Lavazza Espresso Barista Gran Crema

Lavazza Espresso Barista Gran Crema Espresso ROAST coffee review

October 12, 2020

LAVAZZA coffee Company Information

Lavazza Coffee was born in Torino, Italy in 1895 by Luigi Lavazza, who was a man filled with entrepreneurial spirit, inventive and passion for his work. He discovered the different origins and characteristics of the coffee plant, and studied the art of blending to meet the tastes of customers, creating the blends.

Let’s give this blend a taste test with our latest coffee making espresso machine and see if it’s really as good as it’s always been in the past, or if we need to reconsider our coffee selection process.

Coffee Brew Time

1 minutes

Coffee Review

I haven’t been posting too much lately, so I apologize for my absence.  The whole COVID scare has changed many habits of people around the world.  I used to go out for coffee at my favorite barista several times a week and on weekends before this all started, but now I find myself drinking most of my coffee at home.  Have I saved money by staying home and brewing my own coffee drinks. The short answer is, no. And it’s no because I made the best purchase of 2020 when I bought myself a Breville Barista Express Espresso Machine.  This has changed my coffee life for the better in so many ways.  I’m making Cafe Latte, Cappuccino, Espresso and of course, my favorite, Cafe Americano. 

So how did this all start?  How did I make the decision to invest in a piece of coffee making equipment that is totally awesome?   Well, let me tell you.  I was searching for a good real estate agent in the Lakewood Ranch, Florida area and stumbled across this real estate website that specialized in new model homes. As I watched these videos of new homes I noticed one of the model homes had an espresso machine in it, and at the time it was morning and I said I wish I could have a Cafe Americano right now.  I noticed this beautiful silver machine and zoomed in and saw it was a Breville espresso machine.  Well with the magic of the internet I was off and exploring, reading reviews, watching product demos, and 10 minutes later I was sold.  And it was the best decision I ever made. This little baby is the best machine I’ve ever used to make coffee drinks.  And I’m not just saying that, my wife and all my friends have agreed, it’s a game changer.  Get one today, you won’t regret it.  Sorry Starbucks but I’m perfectly happy now staying home and making my own espresso and chilling to a YouTube video on the TV.

 

Okay so now let’s talk about the coffee beans because when you buy an espresso machine you need to buy some good beans to really exploit the power of your new appliance.

 Coffee Characteristics

Lavazza Espresso Barista Gran Crema is a medium roast espresso blend from Italy and excellent for espresso based drinks.  The dark crema is a beautiful, rich and smooth looking frost on the top of the drink.

Coffee roast

The coffee roast is a medium roast coffee.  Lavazza make several whole beand and ground coffee products but this is whole bean and since the espresso machine I’m using has a built in grinder, there’s no muss or fuss to grind and brew. Don’t confuse this blend with the Super Crema, which is also a medium roast coffee and the most popular seller on Amazon.

coffee aroma

The coffee aroma is light and earthy, and has hints of chocolate, cocoa, and a little earth, but true to Lavazza and their master coffee roasters its got a great nose.

coffee body

Medium body, a great flavor, I never get this kind of freshness from Starbucks espresso, which I find more flat than most traditional European Baristas.

coffee Sweetness

Hints of cocoa, chocolate, and a little road dust in this coffee.

coffee acidity

The acidity in this coffee I would rate as medium, it’s got a really nice balance and it’s velvety smooth.  When you pair this with something like a sweet roll or cinnamon roll it’s amazing.

coffee mouthfeel

The feel is rich and silky with a balanced and smooth finish that makes me want to get up and have another.

coffee Finish

Such a great finish that’s so nice and smooth.  The little chocolate I taste on the back of my palate is floating inside my mouth., but it’s not a heavy chocolate flavor.  The roast is balanced and has the refined flavor of the better quality medium roast coffees.

