Illy vs Lavazza: Which Italian Coffee Is Better?

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Over the years, Italian coffee has developed a strong reputation for providing high-quality coffee coupled with classic simplicity. Two of the most beloved Italian coffee brands are Illy and Lavazza, which vary in beans, flavor, and other qualities. This competition has led to a debate over superior coffee. Here is your complete layout of the ongoing battle between the brands: Illy vs Lavazza!

Why Is Italian Coffee So Good?

The history of coffee in Italy is extensive, and rightly so. Coffee has unified factions of Italian society and helped create a rich culture. As a result of the close relationship between Italian people and their coffee, a sense of pride for their product can still be felt today. Lavazza is well over 100 years old and Illy is not far behind. The highest-quality ingredients go into both coffee products and create a distinct taste.

Although there is no single quality that makes Italian coffee better than your basic, non-Italian coffee, the difference in quality of the Italian is easily discerned. Perhaps a journey into the production process of Italian coffee will shed some light on the million-dollar question surrounding the region’s excellence.

The Illy Production Process

When you bring home a bag or can of Illy ground coffee, the beans in your hand have already taken a long voyage. Coffee beans are grown in a variety of locations and packed in bags designed to cut the threat of mildew or any unwanted growth. Illy’s transportation process knowledge is incredible, and as a result, the beans arrive in Italy in perfect condition.

Illy Moka Coffee

Once the beans arrive at their temporary home in Trieste, Italy, experts inspect them, with unsatisfactory beans being removed. Arabica coffee beans are widely considered the highest-quality coffee beans available and are the bean of choice for Illy’s blends. The beans are then roasted evenly to ensure consistency when you drink your coffee, day in and day out.

Fifteen minutes of roasting later, your beans enter packages with pressurization technology. High-quality beans from South and Central America locations, Asia, and Africa travel to Italy and then to your kitchen counter. The process, as with most good things, takes time.

The Lavazza Production Process

Lavazza’s production process is just as impressive as its fellow Italian competitors, especially considering the company views its renewable ¡Tierra! Project high on the totem pole of priorities. The same as Illy, Lavazza sources its beans, both Arabica and Robusta, from various countries, including Colombia, Guatemala, and Indonesia.

In these select locations, department experts test batches of beans before buying on behalf of Lavazza. Then, beans arrive at Lavazza manufacturing plants, where they are made ready for roasting. At the blending part of the process, coffee experts taste each blend to ensure a rich and flavorful product.

Following the blending, coffee beans are ground up and stored in specialized silos built to make sure that the coffee you drink is ripe and fresh.

If there is one thing you learn from these coffee brands’ production process, it is that the company is unwavering in its attempts to keep up the highest quality from the beans to your mug. The motivation to improve their product is due to you, the customer. In short, this is one reason why Italian coffee is so good.

Lavazza: What Do You Need to Know?

For those of you interested in the Lavazza company’s background, here is some history. In 1895, Luigi Lavazza founded the company of his name in the center of Old Torino in Italy. Through time and love, the Lavazza family mastered the art of coffee, especially espresso. Although Lavazza has grown out of a family business, it has never shed the qualities that make it feel like one.

Lavazza was a true believer in sustainable production, and his wishes to protect the Earth live on to this day. In the countries where Lavazza sources their beans, they make sure to treat the cultural and environmental aspects with respect and gratitude. This relationship is best expressed by the ¡Tierra! Project, which aims to cut waste and pollution from the production process.

Lavazza Italian Coffee

Which Lavazza Coffee Is Best?

Although which coffee is the absolute best depends on your decision, there are a few types of Lavazza coffee that stand out among the rest. Lavazza’s best overall coffee is the Lavazza Super Crema Espresso Whole Bean Coffee. This bean is balanced, versatile, and aromatic. If you look for more straightforward beans rather than more unique flavors, this one is your move.

If you are a die-hard espresso person, you will want to go for the Lavazza Super Crema Whole Bean Coffee Blend, Medium Espresso Roast. This product boasts an intense, robust body with a smoky, balanced flavor. If you are not yet convinced, this espresso roast includes aromatic notes of brown sugar and hazelnut.

Is Lavazza Espresso Good?

