Saturday, May 31, 2014

PRODUCT REVIEW: Lavazza Gold Selection Coffee

I recently reviewed Lavazza's SUper Crema coffee and found it to be very good. It is an excellent and affordable "every day" espresso blend. Lavazza also sells their Gold Selection as espresso-ready coffee, and since it is a bit more expensive than the Super Crema, I have high hopes.

As with everything Lavazza, the beans are in good shape and well-roasted. I like Italian coffees because they aren't as blasted as North American companies' beans as they chase Starbucks. The aroma from the beans isn't terribly impressive, but it is inoffensive.

Getting right to the espresso, there is a similar amount of crema from the Gold Selection as with the Super Crema, which means that they are either the same coffee or Lavazza was totally lying about their Super Crema blend being super... crema... yeah.

The crema is pale and good, with good oily stability. There is more sourness to the aroma than the Super Crema, but I didn't find that this translated to the tongue all that much.

The Gold Selection is very similar to the Super Crema. It is rich and earthy with a stronger toasted note. The taste is just a bit more complex than Super Crema and has a more pronounced chocolate to it, although it still isn't what I would call a primary flavor. Forgive the plebeian nature of this comment, but the Gold Selection does taste a bit more expensive than the Super Crema.

Is it worth the extra cash? Not for me. I like the Super Crema and since I'm looking for an every day coffee that I can serve in large amounts to friends without breaking the bank, value enters my equation in a big way. Gold Selection is about 25% more, and if I was willing to spend that, I would buy specialty roasts from North American roasters for a bit more money.

That said, this is a very good coffee. It's a massive upgrade if you are buying grocery store coffee and even most Starbucks beans. Moreover, Gold is different enough from the cheaper Super Crema that you may find yourself definitely preferring the Gold Selection in a taste test. You can only easily buy these coffees in 1kg bags, so I would recommend buying one of each, comparing, and then giving the other beans to someone else.

Otherwise, if you want to take my word for it, buy the Super Crema. It's great.

Lavazza Gold Selection: RECOMMENDED

Make sure to buy an Airscape to store your beans. They will last for weeks and weeks.

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