THE COFFEE GOOD STUFF

  • True Italian espresso medium roast coffee
  • Balanced roast, and excellent acidity and flavor
  • Rich finish but not heavy

THE COFFEE BAD STUFF

There really isn’t anything negative about this espresso blend.  Now we didn’t make a full pot of coffee and drink this strictly as a coffee drink, but it’s so much better as espresso that I wouldn’t waste my time doing that with this coffee.  Lavazza is usually one of my go-to brands when it comes to Italian espresso roast blends for Cafe Latte or Cafe Americano and they’ve never let me down up to this point, so I’m just going to conclude there is nothing bad about this coffee.

summary

I will say it again. the machine can make the whole coffee drinking experience a masterpiece.  This time the Breville Barista Pro hits a grand slam home run out of the park with these coffee beans.  I’m hooked on the quality of the brew, the ease of use and the exceptional quality of the machine.  The Lavazza Espresso Barista Gran Crema makes the experience all the more enjoyable.  I will be buying more of these beans in the future.  Cheers to all and stay safe.

Lavazza Super Crema Coffee Review – February 16, 2020

LAVAZZA SUPER CREMA MEDIUM ESPRESSO ROAST coffee REVIEW

February 16, 2020

LAVAZZA coffee Company Information

Lavazza Coffee Company is lesson in Italian coffee history. The company was founded in 1895 in Turn Italy, and started as a small grocery store at Via San Tommaso. Today the company is being managed by a 4th generation of the Lavazza family.  The company imports coffee from all over the globe including countries like; Brazil, Columbia, Guatemala, Costa Rica, Uganda, Indonesia and Mexico. The company operates several retail coffee shops and produces coffee for personal consumption in whole bean and ground coffee varieties.

Coffee Brew Time

4 minutes

Coffee Review

Some families have special traditions, and growing up in my family we had one tradition that was strictly practiced every year without hesitation.  I’m speaking of Valentine’s Day and the infamous bumpy chocolate cake. Go ahead, fire up Google, Bing or Yahoo and type in those magical keywords, “Chocolate Bumpy Cake” and hit Enter.

The “bumpy’ was awesome, it was a symbol of pure love, encased neatly in a pristine white cardboard box with a window on top.  The window was key, because you have to see the bumps, otherwise it was just another chocolate cake. The nice stiff white cardboard box gave you the feeling this cake was some serious confectionary art, worthy of such an important container.  And be careful when you open the box, don’t damage any of those bumps!

When you looked at those bumps, those beauties were standing so tall and majestic, like mini butter cream Himalaya Mountains of buttercream bliss, just waiting to take your taste buds to Valhallla and your liver into an LDL cholesterol production spike that would look like the RPM gauge on a Formula One car going completely into the red before the engine blows . 

We had one every year.  No seriously, Dad never skipped a year, ever.  I think he was dreaming of ‘bumpy’ the night before, maybe weeks or even months.  Octoberbe he had a secret calendar somewhere that we didn’t know about that had the date circled in red magic maker each year and he counted down the days. It’s his secret, I’ll let him keep it, I’m just saying; Easter Bunny, Santa Claus, “bumpy”…..every year!

If you are so lucky as to be able to procure one of these beautiful cakes, I’d suggest indulging yourself completely and drinking a coffee that’s worthy of such an occasion.

So, today I will be reviewing one of my favorite coffee’s with the “bumpy”, Lavazza Super Crema Medium Espresso Roast


Coffee Characteristics

Lavazza Super Crema Medium Espresso Roast

Coffee roast

The coffee roast is a medium roast coffee.  They make coffee bean and ground coffee products for this roast so if you don’t have grinder if you want to try this amazing coffee. However the whole freshly ground option does give the taste a little more kick, and is certainly a necessity for Espresso, Cappaccino and Latte’s.

coffee aroma

The coffee aroma is beautiful, and has a nice nutty scent with deep smoke.

coffee body

The body is medium, a standard medium roast and medium body. It’s an espresso roast but not too bold.

coffee Sweetness

I can sense a little nut and caramel in the coffee but almost no sweetness.

coffee acidity

The acidity is perfect for a medium roast to me. It’s got great balance and doesn’t have that sour, bitter flavor you can get with other espresso roast coffee blends.

coffee mouthfeel

The feel is smooth, and velvety. I’m drinking this as black coffee but if this was used for Cappaccino or Cafe Latte it would be even more amazing.

coffee Finish

The finish is excellent.  I love this coffee because it’s so smooth and easy. It’s got great finesse and a lovely taste at the end.