Lavazza has expanded its product line to the expanses of the coffee realm and offers a wide choice of espressos. These espressos, as with all Lavazza goods, are of very high quality and are among the most popular in Italy and abroad. Further, you will find that Lavazza’s espressos have the perfect fineness. To answer your question- yes! Lavazza espresso is very good.

Which Lavazza Coffee Is Best for a French Press?

Some people claim that the French press is the best way to make a cup of coffee. There are reasons to support this claim, such as the no-filter steeping process a French press provides. If that person is you and you are looking for a Lavazza product to use, look no further than the Lavazza Crema e Gusto Ground Coffee. The Lavazza Super Crema Whole Bean is also a great option.

Illy: What You Need to Know

In 1933, Francesco Illy arrived in Trieste, Italy, with a dream: create the best coffee in the world. Illy’s coffee ambitions manifested in the form of the illieta, now known as the blueprint of the modern espresso machine. Roughly 20 years later, the Illy family’s presence in the coffee industry upgraded as a result of Illy’s son Ernesto, who opened a coffee lab.

As the old saying goes, the rest is history. The Illy brand is famous for its espressos and offers three different types of roasts. The unmatchable quality of Illy’s final product is a result of their usage of exclusively Arabica coffee beans. As with Lavazza, ethics are a very important part of the Illy company; in 2013, Illy joined World’s Most Ethical Companies.

Illy Cup of Italian coffee

Which Illy Coffee Is Best?

When it comes to Illy coffee, you simply cannot beat the basics. The best Illy coffee is the Classico Whole Bean Coffee, Medium Roast, 100% Arabica Coffee. Featuring notes of chocolate and caramel, this product closely resembles the traditional coffee from generations ago. The Bold Roast lines that Illy offers are also great options.

Why Is Illy So Expensive?

With a high price, it is no surprise to learn that Illy’s production process is by no means cheap. Their technology optimizes production at every step to keep the quality high. What you get is a gourmet product, which you also pay for. Illy also purchases specialty-grade beans, which is how the company supports the 100% Arabica content in their coffee.

Which Is Better: Illy or Lavazza?

Ultimately, your decision on which coffee brand is better depends on a number of factors, most importantly your personal preference. The margins are quite acceptable in the coffee industry, and the differences in many aspects of these products are also slight.

If you prioritize traditional coffee over espresso, then Lavazza is probably right up your alley. On the other hand, espresso fiends should give Illy a shot. If the 100% Arabica bean quality of Illy excites you, you might prefer it over Lavazza. If you do not value a bean’s name, then the more cost-effective Lavazza is your move.

All facts considered, there is no answer to the question of which Italian coffee brand, Illy or Lavazza, is better. Fortunately, the decision is up to you! 

Do They Use Arabica or Robusta?

Arabica coffee beans are more expensive than Robusta beans and are richer in flavor than their counterparts. Illy uses 100% Arabica coffee beans, whereas Robusta uses a mix of Arabica and Robusta beans in most of their products. Robusta also offers 100% Arabica items.

How’s the Flavor and Taste of Lavazza vs. Illy?

Lavazza’s flavor profile is deep and chocolatey, with hints of brown sugar and hazelnut in some of its blends. Some varieties have a rich, spiced aftertaste that nicely complements the chocolate flavor.

The flavors in Illy’s products are initially sweet with notes of caramel and fruit. You may taste hints of honey and almond, which make up the aromas of the coffee.

Illy single serve coffee


The quality present in Illy’s beans shows through in the smoothness of their coffee product. Although Lavazza’s smoothness is by no means lacking, it is not as smooth as its counterpart. Lavazza does offer a full structure in its coffee, however.


Many variations of Lavazza’s blends are not bitter and instead taste sweeter. As for Illy, the mild, rich flavor overrides any bitterness remaining in the Arabica beans. Generally, Lavazza coffee is the right choice if you like more bitter tastes.


Both Lavazza and Illy brands tend to produce mild-tasting coffees. Illy has some options that are high in acidity, where Lavazza mainly sticks to mild acidity.

Final Thoughts

The Italian coffee production giants Lavazza and Illy were both born out of a love for coffee and service. While they have their differences, the brands actually have many similarities. Illy mainly uses Arabica beans, while Lavazza prefers a mix of Arabica and Robusta beans. These differences result in slight changes in taste, texture, and bitterness.

At the end of the day, which coffee brand you choose is your decision; fortunately, there is no wrong choice.