If you’re like most people, you probably can’t wake up fully and start the day without a cup of hot black coffee. Whether espresso, cappuccino, or macchiato; a good cup of Italian coffee has become an irresistible habit for many coffee lovers who prefer their coffee a bit bitter but delivering a unique experience.
Best Italian Coffee Brands: Our Top 10 Picks
Looking to give Italian coffee a try or you just want to get the Italian coffee experience with another brand? Here are the 10 best Italian coffee brands that you can choose from.
Boasting more than 125 years of history, Lavazza is widely regarded as ‘Italy’s favorite coffee’ as the company claims that 16 million out of the 20 million coffee purchasing families in Italy choose the brand. It all started when Luigi Lavazza started selling coffee from a small grocery store and gradually expanded his operations as sales increased. The brand is currently run by the third and fourth generation of Lavazza’s family.
As a manufacturer of coffee products, Lavazza’s collection of coffees is staggering and is generally divided into whole beans, pre-ground coffee, and coffee pods. Its coffees are made from a blend of Arabica and Robusta beans combined with the most innovative roasting techniques to offer a well-balanced taste. Lavazza Super Crema is one of the bestselling coffee products from the brand with thousands of positive reviews.
The coffee industry in Italy is largely dominated by Lavazza and Illy, with the latter considered the higher-end of the two. Illy is not just a household name in Italy but also quite famous throughout the world. Founded in 1933 by Francesco Illy, this coffee company is run by a member of the family’s third generation, Andrea Illy. The brand imports Arabic beans, which is its only blend of coffee, and that it roasts to three different degrees: regular, dark roast, and decaf.
Illy coffee is delivered as pre-ground coffee, whole beans, iperEspresso capsules, and E.S.E espresso coffee pods but only the pre-ground coffee is packed in steel containers with a unique storage technique to keep the coffee fresher for longer. If you’re looking to try one of the best coffees from this brand, the Illy Classico medium roast is a great choice for a smooth, rich, and full-bodied cup.
3. Starbucks Coffee
Starbucks is a reputable coffee company that has continued to dominate the global coffee industry as evidenced by its presence in more than 70 countries via its 30,000 coffeehouses. Established in 1971 and headquartered in Seattle, Washington, Starbucks is also a popular coffee brand in Italy, which is expected since the company sources and roasts high-quality beans.
Going further, it’s important to add that Starbucks isn’t a manufacturer of Italian coffee but it has managed to maintain its relevance by consistently delivering decent quality coffees in multiple locations that are easily accessible throughout the country. As expected, Starbucks has a wide range of coffees in its product line that can make it hard for most coffee lovers to choose one. However, its Medium Roast Ground Coffee and Dark Roast Ground Coffee are top favorites among Italians.
For more than 80 years, Bialetti has maintained its traditional values of making Italian coffee of outstanding quality. The brand came into existence when its founder, Alfonso Bialetti invented its first Moka Express, which made the process of making coffee faster while equally enhancing its taste.
Although Bialetti is more popularly known for its Bialetti coffee machines which have revolutionized the way Italians make and enjoy coffee, the brand also manufactures Italian coffee, whose origins are 100 percent Arabica. It offers two major ground coffee options: Napoli and Milano. Both coffees offer a unique Italian coffee experience and both are perfect for your Moka.
Light roasted Bialetti Milano is made from 100 percent Arabica beans, with a delicate body and dried fruit aroma while dark roasted Bialetti Napoli is made from a blend of Robusta and Arabica blend, delivering a full-bodied cup of coffee with a bitter cocoa aroma.
5. Eight O’clock Coffee
This brand enjoys widespread popularity due to its extensive array of coffee products that it developed and perfected over the last 150 years. Eight O’clock Coffee started out by launching whole bean coffee in the USA, which it sources from Latin America to East Africa. The North American brand also holds a significant market share in Italy as it does across different countries, thanks to its Italian-spiked coffees.