THE COFFEE GOOD STUFF

  • True medium roast coffee
  • Smooth, velvety and not too intense
  • Excellent on it’s own as black coffee, but even better in cream or milk

THE COFFEE BAD STUFF

Nothing, I love everything about this coffee.

summary

Lavazza always delivers, just like Dad did with the ‘bumpy’. It’s a great coffee and it’s even better if you’ve got a little something sweet to go with it.  Give it a shot with your next dessert or sweet breakfast pastry.  Who knows maybe you will start your very own tradition?  Enjoy!

LAVAZZA SUPER CREMA MEDIUM ESPRESSO ROAST COFFEESTRONG SCORE: 91

Starbucks Caffe Verona Coffee Review – February 2, 2020

STARBUCKS CAFFE VERONA coffee review

February 2, 2020

STARBUCKS coffee Company Information

Starbucks Coffee Company is a story of American business history.  The company was founded in 1971 as a single store at Seattle’s historic Pike Place Market.  In 1982 Howard Shultz joined the company and the rest as they say is history. The company grew very fast, the quality was consistent, the service in Starbucks was very good and the products were interesting, constantly changing and relatively inexpensive. The company has led the retail space in hiring and promoting within and is known for treating it’s employees very well.

They must be doing something right because they now operate 30,000 stores (as of October, 2019) in 80 markets worldwide.  Let’s give one of their first coffee blends a try and see if it’s still got the mojo it has when it was first introduced in 1975.

Coffee Brew Time

5 minutes

Coffee Review

Superbowl….yeah whatever. Who’s playing?  Who cares?  We went shopping yesterday at the local market and you would have thought Oprah was there giving away warm brownies and selling another book about how hard it is to grow up poor, as her private helicopter hides behind the trees next to the store with a bottle of Krug Clos du Mesni chilling in the back.  Hey, more power to you “O”!

Let’s talk about something much more interesting and fun. Farina, yeah Cream of Wheat. When was the last time you had it? You should give it a shot if you never had it.  It’s kinda like the little sister to oatmeal.

I had today’s coffee, Starbucks Caffe Verona with some farina.  And let me tell you the coffee and the farina together…..fuggetaboutit! 

Let’s briefly talk about the farina.  The Romanian Princess pulls another one out of her Marama. Where do these magical concoctions come from?  There must be something similar to the Dead Sea Scrolls, but with secret recipes instead, hidden somewhere in remote Transylvania. The farina had almond extract, a tiny bit a sugar and little graded orange rind in it. Trust me, the first bite was like what it must have been to hear Mozart conducting live in Vienna, a true symphony of flavors.  Of course because she’s my wife, she makes enough of everything to last for multiple meals, so we’ll be eating this treat until Groundhog day.

Okay let’s talk about the coffee. It was first introduced back in 1975 as a blend to be served in restaurants, and it was so popular that Starbucks added it to the list of everyday coffee they sell.  It’s a great breakfast coffee. I’ve had this coffee thousands of times over the years and it’s always consistently excellent.  I only wish Starbucks would serve it in a French Press in their stores, instead of just the drip coffee version.

Coffee Characteristics

The Caffe Verona beans are gorgeous in color and there’s a nice oily shine to them which leads me to believe they are nice and fresh.

Coffee roast

The coffee roast is a dark roast coffee.  It’s a true dark roast coffee and similar to what I would consider a cross between a French Roast and Italian Roast.

coffee aroma

The coffee aroma is deep, smoky and robust. You could stand and smell the aroma of the freshly ground beans for minutes and the freshly brewed coffee aroma is even better.

coffee body

The body is medium heavy.  You aren’t going to slam this coffee back but it’s not so heavy that you are going to have trouble finishing a single cup.  The coffee body does pair very well with food, but standalone it can hold it’s own.

coffee Sweetness

Cocoa, bittersweet chocolate and maybe a little hint of dark chocolate are all in this coffee.

coffee acidity

The acidity in this coffee I would call medium.  It’s got some but it’s balanced and again if you are eating something with this coffee the acidity is perfectly acceptable.

coffee mouthfeel

The mouthfeel is rich and slightly heavy.  It feels like it should be heavier on the finish but the balance is there.

coffee Finish

The finish is smooth and balanced.  It’s got some staying power on the tongue but nothing too crazy. It’s kinda like that Oprah brownie autograph session; 3 hours of promotion, and 5 minutes of appearance and ink, then a graceful exit wrapped in silk.

