What is Italian roast coffee?
The Best Italian Coffee Brands
Italian roast coffee is a very dark roast that falls on the far end of the dark roast spectrum. Roasted at about 245 °C (473 °F), these taste profiles are largely influenced by the roasting process. Italy has had such an influence on the world of coffee that many coffee brands from other countries have adopted the terminology to reference darker roasts. Let's take a closer look Italian coffee!
Italian Coffee Culture
A strong association between Italy and coffee has existed for a very long time. Italy has enjoyed a rich coffee culture for hundreds of years. It may come as a surprise then, that coffee is not grown in any significant quantity in Italy.
There exists a range of latitudes that are ideal for the growth of coffee, commonly referred to as the coffee belt. Italy is situated well north of this range, making the climate sub-par for coffee cultivation.
This has not stopped Italy from leaving a mark on the world-wide coffee industry. Many other countries are known for their single origin coffee beans and distinct flavor profiles, but Italy distinguishes themselves via a different means.
Italian Coffee Blending
Italian coffee refers not to coffee grown in Italy, but coffee that has been blended and roasted in Italy. Italian coffee blends are comprised of a wide variety of beans from all over the world, including both Arabica and Robusta species. There is a definite art to effectively blending various single origin coffees to make a well-balanced final product. Italy boasts a high level of expertise in this area.
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Italian Espresso Coffee
Italy is best known for their espresso coffee. The vast majority of Italian consumers prefer their coffee in this form. As espresso is their brewing method of choice, it makes sense that Italian coffee brands have espresso in mind when blending and roasting their beans!
Certain characteristics of beans make them ideal for espresso coffee. A darker roast and lower acidity are often desirable. (More on espresso coffee) The best Italian coffee brands have it all figured out and are able to live up to the lofty expectations.
Italian Roast Coffee
In Italy, most coffee is… Italian roast.
Italian roast coffee is a very dark roast that falls on the far end of the dark roast spectrum. (More on roast levels) Roasted at about 245 °C (473 °F), Italian coffee taste profiles are largely influenced by the roasting process. Italy has had such an influence on the world of coffee that many coffee brands from other countries have adopted the terminology to reference darker roasts. That being said...
Italian coffee brands offer more than just Italian roast to world-wide customers.
You’ll find a good selection of medium roast blends that are optimized for espresso!
Best Italian Coffee Brands
Yes there is an extremely rich coffee culture in Italy… but if you’re not in Italy, this won’t affect you too much. There is a distinction to be made between Italian coffee brands and Italian roasted coffee. The former refers to an Italian coffee company that blends and roasts coffee in Italy. The latter is a term that is loosely used to refer to a particularly darkly roasted coffee. The fact of the matter is that any coffee brand can refer to their product as Italian roast.
If you want the real Italian coffee experience, you’re better off going with one of the best Italian coffee brands! Take a look at our 3 best Italian coffee brands below.
Lavazza is a very widely recognized Italian coffee brand. Lavazza has been in business for more than 120 years, and frequently tops coffee best seller lists worldwide. With a large variety of options, Lavazza truly has something for everyone! It comes down to personal preference in the end, but here are some great options from this stellar Italian coffee brand.
Our Favorite Lavazza Coffee
Gran Espresso Coffee
Roasted By: Lavazza
Taste: Rich, notes of chocolate, spice & earth
Lavazza has a wide variety of high quality products, but Gran Espresso is our favorite! This coffee has an intense, chocolate & spice toned aroma that is to die for. These shots are rich, smooth, & never-bitter. A perfect golden crema is produced time after time, making the perfect shot of espresso. If you haven't tried Lavazza yet, it's time!
Not available as ground coffee
Also from Lavazza...
Lavazza has a wide variety of great products. Here are some other coffees that are very much worth trying. The best way to find your favorite is to try them all!
Taste: Mild, creamy, notes of honey, almond & fruit
Taste: Rich, notes of chocolate & caramel
Taste: Rich, notes milk chocolate & vanilla
Although second to Lavazza in sales, Illy may actually be the higher quality Italian coffee brand. There are schools of thought that believe that blends containing 100% Arabica beans are superior to those that include Robusta beans. If you subscribe to this point of view, Illy might be the best Italian coffee brand for you!
Our Favorite Illy Coffee
100 % Arabica Espresso Blend
Roasted By: Illy
Taste: Rich, balanced, notes of caramel & chocolate
Most espresso blends include a healthy percentage of Robusta beans. Not this one. This blend of 100% Arabica beans is the main product offered by Illy. This blend was created with espresso in mind, and has been perfected over many years. A rich, balanced taste with notes of chocolate & caramel makes for a great espresso shot. A must try!
The last Italian coffee brand (but certainly not least) that we recommend is Kimbo. Based out of Naples, Kimbo offers the signature taste that is expected of high quality Italian coffee. Kimbo is known for their strong espresso. If you need that extra boost in the morning, Kimbo could be the answer for you!
Our Favorite Kimbo Coffee
Kimbo Espresso Coffee
Roasted By: Kimbo
Taste: Rich, notes of dark chocolate & spice
These beans are darkly roasted to create a rich, strong taste. Notes of dark chocolate & spice are prominent. For those serious about their espresso, Kimbo shots offer a strong kick. Despite the strength, this coffee remains smooth and is never-bitter. Highly recommended!
Not available as single serve
And that's that! What's your favorite Italian coffee?
Do you have an Italian coffee brand that we should try? Let us know!
Have a coffee question? We may have the answer. Ask away!
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