All of this brand’s coffees are carefully roasted using 100 percent Arabica beans for maximum quality and taste. Whether you prefer whole bean, single-origin, flavored, or single-serve coffee, you can always find something that suits your preferences. For a delicious cup of Italian coffee, try Eight O’clock Coffee Dark Italian Roast or its Dark Italian Espresso Whole Bean Coffee.
6. Peet’s Coffee
Peet’s Coffee’s beginnings can be traced back to the mid-1960s when its founder, Alfred Peet, introduced the United States to its darker roasted Arabica coffee in blends including French roast and grades appropriate for espresso drinks. Today, the company is a premium coffee roaster that delivers the freshest, deep-roasted beans for home and office enjoyment. The brand is considered one of the biggest rivals of Starbucks.
Although Peet’s Coffee is an American brand, it also caters to the coffee needs of Italians with a range of products, which are all made from pure Arabica beans. One of the brand’s Italian coffees the Italian Roast Ground Coffee, which is so named for the dark roasting style common in southern Italy. Its flavor notes are smoky-sweet, intense, and Perfetto.
Tassimo is yet another Italian coffee brand that has enjoyed its fair share of fame in the previous years. First introduced in France in 2004 before it spread across the world, the Tassimo brand is owned by Jacobs Douwe Egberts. The company is widely known for its consumer single-serve coffee system that prepares one-cup servings of various kinds of coffee drinks even though its coffees are made by Gevalia.
Much like every other coffee brand on the list, Tassimo has a robust product line that includes different types of coffees including ground and whole beans. The brand’s Italian coffee is the Dark Roast Coffee T-Discs, which delivers an extra bold flavor and full-bodied richness in an easy-to-prepare format. Made from premium Arabica beans, this dark roast Italian coffee is sharp and intense, reminiscent of brews served in the finest European cafes.
8. Medaglia D’Oro
Megdalia D’Oro is an Italian term that means gold medal, which is typically a prize awarded to the first winner in a contest or competition. Moving to the history of this brand, Medaglia D’Oro was founded in 1924 and quickly became a traditional favorite in the country. The demand for its coffees surged among Italian-American families, who brought their passion for espresso with them and also with people from other nationalities who wanted a genuine Italian coffee experience.
Going further, Medaglia D’Oro boasts a couple of coffee products that have been specifically made to give off the unique taste and aroma of coffee made in Italy. One of such fantastic products is the Medaglia D’Oro Italian Roast Espresso Ground Coffee, which the brand claims can make an exquisite tazza latte, cappuccino, or espresso Italiano. All the products from this brand are made of 100 percent Arabica beans.
9. Pellini Café
Headquartered in Bussolengom Verona, Italy, Pellini Café is a privately held coffee company that specializes in the importing, roasting, and packaging of coffee. The brand was founded in 1922 as an Import Company of colonial wares but shifted its focus to coffee as its core business in 1947. Pellini Café is currently administered by the third generation of the Pellini family.
Pellini Top is one of the Italian coffees from the brand, manufactured to offer the authentic Italian coffee experience. It is made 100 percent from Arabica beans and has been slowly roasted to improve its harmonious and gentle taste. Another product to try is the Pellini Coffee espresso, which is a blend of Arabica and Robusta beans, delivering a coffee-bodied and well-balanced taste with an intense aroma.
10. Filicori Zecchini
This brand’s story can best be described as one of passion and coffee as it was founded shortly after the end of World War 1. Its founders, Aldo Filicori and Luigi Zecchini decided to start a commercial activity in Bologna, which eventually blossomed into an international company.
For an Italian, full-bodied cup of coffee with contrasting flavors, reach out for the medium-dark roast Filicori Zecchini Whole Coffee Bean Italian Espresso. It has been roasted to match Italian preferences and is perfect for Espresso coffee, cappuccino, macchiato, and latte.
Although coffee does not grow in Italy, there is a unique way of processing the beans for a unique taste and aroma that Italian coffee lovers know too well. Because not all brands know the art of roasting and grinding coffee beans the Italian way, it is important to know the brands that do so you can know where to look when you crave a good cup of Italian coffee. Now that you know the best Italian coffee brands, you can go ahead to enjoy the drink whenever you want to.