Anyone who knows me knows that as well as being a Tile Addict I am a total and utter Coffee Fiend. And my caffeine fix of choice is Lavazza red. So, as I am about to jet off to Bologna to sample the delights of Cersaie with my good buddy John (the Behemoth) Passmore, imagine my sheer delight when this story appeared in my computer’s in box. So I am putting tiles to one side today to share my other great passion with fellow tile addicts.
Tile Addict’s favourite Italian coffee brand Lavazza has created a flagship store and café in the centre of Milan, where it is seeking to engage customers in a multi-sensory themed coffee experience. UK agency JHP has designed the space, which seeks to present the everyday ingredient of coffee in surprising new ways, while embodying every aspect of the Lavazza brand. The store pioneers Coffee Design, an ‘artform’ created by Lavazza to offer innovative and unusual flavour combinations.
Experiential elements of the store embrace both tradition and innovation in coffee, offering everything from traditional espresso to exclusive Coffee Design ranges. The opening is part of a wider strategy to illustrate Lavazza’s expertise, capitalising on its 120 year history and its modern creativity.
“The opening in Milan, a city that has in recent years gained considerable global attention, is part of a wider-reaching international strategy with the important, yet challenging objective of helping to renew the brand’s image. This is the first phase of a process that will see the opening of new Flagship Stores in key markets for Lavazza,” says Vice Chairman, Giuseppe Lavazza.
Visitors to the store are taken on a journey that introduces them to classic and innovative ways of drinking coffee, in four areas arranged around a central bar. The shape and colours of the bar reflect those of the raw ingredients of Lavazza’s product, the coffee bean. The shape of the bar is reflected in a bespoke chandelier above it, which features a further 640 bean shapes in two sizes.
Each of the four areas introduces customers to a different part of the story of coffee, beginning with Coffee Design. This space introduces surprising recipes, which are prepared in front of customers. Innovations include coffee foam, caviar, cocktails and unexpected solid products.
The second area is dedicated to the discovery and art of roasting and then blending coffee, an Italian innovation introduced by Lavazza founder Luigi Lavazza in 1895. Live blending demonstrations are staged, with selections of best origin and blended beans available to buy. A special ‘San Fedele’ blend – featuring origins from Ethiopia, Guatemala and El Salvador – has been formulated for the Milan store.
A café occupies the third area, offering a unique journey from the north to the south of Italy via historic espresso recipes and regional variations, plus selections of handmade chocolates created by Guido Gobino for Lavazza. The café also serves a full food menu of both sweet and savoury items that seek to reinterpret traditional Italian cuisine in ‘small bite’ formats.
The final area is dedicated to slow coffee, allowing visitors to experience alternative coffee extraction systems such as the syphon, the Chemex, the cold brew and the aeropress.
The store, in the historic Piazza San Fedele, seeks to convey an iconic Italian style in its materials and finishes, and in works by food illustrator and journalist Gianluca Biscalchin displayed on the walls. Bliss!
A new post by Joe Simpson, Diary of a Tile Addict, September 2017