Segafredo Vs. Lavazza (The Two Italian Elite Coffee Brands)

The Italian coffee market has offered a fair share of innovations to the coffee industry and is known worldwide for its unmatched quality. The coffee culture and quality in Italy are next to none. Let’s take a look at the Segafredo Vs. Lavazza showdown and weigh in all the crucial factors you need to consider before picking a side. 

While loads of new Italian coffee brands continue to emerge every day, today I will be looking at these two elite brands which claim to offer a quality drinking experience at a reasonable price. 

Segafredo vs. Lavazza

Segafredo Vs. Lavazza Quick Overview

Both of these brands have a strong market presence and offer coffee at reasonable rates. While Segafredo focuses more on boosting its sales and quality enhancements, Lavazza has gotten a tad bit ahead with its initiatives in sustainability, and it also has a wider variety in each kind of coffee. 

Lavazza is also available easily and can often be found at discounted rates if you purchase from their website. Their newly launched line of coffee products and subscription system is quite remarkable. Due to these reasons, I personally prefer Lavazza coffee. 

That being said, both brands offer a balanced taste profile with premium-quality taste, which is not seen often at this price. 

Segafredo Coffee

cafe

1. Company Overview 

This company is the product of the hard work of Mr. Massimo Zanetti who was a passionate Italian coffee merchant. Coming from a family which had actively taken part in contributing to the coffee trade across Europe, Mr. Zanetti wanted to maximize sales and take his family heritage to new heights. 

He launched the first Segafredo Café in 1988 at an exhibition in Paris. This received a positive response from the locals and critics and sales started to expand. Their sole motto was to provide defect-free quality coffee at a reasonable price. 

As sales continued to increase, they improved the packaging and made it look more premium by adding eye-catching colors and designs. 

2. Target Market 

As of today, Segafredo operates under the umbrella of Massimo Zanetti Beverage Group, which happens to be a multi-national coffee producing company. Segafredo now has 12 coffee roasting plants and produces more than 150,000 tons of coffee on an annual basis. 

This giant company also owns a distribution network of 44 subsidiaries and has more than 650 franchises spread across 61 different countries, which churns out roughly 50 million cups of espresso every day. Outside of Italy, this brand has become the synonym for Italian espresso and ranks among the top three global coffee brands, which hold the largest share in the HO.RE.CA market. 

Since their brewing and roasting recipes have been passed on through generations and are constantly updated to meet industry demands, you can surely get a refined taste with every cup of Segafredo coffee. 

3. Coffee Production 

coffee plantation

With their 40-year expertise in the coffee industry, the production team has now mastered the art of roasting beans efficiently. Starting with coffee plantation, this brand mainly deals with premium Arabica and Robusta beans. These plants come from the Arabian peninsula and are grown across the equatorial belt. 

After this, the beans are cultivated amidst the humid and warm climate of the Tropic of Cancer. The elevation usually ranges between 900-1,200 meters for Arabica while Robusta is grown on plains around 500 meters. A higher elevation facilitates a good concentration of antioxidants and minerals. The cooler temperatures also delay the growth cycle which lets the bean go through a long maturation process. This results in a richer and more pronounced flavor. 

These plants typically grow up to 10 meters in height. They are pruned around 3-4 meters for easier harvesting. The harvest blossoms around 2-3 times a year. They import Arabica beans from South America, whereas regions like Africa, India, Indonesia, and Vietnam provide the Robusta supply. 

The ripe beans are then handpicked using the stripping method. Some large plantations use mechanical harvesting methods to carry out this process. This is done by a machine that shakes the plants, causing the fruit to fall. 

4. Processing 

processing coffee

After getting the bean beans from the harvest, Segafredo carries out a dry/wet extraction process. In the dry process, the beans are spread across sieves and are then sifted so they lose all of their impurities. 

The wet process, on the other hand, involves several washing sessions followed by sliding the beans through water channels. After this, they are sun-dried and are rendered free of any residues. 

Then, these green beans go through optical/laser machines which filter out the beans with noticeable defects and those who do not meet the set parameters. 

They are transported to their facilities and roasted. Segafredo Zanetti carries out this process with utmost care. The raw beans are first passed through roasters which heat them up to a temperature of 200-300 degrees Celsius. This gives rise to the classic pungent coffee aroma. 

After roasting, they carry out the blending process with the help of their experts by providing them a specific reference blend to work with. Post-blending, these beans undergo grinding. 

Espresso calls for a fine grind, whereas moka pots need medium-grinding levels. Lastly, these beans are packaged to preserve their characteristics in vapor/air-tight bags. 

5. Tasting Notes

Each kind of coffee offered by Segafredo has its own individual characteristics. In general, the flavor profile is quite balanced and ideal for pulling quality espresso shots that stand out from your typical supermarket coffee. 

Their brews also feature tasty starch and are devoid of any bitter aftertaste. Overall, I can easily say that the price to performance ratio is quite reasonable. 

The consistency is what really impresses me. Even though Segafredo claims to be a classic and simple supermarket mix, the tastes and textures of the drinks are commendable. The crema has a velvety brown color that gives this coffee a unique look due to the proportion of Robusta beans. 

Out of all their offerings, I would strongly urge you to try the espresso. It has Mediterranean nuances and a strong taste that was hardly ever diminished by the milk in my testing. 

One can expect a good taste regardless of the kind of machine they use. Be it an automatic coffee machine, moka pot, or portafilter. The undertones include spicy notes which never taste bitter. 

For the best results, I advise you to take the can out of the refrigerator 5 minutes prior to preparation, giving your coffee beans some air to develop the aromas and breathe. 

Summing up, Segafredo provides really tasty coffee with a rich taste and full-bodied beans that are especially suitable for espresso preparation. 