THE COFFEE GOOD STUFF

  • Dark roast coffee with great cocoa flavors
  • Balanced roast and nice acid levels
  • Smooth finish

THE COFFEE BAD STUFF

I can’t really say anything bad about this coffee  Again I wish it was served pressed at Starbucks stores, but you can always try a Red Eye or Black eye with the dripped version to give it a little more kick.

summary

Starbucks Caffe Verona and farina with almond extract and orange rind. The endorphins are dancing in my head like Travolta at that disco in Saturday Night Fever. 

Look it’s Starbucks coffee, so you are usually guaranteed it’s going to be fresh and a quality product.  It feels like a nice treat compared to your average drip coffee, but that’s what Starbucks is all about.

Enjoy your Sunday!

STARBUCKS CAFFE VERONA COFFEESTRONG SCORE: 90

Lavazza Single Origin Kilimangaro Coffee Review – February 1, 2020

LAVAZZA SINGLE ORIGIN KILIMANJARO COFFEE REVIEW

February 1, 2020

An Introduction

 Today’s coffee review will feature a coffee giant in Europe, Lavazza coffee. More specifically we will review Lavazza Single Origin Kilimangaro Coffee.  Yes, that’s a mouthful to say. This coffee is sourced from 100% Arabica beans from Tanzania, and one of the highest mountains in the world.

Brew Time

5 minutes

Coffee Review

The description on the coffee bag says the coffee has an intensity of 7, on a scale from 1 to 10.  I love the idea of putting the intensity level on the bag with a number, it’s much more descriptive to me.  Octoberbe we should all follow this rule and use it more in everyday life. “Hey, Jack, how you doing today?” “I’m a 7 today Bob.”  “You are a 7?” “Yesterday you were an 8.5, and before lunch you said you were a 9 plus.” “Did you hear what I just heard Lisa? Jack is only a 7 today. I’d steer clear of him now, he’s in meetings until noon and his blood sugar will be low by then, so he’ll easily be a 6 just before lunch and you know what he’s like when he’s a 6 just before lunch, right?”

Okay maybe the number thing isn’t the best idea for people, but let’s see how it works for coffee.  These people at Lavazza are pretty smart, the company has been around for 120 years, so they must be doing something right.

Coffee Characteristics

There’s a reason this company has been roasting coffee for 120 years and it’s apparent in this coffee. The description of the coffee on the bag and from several other reviews I’ve read online says it’s crisp with some sweetness, and I definitely agree.

COFFEE ROAST

The coffee roast is a medium roast coffee. Most Lavazza medium roast coffee I have had in the past tastes a little more heavy than a traditional medium roast, this coffee isn’t heavy, even though I’ve used a French Press to brew the coffee.

COFFEE AROMA

The coffee aroma is fragrant with a beautiful floral element. I get a hint of something that smells a little like cracked pepper too.

COFFEE BODY

The body is medium with a hint of crispness, it’s not heavy. I would have thought an Italian roast coffee from Lavazza would be a little more heavy but it’s not

COFFEE SWEETNESS

Sweetness is there for just a touch. Descriptions I’ve read have said there’s a slight cherry flavor and I can just barely get that.  There is a tiny bit of cocoa here too, but not sweet.

COFFEE ACIDITY

The acidity in this coffee is medium, it’s what I would typically expect from a Italian medium roast. It would certainly pair very nicely with an almond or chocolate biscotti.  Now I’m hungry.

COFFEE MOUTHFEEL

The feel is balanced and a little sour, but not in a bad way.  Again that reference to cherries is accurate, it’s got that same interesting component to it.

COFFEE FINISH

The finish is silky smooth and clean.  This coffee is great by itself but I think if you were to pair it up with something a little sweet that the sweetness of the food and the crispness of the coffee would compliment each other very well.

THE COFFEE GOOD STUFF

This is a solid coffee, that pairs excellent with food.  It might even be a better choice for dinner or dessert since it’s not too dark and heavy and the acidity and crispness really work well with food.

