September 3, 2014

Lavazza Gran Aroma K-Cups Review

Lavazza k cups gran aroma 2014

Founded by Luigi Lavazza in Italy back in 1895, Lavazza coffee got its start as the founder’s culinary passion and evolved over the course of 4 family generations to become what is known today as Italy’s favorite coffee. While some may argue that Illy coffee is the epitome of Italian espresso coffees, we’ve actually come to prefer Lavazza as our espresso brand of choice and found that it always offered consistency in quality, strength and taste time and time again regardless if we prepared it at home using an old manual espresso machine or ordered a shot at a Lavazza counter/kiosk in a road side rest area plaza (we had to double-check our surroundings to make sure we were in a rest area & not an actual cafe given the espresso quality). 

We’ve been enjoying Lavazza espresso for years, so we were a bit shocked to see them enter into the ground coffee market recently with 4 different varieties and were further surprised this past week when we stumbled upon the K-Cup versions of these coffees during a visit to the Keurig retail store (each variety is now available to order online directly off of Keurig.com & ShopLavazza.com). We kick things off today by reviewing the lightest of the flavors, Lavazza’s Gran Aroma K-Cups.

Brewing these K-Cups resulted in light aromas of smoky hickory tinged with very mild hints of citrus which reveal notes of molasses as the coffee cools off. Keurig & Lavazza describe the coffee as having a floral aroma, but we didn’t think so as the primary notes seemed smoky more than anything else.

Billed as a medium-roast, flavor was also fairly light as you get some of the smoky notes up front followed by some light sour citrusy touches which are finally capped off with mild hints of caramel & chocolate finished by more faint molasses notes underneath. Things were a bit lighter than expected, however, this adds some versatility to the coffee as you can take it as an early morning coffee or take it later in the afternoon if you’re not in the mood for a darker/stronger roast. This should also appeal to folks who stayed away from the Lavazza brand fearing that it might be too strong for their tastes.

Lavazza brewer kcups shot

Acidity was a bit lighter than expected but still had enough pop to keep things vibrant and moving along. Body yielded nice sunburst shades of bright orange & golden yellow which reinforced the idea that this was a morning coffee and played well with the color scheme on the packaging. Mouth feel was bordering on watery but things levelled-out somewhat as we worked our way through the cup. Finish was a bit dry with a slight astringency & lingering smoky notes topped by faint dark chocolate tones in the aftertaste.

Lavazza gran aroma kcups cup shot

  • Aroma – 8 – Light aromas of smoky hickory tinged with a very mild hints of citrus which reveal notes of molasses as the coffee cools off. Although the product description notes floral aromas, we didn’t get any of that during our testing.  
  • Acidity – 8 – A bit lighter than expected but still popped enough to keep things vibrant and moving along.   
  • Body – 10 – Nice sunburst shades of bright orange & golden yellow burst forth when held in front of a light source. It reinforced the idea of this being a morning coffee and paired well with the color scheme on the packaging.
  • Flavor – 10 – Fairly light as you get some of the smoky notes up front followed by light sour citrusy notes which are capped off with mild hints of caramel & chocolate finished by more faint notes of molasses underneath. This made for a unique sweet & sour mash-up which turned out to be more pleasing than expected.
  • Mouth Feel – 8 – Bordering on watery but things levelled-out somewhat as we worked our way through the cup. Finish was a bit dry with a slight astringency & lingering smoky notes topped by faint dark chocolate tones in the aftertaste.
  • Coffee Drinker – Suited best for light to medium-roast fans who are looking for something a bit different in the lighter-tasting gamut of K-Cups already on the market or for those who’ve never tried Lavazza before. While this makes for a nice introductory coffee to help ease-in newcomers to the brand, Lavazza die-hards who prefer the stronger espressos the brand is famous for might want to try some of the darker-roasted flavors in the line-up instead. 

Overall Rating: 94 – Exceptional

While we’d normally associate Lavazza with rich & strong espressos, their first attempt at modern North American-style coffees was a bit surprising to be honest. We went into this review thinking that even their lightest roast would still be intensely strong and were pleasantly taken aback when this turned out not to be the case. It goes to show that the roasting team at Lavazza took the time to research North American preferences and tastes before they rolled-out their new products. 

We can see how most dark roast and espresso fans likely won’t care for this lighter-tasting variant, but we thought it was still a rather superb offering and it shows that Lavazza still have a few tricks up their sleeve when it comes to redefining our preconceptions of the brand. Light & medium-roast fans should be more than pleased by this coffee and we have to admit that we rather enjoyed it as well even though it turned out to be completely different than what we were expecting. Who knew Lavazza could produce a decent medium-roast coffee? This only makes us further excited to try the remaining flavors in the line-up & has us wondering if someday the company might tackle something they’ve never done before… flavored coffees. Regardless of what they have in the pipeline over the coming years, we’ll be more than willing to give it a try. If you’re on the fence about trying this coffee, you might want to look for smaller boxes or find an online retailer that sells individual K-Cups.

Lavazza Gran Aroma K-Cups work in all K-Cup Brewers (both 1.0 & 2.0) and are available at various retailers in USA in various size formats. These K-Cups are also available online in 22-packs at Keurig.com and 16-packs atShopLavazza.com. According to the original press release, these K-Cups should become available in Canada starting in 2015. Please also note that K-Cups will NOT work without using adapters in Keurig Vue brewers.

A special thanks to SH for providing this Single Serve Coffee staff review. We would also like to that we purchased a box of these K-Cups on our own for the purpose of this review.

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Posted by Jay Brewer at September 3, 2014 7:28 AM

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