Quote: “Will we love or loathe the Lavazza leviathan?”
Lavazza launched in 2007 and currently has a 40 seat Espression Café in Harrods. According to Luke Nicholls on the Big Hospitality site ‘its only stand-alone site is in Manchester’s Trafford Centre’ and the new shops to grace our streets will be on ‘Villiers Street in April then Cannon Street in June’.
With Lavazza preparing to open 400 new coffee shops, what can they offer us coffee lovers (or should I say addicts) that the other big names can’t?
It’s a question I can’t really answer until the Villiers Street shop opens in April, but I’m going to give it a go anyway. Its current position in the Trafford Centre, Manchester has, according to the Trafford Centre website, a ‘fresh modern ambiance’. Plus it does provide a few facilities such as: bottle warming (milk for babies not red wine), coffee cocktails made by skilled baristas, plus coffee and food offers e.g. spend a minimum of £5 on food and get a free classic coffee.
It sounds interesting enough to take a little trip to in April, but it doesn’t sound particularly pioneering and I’m not breaking out in an impatient sweat. Maybe the question should be: what are we hoping for?
Personally, I would like the friendliness and speediness of Starbucks with the intimacy and quirkiness of most of the independents. Above all, and call me strange, I would like a good cup of coffee; weird eh? A normal cup size is fine, it doesn’t have to sustain me for the whole day, but it must absolutely, and this is a deal breaker, it must absolutely not be BURNT! This, for me, is the most criminal and unfortunately the most frequently committed crime of the coffee maker. A great brand can be ruined in an instant (subconscious pun). I would also like somewhere with a variety of seats; I like to write in cafés so a decent table and chair would be handy, but comfy seats and sofas are great for a lazy lounge in.
Ultimately, I think, with the success of the café in general and specifically the big names, Lavazza will be popular with the masses. Whether it fulfils my needs or other like-minded coffee lovers remains to be seen. Good luck Lavazza and ciao for now.