The R&D department controls the entire production chain, starting with the choice of harvesting method.
The purchasing of the raw material is monitored by experts from the Department, who apply strict quality standards for each type of coffee, and evaluate its characteristics before buying the batches needed for production: Lavazza coffee is certified from the first bean to the last.
Today, optic selection processes and the cataloguing of coffee sources takes place directly in the coffee growing countries: each variety is marketed according to specific quality and price criteria. Our experts choose the coffee they will buy according to the standards applied to Lavazza blends.
On arrival at the factory, every stage of the process — handling, storage, dosing of the blends and roasting — is controlled by a centralised computer system.
Mixing, roasting and grinding are the core of the production process: these fundamental phases make a coffee unique, and these are the times at which our experts intervene more frequently, to monitor the whole process.
The creation of the coffee blends, fine tuned by the Department, is controlled by Lavazza experts, the computer system and a panel of tasters who sample each blend in order to guarantee the same in-the-cup result and flavour for each blend, every year.
The roasters are all convection machines, which make the hot air roasting process more uniform and delicate, and can guarantee the correct level of roasting for each blend. A pilot roasting system carries out a short test cycle, roasting a small quantity of coffee before the full-scale production is launched.
The grinding process, which differs depending on the intended use of each blend (espresso, mocha or filter coffee), is also managed automatically by the computer systems and controlled by the Department.
The ground coffee is then kept in controlled-atmosphere silos to protect it against oxidants (light, oxygen, heat and moisture), and is quickly sent to the packaging stage. The shapes of the packages and the materials used are essential to guarantee the optimal conservation of the blends, and the Department is constantly researching more effective solutions.
Lavazza's decaffeination method is also the result of the work of this department. The Pozzilli plant applies the innovative supercritical CO2 process which has a natural, selective action on the beans, optimising their organoleptic properties. Under special conditions of pressure and temperature (the supercritical state, halfway between liquid and gas), carbon dioxide has an advanced ability to bind selectively to caffeine, extracting it without damaging the aromatic components of the coffee.
The final stage of the production process is of course extraction: when the product is transformed into a moment of pleasure to be savoured and shared, and Lavazza's passion achieves its original objective. With the new espresso machines and courses for baristas offered by the Training Center, we can now "build" this phase as well, thus guaranteeing the quality of Lavazza espresso down to the last sip.