple fact is that until now, most women refused to drink canned coffee.

“In Japan, image is a very big barrier and although many women love Illy cafes, they associated canned drinks with men. It really wasn’t a stylish way to drink coffee.”

The new Illy Issimo tackles this image problem head on, as well as containing premium espresso extract,—raising the quality of canned coffee—the design of the can reflects the feel of a Milan coffee bar and is aimed squarely at women.

The lid, colored in a shade of bold Illy-red stands out on the shelf and clearly makes a statement.

“Red is Illy’s visual identity and the fact that it doesn’t show lip stick marks, is a plus point! The design reflects the time and effort we put into thinking about drinking etiquette, consumers can even request a drinking straw when they pick a can up in selected stores.”

“We created two products, the flagship unsweetened espresso and a sweeter, creamy Macchiato: created especially for women.”

Illy fans may be inclined to think that Illy Issimo is a tie-up product or a licensed brand, as if often the case when foreign brands enter Japan, but the espresso used in Issimo is the real deal.

In fact, Illy go as far as flying coffee extract into Japan.

“Illy’s philosophy is the worlds best espresso. We use 100 percent natural ingredients and no fragrances or color.”

The next time you are looking for a hit of coffee on the commute to work or a refreshing drink on a break, look no further than Illy Issimo, premium Italian coffee, now available in a can.

Illy Issimo, Created in Italy and refined in Japan.

Available in two flavors espresso and macchiato.


Price: ¥130.


Illy Issimo is available from convenience stores, transport convenience stores and selected vending machines.


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