Lavazza Coffee 

Turin

1. Company Overview 

This company was founded in Turin in 1895 by Luigi Lavazza and is one of the topmost successful coffee brands in Italy. It initially used to be a small grocery store which grew to become the brand that Italians love today. 

They transport their coffee around the world, including Costa Rica, Brazil, the United States, Mexico, and Indonesia to name a few. Often called “Italy’s favorite coffee,” the brand claims that 16 out of 20 million coffee purchasing households in Italy use their coffee. 

This family-owned business is also an industry leader in terms of sustainability practices in coffee production. They patented a special packet to store coffee beans and a vacuum-packed tin in the 1950s. 

Lavazza also happens to be the first Italian company to introduce a vacuum-packed bag that allows for trouble-free storage of coffee without hampering the aroma. 

They sell around 2 billion coffee capsules and 38 billion kilograms of coffee annually. 

2. Target Market 

60% of their total revenue comes from Italian markets. They are highly popular among pre-ground coffee enthusiasts. They are known even outside of Europe for quality coffee that comes at a low price. 

Their constant efforts to foster sustainability are reflected by the fact that they have launched an initiative under the name iTierra which aims to preserve the traditional methods of coffee making across various communities and improve the quality of life. 

3. Coffee Production 

arabica and robusta

They have various plants spread across the world. The production process starts with the import of high-quality Robusta and Arabica beans. The seeds are first planted in beds in nurseries and are watered frequently. Their plantation cycle usually begins in the wet season, as the soil remains moist enough to hold the roots firmly. 

Once the coffee plants bear fruit, the cherries are usually stripped off the branches either manually or by using machines. Pickers only choose the cherries that are fully ripe. 

The following are some of their main manufacturing plants.

  • Turin: The first historical plant where each phase of production is automated using a computer system. 
  • Gattinara: The technologically advanced plant where all the capsules are made. 
  • Pozzilli: A plant dedicated to decaf production, which is known for decaffeinating the beans using the carbon dioxide method. 
  • France: Located in Laverune, it is the second most important plant for the company. 
  • India: Known for its idyllic and temperate climatic conditions that are ideal for production.  

4. Processing 

Segafredo vs. Lavazza

The coffee is processed depending upon the local resources and the location. The two common ways to do this include:

  • Dry Method: This age-old method involves putting the beans under the sun to dry. They are turned throughout the day to prevent them from spoiling. After prolonged exposure, the moisture content gradually declines to 11%, which is the point at which they are ready. 
  • Wet Method: In this method, the cherries are passed through a water channel enclosed by various floating drums. The heavier cherries that are ripe sink to the bottom while the lighter ones float on top and are separated. Post separation, these beans are moved to fermentation tanks for 12 to 48 hours depending on the climate and the altitude in order to remove mucilage attached to the parchment. 

Once this process is complete, the beans attain a rough texture. 

Then the beans go through automated processes like hulling, polishing, and grading to filter out minute impurities. Lavazza also checks their weight and checks for color flaws. After all this, the beans are transported to their plants and are ready to be roasted and packaged. 

5. Tasting Notes 

Lavazza’s blends usually contain mixed proportions of Arabica and Robusta beans, the former taking up around 70% of the volume. Arabica beans bring a zest of mild acidity to the taste which is balanced by the natural sweetness of the bean. Unlike the woody Robusta found in Uganda, they import their beans from Indonesian farms that are better in quality. 

Once these beans are washed, all the bitterness is filtered out and the taste profile changes to deep and chocolaty. Since the masses in EU and America lie towards milk-based drinks, Lavazza has become highly-popular due to its natural affinity with milk-based drinks. 

Buyer’s Guide 

Segafredo vs. Lavazza

Buyer’s dilemma increases as the choices continue to grow, and in the case of coffee, the choices are plenty. Here are some factors that you need to consider when purchasing the right coffee for yourself

  • Consider the origin of the beans. Many people think that only the type of bean affects the quality, but this is not true. Each region has unique climatic conditions and growing practices. The type of soil that your coffee grows in also plays a role in determining its texture and taste. 
  • Make note of the elevation. Beans that are grown at higher elevations are usually superior in quality due to being grown at lower temperatures and under the right amount of sunlight, which delays the process and provides ample time for the flavors to grow. 
  • The degree of roasting is what determines whether or not your beans will be bitter. Darker roasts are typically loved by those who like their coffee strong and want a powerful shot of caffeine. Light and medium roasts are ideal for other milk-based drinks. 
  • Know the kind of beans that you want to buy. Whole beans need to be grinded and produce an intense aroma. Ground coffee is perfect for those who use coffee machines/makers. Decaf, on the other hand, is ideal for people who want a minimal caffeine concentration. 

Segafredo, Lavazza and Italian Coffee

How long will coffee last if it is vacuum-sealed?

Even though the lifespan somewhat depends on the quality of your beans, a general measure for shelf-life is around 6 months to a year. However, I would recommend that you consume the beans as soon as you can. 

This is due to the fact that the taste begins to deteriorate after a couple of weeks. Once the beans come in contact with air, oxidation starts to occur which ruins the taste. 

How long will Lavazza coffee last? 

Lavazza coffee has a shelf-life of 2 years for ground coffee and 18 months for their capsules. 

What are the differences between American and Italian coffee?

Italians have high standards and certain rules when it comes to their coffee. For instance, they avoid drinking lattes after 10 in the morning due to the notion that it will have a negative impact on their digestive system. Whereas, Americans are very laid-back when it comes to their coffee and drink it anytime and anywhere. 

Italians want to savor all the flavors and take the time to experience all the aromas, whereas instant and drip coffees are preferred more in the United States. 

Enjoy your coffee!