Joerg Oberschmied is the COO of Premium Espresso, a wholly owned subsidiary responsible for Lavazza’s retail operations in North America .
What makes Lavazza unique ?
Lavazza, Italy’s leading coffee company was founded by Luigi Lavazza in 1895 where he first invented the concept of the blend, the complex art of mixing coffee of different origins to obtain a harmonious and delicious flavored espresso. Today Lavazza still operates as a family business that values innovation and quality while respecting their Italian tradition. In 2008 the company was awarded a Corporate Green Globe Award (businesses that demonstrate an extraordinary commitment to furthering sustainability) by the Rainforest Alliance . Lavazza cafés are casually-elegant European-style coffee shops serving exceptional coffee creations and innovations as well as a wide range of delicious, freshly prepared breakfast items, sandwiches, salads, pastries and gelato, served on china and glassware. Many of the breads, cookies and breakfast items are baked on-site daily and orange juice is squeezed to order. The signature Espesso™, the coffee you can eat, was named among Time Magazine’s best inventions of 2006. The décor is contemporary-chic and the walls have artwork from the annual Lavazza calendars. All that for very reasonable prices!
Can you tell us about Lavazza’s collaboration with Ferran Adrià ?
Ferran Adrià has been a partner of the El Bulli restaurant since 1992, which was awarded three Michelin stars. Time magazine ranks him in the top 100 innovative individuals in their field and he has been working with Lavazza since 2001. After the creation of “Èspesso”™, which introduced the world to its first sip of coffee in the form of a bite, the joint efforts of Ferran Adrià and Lavazza led in recent years to the development of a variety of groundbreaking coffee-based products, such as the “Coffeesphere” (an actual “coffee egg”) , coffee “Caviar” and Espessone™.
My personal favorite – Tangerine Espessone™, one of Lavazza’s summer specials. Espessone™ is the next generation innovation of the Espesso™ by Ferran Adria. It is combined with Cremespresso®, another innovation of Lavazza, a smooth cold espresso creation. There are so many unique drinks to try at Lavazza. Imagine, a new experience every visit.
How did the idea come about to collaborate with famous photographers such as Ellen Von Unwerth, Ferdinando Scianna, Albert Watson and Marino Parisotto ?
In 1993, Lavazza decided to inaugurate the era of Lavazza calendars with a specific creative slant. The goal was to make the calendar a tool for transmitting a renewed image of the company – prestigious, aggressive and modern, targeting young people, innovation and the future. The calendar also represents a gift with a unique artistic value,immortalized by the inspirational work of great photographers who have captured stories and ideas from all over the world.
What are 3 must try drinks at Lavazza ?
There are so many unusual creations, it is difficult to limit it to three, however, to introduce you to our world of innovative creations I suggest one each from our treats, our innovations and our specialties:
Innovations – Try the Espessone™, our next generation innovation of the Espesso™. It is a very light, flavored mousse on top of an espresso (or our very own Italian chocolate if you do not drink coffee). It comes in five different flavors. You can also try one of our Summer Espessone™, which I explained above (the other flavor is blueberry).
Treats – Espresso Nocciolato – espresso, Nutella, hazelnuts and whipped cream.
Specialties – Blendissimo®, a refreshing combination of espresso, gelato, and your choice of flavor.