  • Balanced nicely
  • Silky finish for a medium body coffee

THE COFFEE BAD STUFF

One unfortunate thing I’m realizing as I keep tasting this coffee.  As it gets a little cooler I’m getting more of that cherry taste and it’s making my mouth water more.  I usually drink my coffee hot all the time, so if you are drinking this coffee and its begins to cool a bit and the flavor becomes a little more crisp, don’t be surprised.

SUMMARY

The Lavazza Single Origin Kilimangaro coffee is an good choice for a medium roast coffee.  It pairs nicely with food on the sweeter side.  I particularly enjoyed the medium roast.  The folks at Lavazza know what they are doing.  Give this coffee a try on your next shopping trip, it’s certainly worth a taste. 

P.S. Someone get Jack a biscotti and a cup of this coffee and he’ll be back in the 9 range fast.   Enjoy the day!

COFFEESTRONG SCORE: 91

Magnum Exotics Jamaican Blue Mountain Coffee Review January 29, 2020

January 29, 2020

Daily Coffee Review

I know what you are saying, or at least I think I do.  “Wow, a review of the big dog, the best coffee in the world, the most expensive coffee in the world”  Go big or go home, or in this case, go into the next door neighbors home (via the back wall in our garage).  Okay, you’re right, but this isn’t 100% Jamaican Blue Mountain Coffee, it’s a blend, so please keep that in mind as you read so there is no confusion.

Today, I chose this coffee review to speak a little about patience and form. Jamaican Blue Mountain Coffee is known for it’s outstanding quality, incredible rich, smooth characteristics, and incredible coffee aroma. This type of quality and these characteristics don’t come from pulling the coffee beans off the branch willy-nilly and throwing them in some garbage bag, then tossing them on to a dirty truck bed and exposing them to God knows what before the coffee roasting process.  No, no, no, they are carefully harvested by hand, treated with care and tenderness, that way if there’s any risk of damaging them between harvesting the coffee beans and completing the roasting process, it’s limited to a very small chance.

My wife, at this time, is not known for her incredible smoothness when it comes to parking in the garage.  I know, you can remind me again that we have a solid wooden bed foot board between the inside of the garage and the garage wall.  We have cardboard boxes stacked in front of the bed frame to use as a guide to stop before hitting them.  Does this stop her from slowly pulling into the garage and gently approaching the back wall?  She would say, yes, my blood pressure would say no.

I’ve tried to convince her that parking in the garage is like pouring a fine wine or making a beautiful french press of Jamaican Blue Mountain Coffee.  You don’t charge right in like a screaming child running into the house, you ease into it, nice and smooth, nice and easy.  Why do we do it this way my Romanian Princess? It’s simple, because in the unlikely, but certainly possible event you misjudge or become distracted, we have to deal with a small ding on the new car, and a little paint on the garage wall, instead of a structural engineer, our insurance agent, the neighbors insurance agent, a home construction contractor, housing inspectors, permits, etc. etc. etc.   I need a cup of coffee!

Smoothness baby, nice and easy, take your time and read today’s coffee review, savor it. Today’s coffee review is Magnum Exotics Jamaican Blue Mountain Coffee.

Coffee Maker

Bodum Chambord French Press

Coffee Water Temperature

200 Degrees Fahrenheit / 94 Degree Celsius

Coffee Filter

None

Coffee Roast

This is a medium roast coffee of 100% Arabica Coffee Beans that are sourced from the Caribbean, and Central America.

Coffee Aroma

The coffee aroma is nice and rich I can tell it’s gonna been a good one baby!  The coffee gods are smiling.

Coffee Body

The body of the coffee is smooth and rich, but different from most of the coffee I usually drink.  It has a much cleaner flavor and the body isn’t big like a darker roast, or even a medium roast, it’s very subtle.

Coffee Sweetness

The coffee has slight sweetness, since it’s a lighter tasting coffee.

Coffee Acidity

The acidity level is medium on this coffee, but no harshness.

Coffee Mouthfeel

The coffee has a great mouthfeel.  It’s starts out smooth and silky and just keeps going and going. Smooth like Shaft baby!

