The art of blending, from bean to cup: Lavazza coffe

Logo Lavazza

A turkish saying describes it as “black as hell, strong as death, sweet as love.” It’s the pleasure of coffee. Lavazza has a history of quality, research, innovation and communication that began in 1895 in a small shop in Turin center. A grocery store specialized in roasting and selling coffee, which in 1927 became today’s Lavazza, and has been handed down for four generations. It was Luigi Lavazza who invented the concept of mixture, understood as the art of combining different qualities and origins coffee. Thanks to the skilful use of mixing the brand expanded to become one of the world’s most famous in the Italian coffee production.

The fascinating mixing journey begins with the selection of the first grain. The best qualities are chosen by Research & Development after tasting green coffee. The next step is mixing, a secret recipe of the roaster which makes the product unique. All Lavazza coffee are mixtures. The best ones include up to five or six different varieties of coffee. From the sweetest and most fragrant quality Arabica to the more full-bodied and determined blends of Robusta. The aroma and taste of a mixture also vary depending on where the coffee comes from: if Brazilian, the notes will be fuller and more chocolaty, if American, the coffee takes on a more aromatic and delicate taste.

Before we get to the cup, Lavazza coffee is processed in several steps starting from the collection (by a selective picking system or else by stripping with a subsequent control),to the extraction of the grain through a process called ‘benefit’. Then follows the phase of roasting, involving different roasting cycles to enhance the characteristics of each mixture. Finally, milling, storage and packaging.

Caballero e Carmencita

In the sixties, Lavazza was the first company in Italy to introduce vacuum-packed ground coffee.

This innovation and the path Lavazza took in the world of communication and advertising built it a revolutionary and distinctive image among Italian brands. The TV campaigns with Carmencita and Caballero, the Carousel stars, are in everybody’s memory. Or Paulista, a character that was created to name one of the Lavazza coffee qualities. Another famous campaign was based on figurines inspired by historical facts and incidents related to the coffee, which are still sought after by collectors.

The little shop in the center of Turin has made its way from the end of the 1800 up to today, by building the excellence of an Italian product  internationally recognized, through posters, graphics, packaging. The art of Lavazza coffee and of blending has been told by the characters of Armando Testa’s advertising campaigns, Carmencita the coffeemaker by Marco Zanuso, Espresso Point coffee machines by Pininfarina, la tAzzinA (the small cup) by Claudio Caramel inspired by the “A” mark in the logo, Chicco, the insulated cup by Matteo Thun, the Design Paradiso collection and Coffee Design, with inventions by the great contemporary chefs.Obviously creativity is part of the Lavazza character, both the attention to design and the ferment of ideas in the last twenty years or so, and the Lavazza calendar tradition since 1992 in collaboration with world-famous photographers and artists, prove it.

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