120 years of unforgettable moments
Our history, like all histories, is made up of emotions, obstacles, important changes and leaps into the future.

Today, we want to retrace our history through the key moments illustrating our company‘s ability to create, innovate and grow, while remaining committed to social responsibility.



Everything started when
Luigi Lavazza opened
Lavazza’s first grocery shop
in via San Tommaso, in Turin,
in 1895.

Let’s imagine him surrounded by bags of various origins of coffee, busy sorting the blends.

Luigi Lavazza was a man filled with entrepreneurial spirit, inventive and passion for his work.

He discovered the different origins and characteristics of the coffee plant, and studied the art of blending to meet the tastes of customers, creating the blends.

His trip to Brazil enabled him to become even more aware of the beverage’s full potential, during an era of great change.

The Lavazza coffee we drink today is the result of his idea: combining coffees from different parts of the world. These coffees are harvested, processed, mixed and roasted to create many different and balanced blends, and satisfy the taste of every one of us.

Getting bigger:
from grocery shop
to a small business.

It was just after World War I and Turin was bustling: the Lingotto plant entered into production for Fiat, and the Lavazza grocery shop became a small business. Luigi Lavazza S.p.A. was formed in 1927, headquartered in Corso Giulio Cesare 65.

Luigi Lavazza, his wife Emilia and children Maria, Mario and Giuseppe, known as Beppe, were all present. They set up the Luigi Lavazza company, with share capital of 1,500,000 lire.

Notably, two of the five founders were women, Emilia and Maria.

Lavazza then began conquering the Turin province, thanks to its vehicle fleet and sales network.

In this same period Lavazza started to use Pergamin: a pack with two layers of paper that maintains the fragrance of coffee. This enabled households to buy coffee in greater quantities to be kept at home for a few days. It was the first step towards the Lavazza packs we find in shops today.

Recovery after
World War II.

Italy became a Republic in 1946. The war had finally come to an end, along with the period of the embargo on coffee imports.

Mario, Beppe and Pericle Lavazza had the right intuition, and decided that the company should specialise in the sale of coffee: no longer loose, but into a pack bearing the company trademark.

The first Lavazza logo dates back to 1946, and was created by the Aerostudio Borghi in Milan. The central letter “A”, larger than the other letters, still identifies us today.

Similarly, in Italy, we are still identified today by the series of “Paradiso Lavazza” TV commercials, which have their roots in the first “Lavazza Paradiso in Tazza” (“Lavazza coffee, heaven in a cup”) 1950 advertising slogan.

The coffee we buy today is still
in vacuum packs.
The first time it was packed
this way was in 1950.

For the first time, the pressure vacuum packed tin was used to preserve the aroma of the coffee and all of its flavour. This made long-term conservation, and hence much wider distribution, possible.

Hence the historic “Miscela Lavazza” (Lavazza Blend).

Emilio Lavazza, Beppe’s son, joined the firm in 1955 contributing his very clear and innovative ideas.

Leading the way in Italy
to become the largest
in Europe.

It was 1957. Italy was experiencing a full economic boom.

In the Corso Novara headquarters, Lavazza built its great roasting plant. The innovative and more efficient vertical processing system made it possible to handle over 40,000 kg of coffee a day: this was an absolute innovation for Italy.

Two years later, in 1959, we launched Lavazza’s first decaffeinated coffee: DEC.

Our industrial growth continued with the opening, in 1965, of the largest roasting plant in Europe, in Settimo Torinese.

New ideas
for surviving the crisis.

The Seventies marked a difficult period for the Italian economy. Coffee consumption also dropped.

It is precisely during crisis periods that innovation is needed.

After Pergamin and the tin, the vacuum pack brought the full aroma of Lavazza coffee into Italian homes. The first coffee to be packed in this way for retail sale, in 1971, was Qualità Rossa which is even today one of the Italians’ favourite blends.

And that’s not all.

The world’s largest coffee school existing today was created during that period, in 1979, under the name Luigi Lavazza Center for Studies and Research into Coffee.

Today, the Lavazza Training Center continues to provide training and promote innovation and disseminate the espresso culture throughout the world.

Our espresso
in offices worldwide.

Today we are accustomed to drinking espresso coffee not only in cafés, but also with vending machines in offices and in public areas such as, for example, at the train station, and with automatic coffeemakers also at home.

But this has not always been the case.

In 1989, the Vending sector was formed with the Lavazza Espresso Point system: an espresso machine that uses single-serve pre-packed coffee capsules.

But that was even more. Following the formation of the first foreign subsidiary, in France in 1982, Lavazza Coffees Ltd. was set up in London in 1990 to spread Italian coffee in the UK.

Our passions, beyond coffee:
art and photography, design.

Let’s take a step back in our history, and return to the Forties, when Beppe Lavazza was attending the artistic association Circolo degli Artisti in Turin. It was here where he got to know the artists whom he asked to design the famous collections of Lavazza stickers.

This passion still lives on in our DNA today.

In 1992, the first Lavazza Calendar was created from the encounter between Giuseppe Lavazza and Helmut Newton.

It was in black and white, set in Paris and Montecarlo and recounted with a brand-new language the deep relationship between Lavazza and coffee.

A commitment born
with our company.

2004 saw the opening of the Giuseppe and Pericle Lavazza Foundation, a non-profit organisation that seeks to improve people’s living conditions in coffee-growing countries. The most important project — which still continues today — is called ¡Tierra!

Thanks to the ¡Tierra! project we have permanently improved, in eight countries, the living conditions of more than 3,000 caficultores, boosting economic growth, improving their lifestyle and introducing new, more ecological and profitable agricultural techniques.

The new system Lavazza BLUE for offices was also launched in that year. The new espresso system was characterised by the innovation of the self-protected capsule, patented by Lavazza.

The concrete results
of the Sustainability Report.

With the 2012 Sustainability Report we illustrated the results of our commitment in the sustainability field.

Over the past few years, we have launched a programme aimed at assessing the environmental performances of various key products: our approach embraces green coffee, the processing stages in the countries of origin and at production facilities in Italy, packaging, coffee machines, shipment of raw materials and finished products, as well as coffee disposal.

We continue to reduce the environmental impact at every level of the production process.

A leap into the future:
the first espresso in space.

In 2004, the Lavazza calendar took coffee into space, with the photographs of Thierry Le Gouès, inspired by Barbarella and the pop and science fiction imagery of the Sixties and Seventies.

10 years later we made this dream come true: actually taking Italian espresso onto the International Space Station, in collaboration with Argotec and the Italian Space Agency (ASI).

In the same year, we saw the results of another unique project: in partnership with illycaffè we unveiled the genome sequencing of Coffea arabica.

Today, to celebrate 120 years of our history, we are taking part in Expo 2015 where we are presenting the first Lavazza-patented compostable capsule for preparing a perfect Italian espresso, respectful of the environment.