My dear friends surprised me with these: three packs of Lavazza Crema e Gusto! Very nice, especially since this is one of the Lavazza blends I hadn’t tried out yet. I usually do my coffee reviews based on whole beans that I grind myself. However, this particular blend doesn’t seem to be readily available in beans around here, so I’ll be happy to do it based on this pre-ground version.
Crema e Gusto is a blend of 70% Robusta and 30% Arabica, roasted dark (the darkest on Lavazza’s three level scale). According to the bag description, it’s creamy and full-bodied, high in intensity and medium in aroma.
Opening the bag, you immediately go: Robusta! The bag aroma is very earthy and leathery. In the cup, too, the bouquet is definitely Robusta-forward: it’s a beautiful marriage between the earthiness and a very noticeable scent of sweet vanilla. There’s also a floral, hyacinth-like quality to it.
The taste itself is exactly what you would expect: Earth and leather in the forefront, with some vanilla and that floral thing in the background—exactly the flavor profile I personally like in an espresso. It is bold and full-bodied enough to satisfy the experienced Robusta man, but well-balanced enough for the beginner.
All in all, while Crema e Gusto might not be a knock-your-socks-off gourmet coffee, it certainly is a very good, straightforward Italian espresso that you can get from the local supermarket and enjoy on any occasion. After I’m done with these three packs, I will definitely be getting more.