Coffee Finish

The finish on the coffee is clean, very balanced and impressive.  I enjoy the smallest hint of earth on my palate after drinking and resting

Summary

This coffee is a winner.  It’s not a crazy big coffee and it’s not your traditional medium body everyday standby.  This coffee is one I could seriously consider drinking everyday (if I could afford it).  Wait! Everyday, smooth, silky nice and easy, this is the perfect metaphor for parking in the garage.  Octoberbe this coffee will convince her to slow down a little, take her time and just let it it happen.   I’ll keep you updated……

CoffeeStrong.org Score

Magnum Exotics Jamaican Blue Mountain Coffee Blend Score:  91 points / 100

Starbucks Coffee Sumatra Dark Roast Coffee Review – January 25, 2020

January 25, 2020

Daily Coffee Review

I have a problem.  It started about a year ago and it’s been getting worse lately.  Actually I need to rephrase…WE have a problem, that is, my beautiful wife and I.  She keeps breaking coffee cups.  There I said it. Yesterday she got out of the car and crash, I heard it off in the distance, and then some loud Romanian words that sounded like “Chowzu Voot Back Zit Mother******!”

Now normally I wouldn’t be concerned, but we are on something like #4 for the year and I like my coffee cups.  I like going into the cupboard each morning to see my little friends waiting for me.  “Baby, you gotta stop killing all my little friends!” I know it’s a good excuse to find more little friends. I could even make it into a gift idea for Valentines Day. “Here baby, I got you these beautiful coffee cups.” I’ve seen some of the best coffee cup designs on the internet.  I don’t know what to do, this has to stop, maybe we need a “sit down”

Enough about my problems and onto our best coffee review of all time.  I need a strong dark blend today to help my current separation anxiety issues as I try to type into Google Translate what sounded like Chowzu Voot Back Zit Mother******

So today, the coffee review for January 25, 2020 is Starbucks Coffee Sumatra Dark Roast

Coffee Maker

Bodum Chambord French Press

Coffee Water Temperature

200 Degrees Fahrenheit / 94 Degree Celsius

I use our AICOK Stainless Steel Kettle to boil the water in under 2 minutes

Coffee Filter

None

Coffee Roast

This is a dark roast coffee

Coffee Aroma

The coffee aroma is big on this bag of ground coffee. It has heavy earthy coffee, and dark aromas of smoky sod, mud and swamp (seriously it smells a little like a swamp, but in a good way).

Coffee Body

The body of the coffee is big, it’s bold, it’s like Wilt Chamberlain met Rosie O’Donnell in a dark alley and they decided to have a super child of height, weight and aggressive behavior.  There’s a big bad image here and it’s something you need to pay attention to whether you like it or not.

Coffee Sweetness

The coffee is a little sweet to me, just a little.  There is a little sweet spice to it, almost like the taste you would first get from a small amount of sriracha when it first hits your tongue.

Coffee Acidity

The acidity level is medium high on this coffee.

Coffee Mouthfeel

The coffee has a smooth feel with a slight hint of crispness.  I would have expected this to be a little more rich, but I’m getting more of some type of citrus or floral flavor at the very end, which surprises me, but it’s not a bad thing.

Coffee Finish

The finish on the coffee is long and big, you can taste the earth, you can taste a slight hint of that mineral component and the muddy swamp, but it’s very enjoyable and has a nice balanced taste on my palate.

Summary

If we continue at this rate I’ll be drinking coffee straight from the carafe by Christmas, She’s gotta get some help, or I’m gonna be yelling “Chowzu Voot Back Zit Mother******!”, very soon.

OK I’ve had this coffee in the past and it’s always been one that I’ve enjoyed more in the colder months because it’s so dark and bold.  I do know there are many people who enjoy blending this coffee with other Starbucks blends to give the more medium bodied coffee a little more kick.  It’s a solid coffee and it’s a great value which is what Starbucks is all about.  I can’t stress enough though that the French Press makes this a much more enjoyable experience, so if you have a press, take the opportunity to use it with this coffee.

CoffeeStrong.org Score

Starbucks Coffee Sumatra Dark Roast Score:  90 points / 100

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