Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Dark Masquerading As Medium, Lavazza Gran Crema Espresso Is Powerfully Coffee Flavored!

The Good: Caffeinated, Aromatic, Strong without being overly bitter
The Bad: Expensive when not bought in bulk by the whole bean
The Basics: Lavazza Gran Crema Espresso Coffee surprised me for not carrying any flavors other than coffee . . . but doing that exceptionally well!

When it comes to coffee, I tend to have a pretty hard line: call it "coffee" or it damn well better taste like the flavor you claim it does in addition to coffee! It's rare that I find a coffee that allows me to feel ethically justified in blurring that line. But, Lavazza Coffee managed to do that with its Lavazza Gran Crema Espresso coffee and I suspect I'm okay with it because "Gran Crema" only implies any sort of creamy flavor and for a medium blend, this coffee nailed a powerful dark blend flavoring. Given that I prefer dark coffee blends, the lack of a creamy element to the flavor palate for this coffee was, ultimately, not disappointing.

Gran Crema Espresso is a Lavazza coffee that is available in bulk and well worth picking up that way; otherwise, it seems to be quite expensive. Fortunately for me, the local discount store prices an 8 oz. bag of ground Lavazza coffee only $1 cheaper than they price a 2.2 pound bag of unground Lavazza coffee beans, so choosing the Gran Crema Espresso was both a smart economic and flavor choice for me!


Lavazza is a premium coffee company that recreates (supposedly, I've never been, so I can's speak to its authenticity!) an Italian coffee experience. We found the Gran Crema Espresso in a 2.2 lb. bag of unground coffee beans.

The Gran Crema Espresso Blend is an aromatic blend that smells, appropriately, of coffee. We blended it for use in both our percolator and espresso machines and found virtually no difference in the flavor quality between the two, making it a great, versatile coffee for consumers who like a lot of gadgets!

Ease Of Preparation

Gran Crema Espresso Coffee is easy to prepare, but because it comes in whole bean form, it is not as easy as some coffees. After opening the bag, pour an appropriate amount of Lavazza Gran Crema Espresso Coffee into your coffee grinder - I still highly recommend the Cuisinart Supreme Grind coffee grinder (reviewed here!) that I have been grinding with for over a decade since I first found it! After grinding your beans, measure out one heaping tablespoon for every two cups of water in your coffee maker. Gran Crema Espresso Coffee is intended for automatic (drip or percolating) coffee makers. This is NOT an instant coffee. As a result, it needs to be brewed and I use a Hamilton Beach machine (reviewed here!) with a Crucial Coffee #4 Permanent coffee filter (reviewed here!). Despite living in fear of it, I have also used the Lavazza Gran Crema Espresso in my Mr. Coffee Cafe Espresso Maker (reviewed here!), with good results.

Consult your coffee maker's instructions for how to brew the coffee. However, as far as the basics go, you'll need a coffee filter, which you put the Gran Crema Espresso Coffee in and then brew through your coffee maker. The directions recommend making a pot at a time and serving it within twenty minutes and brewing complete pots does seem to net a more unified taste to the coffee (nothing too weak or too strong, no surprise sips that are uncommonly bitter - which has not happened at all with this coffee!).


Lavazza Gran Crema Espresso Coffee smells strong, though there is a hint of something nutty in the bouquet. The hints of nut are almost completely overwhelmed by the scent of coffee and this has an inviting, but strong coffee scent to it.

In the mouth, the Gran Crema Espresso Coffee is the embodiment of coffee flavor. It is strong, rich and tastes more like a dark blend than a medium blend. There is not even a hint of watery flavor that comes from most medium blends in the flavor of the Lavazza Gran Crema Espresso. Instead, the flavor is straightforward and potent, like having two or three cups of regular coffee distilled into one serving. The amazing aspect of this otherwise powerful coffee flavor is that it does not have any hint of bitterness to it, which is nice.

With creamer, the Lavazza Gran Crema Espresso takes on an incredibly sweet flavor, without losing the essential coffee taste - which is a balance not too commonly found in coffees! That said, one of the coffee creamers I tried with the Gran Crema Espresso (a coconut cream one) did overwhelm the coffee flavor of the Espresso and surprisingly dominated the otherwise robust blend.

The Lavazza Gran Crema Espresso has a dry, but not overly bitter aftertaste to it. The aftertaste takes about five minutes to wear off.


This is coffee, not something that appears on the nutrition pyramid! Lavazza Gran Crema Espresso Coffee does not contribute anything to one's daily recommended allowance of anything. In fact, the bag does not have any ingredients, save a mention of a 60%/40% split in the types of coffee beans that make up the blend.

This is a caffeinated blend and it feels like it! This has enough caffeine to pop one's eyes open between the taste, aroma and caffeine. Because it is a caffeinated coffee, it appears to not have undergone any of the chemical processes that sometimes cause complications in decaffeinated coffees.


Gran Crema Espresso Coffee ought to be stored sealed in its container with the top firmly closed. Coffee is known to absorb flavors of food nearby it, so keeping the bag tightly closed is highly recommended. There are different schools of thought on refrigerating open coffee and I have a very clean refrigerator with a lot of ways to segregate coffee, so I tend to come down on the side of refrigerate it. The container makes no recommendations on that count, though the bag of Gran Crema Espresso Coffee I bought last week would not expire until August 2017, so I doubt it would go bad - especially in its unground form - long before then!

After brewing, coffee grounds ought to be disposed of. These grounds may be thrown in the trash when used or put in a compost pile, if available. Coffee grounds make great compost.


Lavazza Gran Crema Espresso Coffee is a great coffee blend that is likely to thrill dark coffee drinkers over those expecting a more moderate medium blend!

For other coffee reviews, please visit my reviews of:
Taster's Choice Gourmet Roast Coffee
The Organic Coffee Co. Rainforest Blend Coffee
Peet's Coffee Major Dickason's Blend Coffee


For other food or drink reviews, please check out my Food Review Index Page for an organized listing!

© 2016 W.L. Swarts. May not be reprinted without permission.
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