Illy vs. Lavazza – Which Italian Coffee Is Better?

The Italians certainly know one or two things about coffee themselves. You’re doubtful? Milanese inventor, Luigi Bezzera, can certainly tell you about it. After all, he came up with the idea of single-shot espresso in 1901.

Comparing Illy and Lavazza coffee

Now speed forward to the present day. Many things have changed since then, but Italy proudly remains the coffee capital of the world. In it, a debate continues: Illy vs. Lavazza – which Italian coffee is better?

Let’s dive in to find out!

Why Is Italian Coffee so Good?

Ever heard of Italian coffee culture? There’s a reason why it took 47 years for Starbucks to open up in Italy. After all, the world’s coffee capital isn’t easy to impress.

Well, Italians have every right to be righteous about coffee. They’re masters of it.

It’s all about the perfect balance. You have to get the perfect roast, the perfect grind, and the perfect amount of barometric pressure. You also need to master the amount of coffee grounds and the temperature of the steam.

But there’s one thing that undeniably makes Italian coffee so good. It’s how the beans are roasted.

The Italians don’t just use any coffee beans for the roasting, either. They use expensive high-quality Arabica beans that are dark-roasted to utter perfection. Once the oils begin to caramelize, you hit that sweet note of coffee-tasting refinement. And then? You drink your coffee.

Lavazza – What Do You Need to Know?

You may have heard of the name before. Does it ring a bell?

For Italians, it certainly does. Lavazza is one of the oldest Italian manufacturers of coffee. It was founded in Turin, many years after men had started frequenting the city’s coffee bars. Luigi Lavazza was its founder, a young entrepreneur with a knack for coffee-making.

The company had humble beginnings. Lavazza originally started as a small grocer’s shop that sold dry goods. Its most popular product would prove to be the coffee, which was roasted on-site.

By the Second World War, that small grocer’s shop had started to specialize only in coffee. It then became one of Italy’s most recognizable coffee brands, adopting a respectable position as “Italy’s favorite coffee.”

Which Lavazza Coffee Is Best?

Now, you might want to try a Lavazza coffee. But with all the variety, it’s hard to know where to start.

Lavazza Super Crema

One of the best-selling Lavazza products, the Super Crema is quite popular with the general audiences. It’s easy to see why, with its notes of hazelnut, honey, and dried fruit. It manages to strike a reasonable balance between price and quality.

Take one sip of this coffee, and you’ll immediately notice the mild and creamy flavor. This is because Super Crema is blended with washed Brazilian and Indonesian coffee beans.  It’s medium roasted as well, so it’s neither too mild nor too burnt.

Lavazza Gold Selection

Many would argue the Gold Selection is the best coffee that Lavazza has to offer. It’s just so versatile that it works well with anything. No matter how much syrup or cinnamon you add to it, the coffee is never overpowered.

With the distinctive aftertaste, you certainly won’t miss the chocolate notes. This medium roast delivers just the right amount of bitterness. Its coffee blend is a mix of washed and natural beans from Brazil, Asia, and Central America.

Lavazza Gran Riserva

As soon as you take a sip of this coffee, you’ll experience its velvety-smooth mouthfeel. This is coupled with its intense taste, with notes which are slightly reminiscent of liqueur. You’ll find that they’re followed by a strong and bold aftertaste.

Gran Riserva’s blend is premium. This medium-dark roast is a mix of Brazilian beans, along with washed beans from Guatemala and Colombia. There’s also the addition of Indian Cru Kaapi Royale, which gives Gran Riserva an instantly recognizable taste.

How good does Lavazza coffee taste?

Is Lavazza Espresso Good?

A Lavazza espresso delivers a bold flavor with balanced notes of spice and fruit. It’s flexible as well, so you can drink it black or add your preferred amount of cream and sugar – How Is Caffeine In Coffee Affected By Sugar And Cream?

If you like persistent flavor, then Lavazza is a good fit for you. But in the end, it’s all about what your taste buds like.

Which Lavazza Coffee Is Best for French Press?

Are there any French Press fans around? Luckily, there’s a variety of Lavazza coffees that are compatible with your French press. But there’s one which has undoubtedly reigned over.

Lavazza Qualita Rossa

This medium roast’s grind is ideal for your French press. Your coffee will be smooth and velvet-like, with delicate chocolatey undertones. There’s no bitterness as well, so you get all of that rich taste and none of that burnt tang.

In fact, Rossa is quite mellow when compared with other Lavazza coffees. It’s an excellent moderate pick for your French press.

Illy – What You Need to Know

You might know this worthy competitor as illycaff?. It began with a student of economics and a First World War veteran named Francesco Illy. Like Lazzavva, illycaff? was named after its founder.

