Review: Lavazza Blue Pininfarina Single Serve Coffee Maker
Café-Razzi has sent us the Lavazza Blue single serve coffee system and we've really been enjoying it. The Lavazza Blue is really called the "Pininfarina Pro" and is designed with a patented brewing mechanism to match the coffee capsules and assures a perfect cup each time. The machine makes both coffee drinks and espresso based drinks.
Café-Razzi is currently the premier distributor of the Lavazza Blue system and features a coffee club that has a 30 day free trial. We've made a bunch of different coffee drinks including: espresso, cappuccino, and of course a nice tasty cup of single serve coffee. How does the Lavazza Blue hold up?
Manual loading for individual capsules
Steam wand for cappuccinos & lattes
Double boiler systems dedicated to brewing and steaming
Removable and washable brewing unit
1 Gallon water tank capacity with electronic water tank level indicator
Dispenser draw holds up to 25 used capsules. Electronic detection when drawer is full
Programmable for up to three different coffee cup sizes or manual dosing
Other programmable features include water hardness, brewing time, and drink temperature
Cup warmer with two cup racks for small & large cups
different language settings available
Plumbed models available upon request
The machine isn't the smallest machine we've tested nor the largest. The footprint is going to take up the full counter depth and it's pretty wide. The gallon water reservoir is really nice, we made coffee for several days and didn't have to refill the system once. That might be one of our early complaints as removing the water tank requires moving out the machine from under our countertops, but if you had a place with no cabinets above this wouldn't be an issue.
The steaming wand for cappuccinos and lattes is right there in front where is should be. We like the fact you can remove the plastic end after frothing and clean up was quite easy. The espresso cup stand also slides from side to side, allowing you to put larger cups on the bottom tray for easy single serve coffee making.
The controls on the machine are also easy to use. There is a stop button, an espresso button, a coffee button, and a steam button. The sizes of all of these buttons are programmable and the blue led display is straightforward and very easy to read. We didn't have any isssues programming the espresso to be a little larger or returning to the default size.
Putting a capsule into the Lavazza Blue machine is also easy to do. You pull out the little drawer in the front, and put the capsule in upside down and then shut the door by pushing it closed. The capsule gets sucked inside and then your coffee starts brewing. There is a large collection bin in the bottom that you can dump or wait until the Lavazza Blue tells you it's full to remove the spent Lavazza Blue coffee capsules.
Tasting the Coffees
The Lavazza Blue uses a patented coffee capsule system. These coffee capsules are much like a Keurig K Cup meeting a Nespresso coffee capsule. They aren't very big, and we used a cereal bowl to hold about 20 of them for use near the machine and to have the capsules available for brewing espresso or coffee whenever we wanted.
There are 3 different coffees available:
Buongiorno (red) - Full bodied to get your morning started.
Buonlavoro (brown) - Pleasant and aromatic to accompany your working day.
Buonasera (light blue) - Decaffeinated to enjoy later in the day, without compromising taste.
Basically red is espresso intenseo, the brown is a bit mellower, and the blue is decaf. We really liked all three coffees. There is the classic hint of Arabica to all the coffees, and they are all very smooth with no acid in the aftertaste and easy to digest. We really liked the Buongiorno (red) for making cappuccinos.
We found all three coffees to work well for espresso or for a larger single serve cup of coffee. Since you can put as much water to coffee in each cup, you'll really be able to customize how intense you want your coffee each morning, afternoon, and evening.
Making a Lavazza Blue Cappuccino
It really couldn't be easier. The Lavazza Blue comes with instructions on how to prepare a cappuccino and it goes a little like this:
1. Fill up a coffee cup with around 1/3 skim milk or 1% milk
2. Click the button on the Lavazza Blue for steam
3. Put the cup under for about a minute and move it around a bit.
4. Hit stop on the steam and witness the wonderful steamed milk and froth
5. Put in a Lavazza Blue coffee capsule and pull a shot of espresso
6. Mix it around a bit on the top for some cappuccino flair and WHAM! Cappuccino!
We're not sure why it's so easy on this machine, but the frother is very forgiving and not trying to kill us. In the past, the wand because it's not encased in plastic gets so hot and threatening we often skip frothing milk - the Lavazza Blue makes it easy and clean up is a breeze as well. Check out the video if you don't believe us.
Other Drinks with the Lavazza Blue
We really liked the Bevanda Bianca. It's ready sweetened powdered whole milk that you can add to coffee for a great latte or for preparing hot chocolate. We added it to a shot or two of espresso to make a very sweet rich cup of coffee and hot milk that was perfect over breakfast. You can also purchase a variety of Lipton teas and other items for use in the Lavazza Blue. We aren't big tea drinkers, but our tea tester (yes we have one) thinks the tea is pretty solid and also very convenient.
Pros: Easy to use frothing wand
Good variety of coffees
Can make tea and hot chocolate as well
Easy to use controls
Cleans up easily
It's large and takes up a bit of counterspace
We really like the Lavazza Blue Pininfarina Single Serve Coffee Maker. It's amazing to see how premium a single serve coffee maker can be when you pair up Lavazza with one. The coffees are excellent and the ability to make a variety of drinks is compelling.
Though the price is high at $799 - it's nearly half off the normal price of a Lavazza Blue. Also if you're a bit worried that it's not for you, there's a generous 30 day trial so you can be sure it's the single serve coffee machine for you and there's even a coffee club you can join to keep getting Lavazza coffee for your machine without thinking about it.
Thanks again to Café-Razzi for sending us the Lavazza Blue to review.
Joe Bacon: I preferred the Vue packs to K-Cups. But the problem read more Greg Moore: I can't help but wonder how many companies who have read more SH: To further add to the never-ending confus... er... uh... fun, read more AO: Good points by both folks above. To Steve's point "If read more Linda: Baffled K-pod will not fit into holder. It was working read more