Midnight tonight sees the close of the Lavazza Wimbledon #CoffeeSetMatch challenge. My three competitors and me can down tools for a while until we find out who has been lucky enough to be catapulted into the final with a chance of winning two tickets to the Wimbledon final and a trip for two, on Lavazza, to Turin. So far, we are all winners as Lavazza has very generously gifted each contestant with a supper duper shiny sparkly brand spanking new A Modo Mio coffee machine specifically designed for Wimbledon. Well, what with them being the main sponsor and all!
We’ve seen the recipes, we’ve tasted the cakes and we’ve downed the drinks but what do we actually “know” about Lavazza? That its Italian, yes. That they are a brand of coffee, yes. That they produce coffee, well of course, yes, but not in Italy.
Let me fill you in on a few facts before sharing with you some of my own very treasured and very personal coffee experiences.
Lavazza was founded in 1895 in Turin Italy by Luigi Lavazza. The brand started in a small grocery store and today, as the fourth generation of the Lavazza family continues to run and expand the brand, it is known world-wide. I wonder what Luigi would think about that?!
Whilst 16 out of 20million families in Italy prefer Lavazza as their coffee of choice, it is distributed to approximately 80 countries around the globe.
In 2008, Lavazza stretched as far afield as India when it bought the entire Indian coffee market by buying out the Chennai based Sterling Infotech Group, that which runs the chain Barista.
In an attempt to promote sustainable agriculture, protect the environment and working conditions of employees, Lavazza developed the !Tierra! coffee brand, now known as the coffee that represents the sustainable agriculture programme.
Lavazza imports its coffee from several countries; Colombia, Peru, Brazil, Vietnam and Uganda to name but a few.
Colombia is now where I want to take you – come with me for a coffee on a trip down memory lane!
Some years ago, when I was younger and carefree, I quit my job and headed off into the sunset with my closest friends. One friend convinced us to go to Colombia to meet up with friends of an ex-boyfriend of hers. CRAZY! Colombia – its dangerous! NO WAY! Yet, with a little convincing and a lot of dutch courage, we found ourselves on a plane across the Amazon from Manaus in Brazil to Bogota in Colombia.
Dangerous? Are you kidding me? It’s as safe as houses. Colombia is the most beautiful surprise. In fact, I’ve been 3 times! The people are amazing, the food is to die for, the scenery is breath taking, the beaches are phenomenal and the coffee… well, the coffee is abundant!
After partying hard in Bogota, we headed on an over night bus to Periera. At least 8 hours into the mountains through the night and then some more. When we woke, we were surrounded by lush green plantation fields filled with little red berries as far as the eye could see.
Let me share with you some of the pictures I took of coffee in its most natural form. This Ladies and Gentlemen, is how Lavazza coffee starts its life cycle:
The plantation fields of Periera
And all those lovely little red berries is indeed coffee!!
As pure as the day they were born.
When Lavazza was only a child, growing up in its small grocery store in Turin, Colombian coffee transporters were travelling for days by donkey and horse to deliver beans. This tradition dates back more than 400 years. The bag in this picture, carried across the body of the man, is known as a Carriel. The bags are known to contain at least 50 secret pockets in which they carried on they journey the following: to protect, the claw of a large animal; to entertain, a pair of dice and a deck of cards as well as a love letter from a sweetheart.
As you do on holiday, I hooked up with a friend of my friends ex, (not the guy in the photo above, I hasten to add, that was purely to explain how coffee was transported in Colombia back in the day!), whose parents had their own coffee plantation on their Finca (farm house) in Arbelaez, about 3 hours outside of Bogota. On my second trip to Colombia, I went to stay at the Finca just at the time when the coffee beans were drying out in the sun, before they were to be roasted.
(Let me add that my third trip to Colombia was to the wedding of my friend and her ex! And we all lived happy ever after… all say aaarrhhhhh *big smiles*).
They look almost like peanuts, not like coffee at all.
Ah, now they look a bit more like coffee, with that distinctive coffee bean line.
So you see, Lavazza might have been born in Italy, it might have an Italian heart but the truth is that its soul comes from where ever the coffee bean grows.
Now, after so many words about coffee, let the taste do the talking…. Lavazza!
To see a modern range of Carriel bags, please visit CarrielUK.
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