Review: Lavazza Espresso Point
In our continued commitment to review all the Single Serve Coffee systems, we bring you the Lavazza Espresso Point. When Single Serve Coffee started early last year, the Lavazza Espresso Point was one of the first single serve coffee machines we ran news on.
We received the Lavazza Espresso Point from Lilli at Aromacc.com. They run a web site called Aroma Cafe Culture that features many of the products you can get from Lavazza. Lavazza is a very old and very established Italian coffee brand and the Lavazza Espresso Point is a very unique hot beverage system.
The Lavazza Espresso Point uses prepackaged, gas-flushed cartridges, combined with Lavazza's proprietary machine technology. In a world where we have coffee pods, K-Cups, T-Discs, Espresso Pods, Coffee Capsules, it's quite amazing that there is yet another type of coffee cartridge or format in the single serve coffee world. But the fact remains - how good is the coffee from the Lavazza Espresso Point system and what are the details behind this system?
A Little History of Lavazza
Lavazza has been around in Italy for over 100 years. In the early 1900's Luigi Lavazza first invented the concept of the blend, the complex art of mixing coffee of different origins to obtain a harmonious and tasty product in the cup.
Each of the coffees we tested is one of these coffee blends. However the Lavazza Espresso Point also makes tea, single serve coffee, and hot chocolate.
The Lavazza Espresso Point Machine
It's a very shiny machine. So shiny, the sides act like mirrors. My daughter was fascinated with the machine and used it as a mirror for the entire week of testing. It's also very sturdy, and just feels well made and looks the part. The controls are easy to see and use, and we didn't have one moment of indecision when setting it up.
You simply fill up the water tank, which by the way looks like the coolest gas cap like enclosure button we've ever seen on a single serve coffee machine, and then run it through a cycle. You're ready to go. The machine also comes with various tools to clean it, detailed instructions on their use, and a variety of other literature.
The machine can make 3 sizes of espresso, a single serve cup of coffee, dispense hot water, and also comes with a milk frother for making lattes and cappuccinos.
Making Single Serve Coffee with the Lavazza Espresso Point
The Lavazza Espresso Point can make single serve coffee, espresso, tea, and hot chocolate. We received two different blends of coffee and coffee crema. We also received a package of teas. We didn't get to test the hot chocolate, but would love to compare it to the Tassimo hot chocolate that we really liked.
The buttons on the front panel include three pre-set doses for different espresso strengths, (strong, medium, and weak) you can also make a single serve cup of coffee. We found the controls a breeze, and the different strengths when drinking espresso to be spot on.
The Lavazza Espresso Point also heats up very rapidly. We like a machine that doesn't take 10 minutes to get to temperature. Each of the drinks we made were very hot and had good extraction.
And finally, the Lavazza Espresso Point cartridges come packed two in a sealed bag. They are little round white cylinders with holes in the top. Each of the cartridges is enough for a single shot of espresso, or a 4 oz cup of single serve coffee.
Making a cup is easy. You take the cartridge out of the package, and put one in the front of the machine. The front door has a little plunger like device on it that pushes the cartridge inside. When you push it close, the previous cartridge is dispensed into the bottom of the machine, and you can throw away the bin of spent cartridges by pulling out the bin and dumping.
Tasting the Lavazza Espresso Point Single Serve Coffee
We will start off by sayin - the single serve coffee the Lavazza Espresso point produces is rich, dark, and very Italian. We have not had a cup of coffee quite like this since our trip to Italy or when we visit the North End here in Boston. Because all of the coffee's are Lavazza blends, you get something very different and very special from the espresso or the single cup of coffee.
The Lavazza Aroma Club 100% Arabica coffee is quite rich, has a good mouth feel, and overall goes very well with some cream and sugar in a 5-6 oz single serve cup of coffee. We felt the 8 oz default setting was too watery and stopping it earlier made for a much better cup of single serve coffee.
We also liked the coffee it in a short shot of espresso. It has a sweet taste to it and passes the dreaded sugar test on top of the crema, even though you wouldn't really need to add sugar to it - it's just really sweet. According to Lavazza, the Aroma Club 100% Arabica is low in caffeine, but we didn't feel that way after two shots of espresso and a cup of single serve coffee.
The Lavazza Crema & Aroma gran espresso point cartridges are also very good. This makes a full bodied shot of espresso with a touch of Robusta. Robustas add body, crema, and a distinct flavor to espresso. If you are familiar with traditional italian espresso you will recognize this taste. It also aids the espresso in distinguishing itself in milk drinks. Yes we know some Robustas can be very cheap and give coffee a bad taste, but we also know this isn't the case with the Crema & Aroma gran espresso we had from Lavazza. It's quite good.
When making use of the Lavazza Crema & Aroma or the Lavazza Aroma Club 100% espresso point cartridge, we preferred the Aroma Club when making a single serve cup of 5-6 oz coffee. We liked both equally well when going as low as 4 ounces to make a cup of single serve coffee.
Teas & Other Hot Drinks
We tried a variety of the Lipton Teas and other hot beverages. All were decent and on par with tea we've had from Keurig and the Tassimo. We aren't as excited about the tea selection, but the overall set of teas would probably fit most people's tastes. We liked the Lipton Lemon Tea the best and found the others (Lipton Chamomile Tea, Lipton Green Tea, Lipton Yellow Label Tea) to be quite good.
The Knorr Consomme is another thing we have to mention. When we first opened the tea espresso point pack, we fired up a cup of this thinking it was tea. We were very very wrong. Knorr Consomme is a vegetable soup that tastes a lot like chicken broth. In the end we liked it - but when surprised with Knorr Consomme in your tea cup - you will be a little shocked.
We also made a couple of lattes using the milk frother. Frothing is an art we are starting to get over time. The frother heats up well, and also cleans up well. The lattes produced were on par with the FrancisFrancis! and other machines. We especially like the ease of then firing off a few shots of espresso and completing the drink.
We like the Lavazza Espresso Point system. It's very easy to use, the machine looks amazing, and there's a good selection of coffees, teas, hot drinks, and espresso available for it.
We feel if you like Italian coffee and Italian espresso, you'll like this system. You can purchase the system at Aromacc.com for $799.99 and you'll get 200 FREE espresso point cartridges of your choice to get you started.
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Posted by Jay Brewer at September 19, 2005 7:40 AM