Most helpful positive review
377 of 400 people found the following review helpful
Like I was back in Tuscany, but also makes great American coffee
on December 15, 2010
I want to start by addressing the people giving low ratings because the beans aren't "oily" enough. If you've ever had a real espresso, one made by a licensed barista in Italy, you'd know that espresso beans aren't oily; they're not even usually that dark. If you see black beans, you're going to get a bitter cup of coffee no matter how you make it. It is the fresh grinding process and pressurized steam that make espresso so dark and strong in the cup, not burnt beans! This coffee is used in the great majority of Italian households and restaurants; I think most of the bars use a different brand but some of the ones I frequented around Florence used Lavazza. I can tell you from first-hand experience that when you order an espresso in Italy, the barista doesn't get beans that look black...that only happens at Starbucks where they don't care about the coffee being bitter because, as these low-star reviewers prove, a lot of American coffee drinkers wouldn't know how coffee is supposed to look or taste.
These beans are the perfect color; medium to dark brown, uniformly roasted. When you grind them, the aroma fills the kitchen. (By the way detractors, that's another way to tell good coffee. If you don't get a big release of aroma when you grind the beans, it means they've been over-roasted and the oils are all gone...perhaps except for that little sheen you want to be on the surface...I'd rather have the oils still in the bean, personally.)
Just for the fun of it, I decided to test this against my favorite coffee for my drip coffee maker. I was actually quite surprised at how rich, dark, and mellow the coffee came out of a rather poor (but quick and convenient) method of making coffee. I knew this would make perfect espresso, but I honestly didn't think the American-style coffee methods would work so well too. There is even a bit of crema on top of the cup...from a drip coffee maker! To see how much foam you get from an espresso machine, check out the pictures I've posted at the top of the page.
Lavazza is now going to be the only brand of coffee in my house. This is as close as you can get to drinking a fresh cup of espresso on the streets of Florence without a plane ticket.