News has been slow to hit the States, but the New York Times finally ran a story this morning on Dr. Ernesto Illy, chairman of Illycaffè and one of the world’s most notable espresso enthusiasts, who died Sunday night at the age of 82: Ernesto Illy, Chairman of Coffee Company, Is Dead at 82 – New York Times

I don’t know what it is about reporters at the Times, but they can’t seem to hold on to any of the bright ones. Just as their story last month on the new Blue Bottle Cafe could only focus on the price tag of their siphon bar (“At Last, a $20,000 Cup of Coffee”), today’s obituary opened by only being able to describe Illy coffee as “expensive”:

Ernesto Illy, who as chairman of Illycaffè, maker of an expensive brand of coffee, was renowned as a scientific perfectionist of coffee and especially as an evangelist of espresso, died Sunday in Trieste, Italy. He was 82.

If there isn’t a rampant shortage of descriptive adjectives among New York Times reporters lately, one wonders if their obsessive focus on the cost of coffee reflects a lot of reporter resentment over pay scales at the Times these days.

Meanwhile, the Illy Web site has been paying a nice tribute to the grand doctor: Illy – Homepage.