The program offers courses on the history and culture of coffee. 
illy Coffee San Francisco
Credit: Steve Jennings / Stringer / Getty Images

Illy, the Italy based coffee company, opened its first ever permanent U.S. location in San Francisco for the University of Coffee yesterday, next to the illy caffè on Montgomery Street. The “coffee education program,” will serve coffee growers, and other industry professionals, as well as anyone who is passionate coffee and hopes to learn more about it.

“For illy, San Francisco is a natural choice for a first dedicated University location in America, given the city's early embrace of high-quality coffee, its vibrant culinary scene and its well-earned reputation as a major hub for innovation and education," Massimiliano Pogliani, CEO of illy, said in a statement.

Illy’s University of Coffee program has already educated around 200,000 “producers, hospitality professionals and coffee lovers,” at its 25 branches worldwide. The courses, led by the company's "Master Baristas,"offered at the university include coffee history, culture, science, preparation, and tasting.

“[The] University of Coffee functions as a meeting place where not only coffee and hospitality professionals can train, but also as a destination where coffee enthusiasts and connoisseurs can share in their passion for coffee culture," added Mark Romano, vice president of education, quality & sustainability at illy and manager for the US branch of the University of Coffee.

The coffee company started offering educational classes back in 2008, through partnerships with The Culinary Institute of America and the International Culinary Center. In Italy, the clearly education minded company offers a Master's degree course in Coffee Economics and Science, aimed at post-graduate students interested in pursuing careers in the coffee industry.

A newly opened learning center at the Nespresso flagship store in New York City also offers coffee education courses, including how to use milk as an ingredient in coffee, sustainability in the coffee industry, and the “pure origin” of coffee. You can sign up for illy's courses at the University of Coffee here.