Italian coffee beans, a guide to the best Italian coffee
You cannot talk about Italy without thinking of its coffee culture, especially the cult of the espresso! And whilst we cherish the memory of our last Italian coffee at the terrace of a small café during our past holiday, many of us want to find the Italian coffee beans that will give us the same taste experience at home! So let’s try to help you out!
- What is Italian coffee?
- What are the best Italian coffee beans out there?
Italian coffee, what is it?
Italian coffee beans are defined by their roast. Italians tend to go for a medium-dark roast because it delivers all the qualities usually favoured in an espresso or a ristretto. Green coffee beans are roasted for a longer period at a higher temperature than other roasts. This process produces brown coffee beans with little or no oily surface, more robust flavours and smokier aromas.
Imagine baking biscuits: the more you leave them in the oven, the crispier and the more charred they will get! As a simplified explanation, it is more or less the same with coffee beans!
You can read more about how to choose your coffee roast in our previous article.
Coffee beans roasted in Italy usually offer a bit more bitterness but little acidity compared to lighter roasts, more body and length on the palate.
What are the best Italian coffee beans out there?
To help you in your quest for Italian coffee, I have compiled a list of some of the best Italian coffee beans.
This list is based on the best-selling Italian coffees beans on our website, a proof of their popularity.
I have also gathered customers feedback and highlighted the most recurrent comments: this should hopefully help you pick an Italian coffee beans that will suit you.
Pellini – Pellini Top
Pellini Top is one of the bestsellers for Italian coffee beans. Awarded the Gold Medal at the International Coffee Tasting Awards.
Pellini Top is slowly-roasted 100% Arabica, naturally low in caffeine: a strong point for coffee lovers who worry about their daily caffeine intake.
- Its balanced, delicate taste without bitterness
- The good results obtained in bean-to-cup machines
Caffè Vergnano – Antica Bottega
Antica Bottega by Caffè Vergnano is also a 100% Arabica Italian coffee beans that has enjoyed the attention of a controlled, slow roasting process.
For a strong aromatic cup of coffee with good balance. An ‘every day quality coffee’ appreciated by many customers and their visiting guests.
- Its rich taste of Arabica and lovely aromas, making it a top choice as the coffee to drink at breakfast time
- The result as an espresso, both in manual espresso machines or bean-to-cup machines
Bazzara – Dodicigrancru
Bazzara ‘Dodicigrancru’ is an Italian coffee beans blend of 12 of the best Arabicas in the world, including Jamaican Blue Mountain coffee.
With its gourmet notes of dark chocolate & candied orange, Dodicigrancru delivers a subtle yet strong espresso with a good crema.
- Its intensity and aromatic qualities, especially when enjoyed as an espresso
- The results as an espresso, ristretto or even a lungo in bean-to-cup machines. Tiger-striped crema reported by several customers using a manual espresso machine
Illy – Intenso
Illy is one of the most famous brands of Italian coffee beans. ‘Intenso’ is a 100% Arabica that went through an intense roasting process to deliver the dark beans we expect from Italy.
This is the coffee for lovers of a proper strong Italian coffee with a lingering aftertaste.
- The feeling of ‘finding Italy’ in their cup every morning with its toasted notes & strength
- The result as a ristretto in bean-to-cup machines. Several customers advised using the fine grind setting to unleash the best out of ‘Intenso’
Mokador – Gran Miscela
Mokador Castellari Italian coffee beans ‘Gran Miscela‘ is a blend of 80% Arabica & 20% Robusta made for a full-bodied ristretto or espresso, rich an aroma.
This special blend was created for professional machines, hence the 1kg pack, but with a good airtight coffee container, you will also be able to enjoy this coffee at home.
- The structure, the body and the rich aroma found in their espresso
- The velvety hazelnut-coloured crema, especially with a fine grind setting on bean-to-cup machines
Lucaffè – Classic
Lucaffè is less known to the general public but it is worth checking if you are looking for Italian authenticity! This small company created in 1996 has gone from strength to strength. It is based in Carpenedolo (Brescia).
This ‘Classic’ Italian coffee beans blend of 80% Arabica & 20% Robusta has the intensity and the texture expected from a classic Italian espresso.
- The smell when they open this coffee! Noted for its good value for money as a typical Italian espresso with generous body
- The results as a good ristretto or espresso with bean-to-cup machines, manual espresso machines and even lever machines
Other recommended Italian coffee beans
Lavazza ‘Crema & Aroma’: a reference from the brand’s wide range of coffees that people like to order over & over again. Lavazza is one of the biggest brands of Italian coffee beans, present in more than 90 countries.
Caffè Mauro Italian coffee beans ‘Centopercento’: a 100% Arabica that works well as an espresso, ristretto or as a base for cappuccino-type milky drinks.
Miscela d’Oro ‘Gran Crema’: an Italian coffee beans blend of Arabica (70%) and Robusta (30%). For a very espresso with a thick crema.
As we all know, ‘different strokes, different folks’: we each have our very own palate and preferences when it comes to coffee. You may find a coffee too strong and bitter while someone else will think it is perfect. The only way to find the coffee made for you is by tasting & tasting until you find THE one!
Whether you have a bean-to-cup machine or a manual espresso maker, you will need to adjust the grind setting each time you try a new coffee, until you get the best out of it.
Simply put, if your coffee is too bitter with a nasty aftertaste, try a coarser grind setting as it is a sign your coffee is over-extracted. On the other hand, if your coffee has too much acidity, try a finer grind setting as it is a sign of an under-extracted coffee.
If you don’t have a grinder but still want to enjoy good Italian coffee beans, we do have a section for Italian ground coffee waiting for you!