Francesco Illy’s interest in coffee could be traced back to the work he found with coffee roasting. Later, he came up with his own way of preserving freshly-roasted coffee. This would prove helpful when it came to transporting coffee rather than roasting it on-site.

In 1933, Signor Illy found illycaff?. Since then, illycaff? has carved itself a reputable place on the market.

Which Illy Coffee Is Best?

Tastes vary. There’s a lot of debate about the best coffee Illy has to offer. Luckily, we’ve got some worthy contenders to impress you.

Illy Classico Ground Espresso

This medium roast delivers a 100% Arabica coffee blend. It’s said to be composed of 9 of the best Arabica sources worldwide, giving you a rich and premium taste.

It’s one of Illy’s bestsellers for a reason, after all. Take one sip of your drink and you’ll immediately recognize the balanced notes of caramel and chocolate.

Illy Classico Whole Bean Coffee

The rich aroma of this coffee is unmissable. It’s coupled with the balanced taste of this medium roast, which is an Illy classic. For a perfect cup of coffee, brew it in a French press.

This coffee has a sweetness that’ll linger on your tongue. The aftertaste will be marked by notes of orange blossom, caramel, and jasmine. But it won’t overpower the coffee. It’s all about that balance, in the end.

Illy Ground Moka Classico Coffee

Got a Moka pot at home? This medium roast is perfect for it. It’ll give you a richly aromatic cup with a well-defined body.

The taste won’t be bad, either. It’s marked by delicate notes of jasmine, caramel, and orange. This fruity sharpness only brings out the taste of the coffee more.

Delicious cup of Illy espresso

Why Is Illy so Expensive?

Have you looked at the price tags? Illy’s products are quite expensive.

This can be attributed to various reasons. One of them is technology. There’s high-grade technology used in roasting Illy’s beans, along with canning them. Such technology adds to the cost, of course.

Here’s another reason; Illy uses only 100% Arabica beans in all of their products. Since they require more care to produce and they’re harder to harvest, Arabica beans are quite expensive. In turn, this raises the price of Illy’s products.

Which Is Better Illy or Lavazza?

Here’s what we think: It all depends on you.

Your taste buds are going to tell you which is better. But you can let us give you a clue. If you like the velvety, refined taste, Illy can do the job for you.

Do you have a bolder taste palate? Then you might want to consider Lavazza. It’ll give you a robust, tangy taste.

Do They Use Arabica or Robusta?

You might know that Arabica is more expensive than Robusta. But do you know why it’s preferred among coffee drinkers and enthusiasts?

It’s simple. Arabica tastes better and has a richer flavor. This flavor offers less bitterness and a wider range of depth. It tends to be sweeter and smoother than Robusta, with complex notes of fruit. Arabica’s acidity is also higher, giving it that distinctive tang.

On the other hand, Robusta’s taste is bolder and harsher. It gives you a grainy mouthfeel, along with a peanutty aftertaste to linger on your tongue. Robusta also has more caffeine than Arabica.

So, which one uses which? Illy is noted for its complete use of Arabica coffee beans. Nine types of high-grade beans are mixed and balanced to produce the premium 100% Arabica blend.

Meanwhile, Lavazza uses a mix of Arabica and Robusta coffee beans.

Lavazza vs Illy - Which is better?

How’s the Flavor and Taste of Lavazza vs. Illy?

It’s time for the final showdown. Let’s examine the flavor profile of these two coffees and see where they differ.


When it comes to velvety smooth coffee, Illy excels. They manage to provide a satin-smooth mouthfeel that’s followed by notes of caramel and dried fruit.

Meanwhile, Lavazza delivers a slightly smooth and full coffee with a well-defined body. It has mild notes of peaty, a result of the medium roast beans.


Due to the presence of 100% Arabica beans, Illy has a flavor profile that’s marked by a mild and subtle taste. If you like your coffee bright and mellow, then Illy is for you.

But if you like your coffee bitter, then you might want to try out Lavazza. Its Robusta beans will make sure that your coffee is woody and sharp.


Illy’s Arabica beans provide a slightly acidic taste. Yet, the flavor is mellow enough to balance matters out.

Lavazza’s products are an Arabica/Robusta blend. The Arabica works to provide a mild sort of acidity. This acidity is then challenged by Robusta beans that provide delicate chocolatey hints.

Final Thoughts

It was a tough showdown, but we made it through. In the end, all that matters is what you like. If you lean towards a delicate and mild cup of coffee, then Illy is for you. But if you lean towards a sharper, bitter taste, then Lavazza may be a worthy option.

Comparing Illy and Lavazza espresso and coffee drinks and history
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