Finnish coffee culture: There is hope!

Finland is known as the country with the highest coffee consumption in the world. I’m going to cover this topic more thoroughly in the near future, but for now, let me just say this: In spite of the fact that we Finns drink a lot of coffee, the quality of the blends available in many coffee houses has—in my humble opinion—been surprisingly low. Until recently, that is.

Today I was hanging around at the local mall, waiting for the good Wife to finish her shopping. I sat down at the sandwich joint, ordered an espresso doppio, and lo, they gave me Lavazza Super Crema!

There is hope!

Lavazza Crema e Gusto

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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.

Lavazza Caffè Espresso

Lavazza hype