‘For the Love of ‘Fee’ is one coffee-lover’s attempt to machete through the tangle of coffee beans and brews to find an awesome cup of coffee. Juan Valdez follows ME! 🙂
Lavazza is one of those coffees I noticed at the local grocery store, but never bought it because of its cost. At $6 for a 250 gram bag, it never seemed like good value to me, regardless of taste. Available in several different brews, it just went largely ignored by me, until there was a sale on it.
Lavazza is a boastful coffee: in flavour and in its claim of it being Italy’s favourite coffee. According to its website, it comes in about twelve varieties. I’ve tried three: Crema E Gusto, Qualita Oro, and my most recent try, Qualita Rossa. My initial purchase for each flavour was pre-ground coffee that came packaged in freeze-dried bricks. I couldn’t help but revel in the fact that all three had a strong aroma of fresh-ground coffee when opening the package.
Crema E Gusto was the first flavour I tried, and ultimately wound up being my favourite of the three. A delicate blend with a nice creamy texture, Crema E Gusto was my go-to brew for a good couple of weeks. Qualita Oro had a stronger taste than Crema E Gusto, but didn’t pack nearly the punch that its sister brew, Qualita Rossa, had. Rossa was very robust in its flavour, and if the packaging hadn’t identified it as a medium roast coffee, I would have sworn it was teetering on the dark roast. All things considered, having tried three flavours, I feel Lavazza is a decent coffee, if a little pricey. I would recommend it more, especially on sale, if it weren’t for one problem I experienced…
Unlike other pre-ground coffees I’ve tried for this exercise, Lavazza sold a very finely-ground coffee. Ignoring the labels, I didn’t realize it was actually an espresso grind. Lavazza says it’s a “caffe espresso” on the back of the package (not the front!), so although I really shouldn’t have been, I was a bit surprised to open the brick of coffee and find the grounds with the same consistency as hot chocolate mix. With Lavazza emblazoning its packaging with pictures of four different types of coffee makers, I was given the impression the coffee grounds could be used in every type of coffee maker on the market. Being a percolator girl, that assumption ran me into problems.
For all intents, one could use a fine grind in any coffee maker, however, the fine coffee grounds make a mess of my percolator. The result was coffee grounds everywhere in the coffee, including piles of dregs at the bottom of my cup. And the rest stuck to the bottom of my percolator. I took to using paper filters in the coffee ground reservoir so the coffee grounds wouldn’t run out of the basket completely. It worked to a degree, but it didn’t prevent grounds from bubbling out the top of the percolator’s basket. It was a small fail, but out of that screw-up I still managed to somehow get an okay cuppa out of that mess.
In any case, with that mess in my percolator, I was scrubbing down the carafe after every brew, trying to get rid of caked on coffee grounds that stained the bottom of the carafe. I was going through S.O.S. pads something fierce. Lavazza was starting to become a Lapaininmyazza, and not worth its taste, especially when there are better coffees out there. Yep, my laziness and practicality were winning here. Next!
I could end the story there, but hold on..it isn’t over, people!
One day while eyeing my next coffee adventure at my usual grocery store, I came across something I had never seen before…Lavazza Qualita Rossa in whole bean form! It wasn’t cheap (regular $22.99 a 2lb bag, bought on sale for $16.99), but I felt it was worth trying out. I have a burr mill which is a device I use to grind the whole beans to a coarser grind to accommodate my percolator. I have to say, the whole beans have a similar aroma to the fine coffee, but the brew tastes better since I am not having to deal with burnt dregs.
With all that has been said, this is my round-up on Lavazza: it’s no-doubt a decent-tasting coffee. If you decide to try it for yourself, I would recommend you buy the whole beans and grind your own if you can, unless you like eating your coffee.