I tested Lavazza Prontissimo Classico Instant Coffee: Review and photos

lavazza prontissimo classico instant coffee and cup of coffee

by Nigel Ong

Lavazza is a popular coffee product maker and one of the most recognizable Euro-style coffee brands, together with Illy and Nescafe. Aside from roasts, Lavazza also offers instant coffee. 

However, some instant coffee can, unfortunately, taste like dirt. Will premium instant coffees from Lavazza buck the trend? Let’s find out.

In this post, I will try Lavazza’s premium instant coffee, the Prontissimo Classico. I also try to add many popular flavorings into the coffee to see how it tastes.

About The Lavazza Prontissimo Classico

The Lavazza Prontissimo Classico is one of the premium instant coffee within Lavazza’s lineup. The word ‘Prontissimo’ means to be very fast, clearly reflecting its instant coffee status. 

It is made from medium-roasted coffee beans for a more mellow cup of coffee. Aside from the Classico, you can also choose from:

The Classico is made with 100% Arabica beans. 90% of the coffee is soluble crystals, with about 10% finely grounded coffee beans. This should help provide some aroma to the coffee, although I’ll save the judgment when I drink it.

The coffee can for Clasico is identical to the Intenso and Espresso. The only difference is in the color scheme. While the Intenso is gold, the Clasico is silver. A can of the Prontissimo Classico contains 95 grams of instant coffee, enough to make 52 cups. 

How Does The Lavazza Prontissimo Classico Taste?

First Impressions

Once you pop open the plastic lid, a thin sheet of aluminum covers protects the instant coffee granules inside. It comes with a tab for me to easily pull them away. 

This is similar to other premium instant coffees I have reviewed, such as Starbucks Premium Instant Dark Roast or Illy Clasico Roast.

This is better and easier than Nescafe Gold, which needs you to poke a hole and manually tear the lid away. It’s much messier with a Nescafe Gold in this department.

Once I pull the tab, I can see the granules. They are in larger, flat chunks. Similar to the Prontissimo Intenso, there is no aroma. This lack of aroma can be common with many instant coffee. So far, I can think of the Illy Classico and Intenso exceptions.

I decided to bring my nose closer to the coffee granules to smell something. I smell little coffee, but perhaps something like dried seafood, squid, or anchovies. Very odd. There is also some earthiness, but not as much as the Prontissimo Intenso.

I checked the coffee for expiration just to be sure. Perhaps the coffee will reveal itself better once they are made. 

The instructions say to put 1-2 teaspoons of the instant coffee and mix it with water at about 185°F (85°C). There is no recommended water volume, so I used the regular 180ml cup, similar to how I brew other coffees.

Black

When I pour hot water into the coffee granules, it dissolves easily, with little sediment. The hot water also helps the coffee release some aroma, finally making it smell like coffee. The dried seafood smell is no longer present. 

I breathed a sigh of relief as I sipped the coffee into my mouth. This is not a very strong cup of coffee. It is not as smoky as the Prontissimo Intenso and does not deliver too much ‘punch’ to my palate. 

There is also less earthiness. One problem with instant coffee is its strong earthiness. Too much, and the instant coffee just tastes like dirt. The Prontissimo Classico escaped this curse.

The lack of smoke and earthiness allows the coffee to show some character. I tasted some bittersweet notes, perhaps sugarcane-like. 

With Milk

I then poured a shot of fresh UHT cow’s milk into the coffee. The milk changes the coffee to a brownish color, but not as light as when I have creamer inside. 

The milk adds fat to the coffee, which opens up the coffee more to me. The cream helps to make the coffee smoother and silkier in the mouth. 

The fat also makes the coffee richer and complements the flavor well. The lactose in the coffee likely mellows down the bitterness further, making the sweet flavors stronger. 

If you like milk with your coffee, the Prontissimo Classico will be a great instant coffee to try out. 

With Creamer

I then made a new cup of Lavazza Prontissimo Classico. This time, I poured in two sticks of Coffee Mate creamer. A stick is about 4gm or a teaspoon.

The creamer lightened the color of the coffee a lot. The coffee is now lighter than even when I poured a shot of milk in. This is going to be one creamy cup of coffee. 

I was right. Creamers generally add more cream to the coffee than fresh milk, which certainly does it here. The additional cream makes the coffee a lot smoother and thicker. Creamers will satisfy you more than milk if you like fat in your coffee.

The cream also helps mask and mellow the coffee taste, making it much less coffee-like. This does not work for coffee heads like me. However, this combination should taste great if you like very mellow coffee with a creamy taste.

With Sugar

Here is a disclaimer, I am not a fan of having sugar in my coffee. But many do, which means I will do the same in this review. I’ll try to be as objective as possible with my taste and not let my preferences cloud my judgment. 

I added a stick of brown sugar into another fresh cup of Lavazza Prontissimo Classico and stirred the sugars in. As I do that, I notice the coffee picking up more shine and viscosity. 

The coffee tastes sweeter and helps to take away some of the earthiness in it. This makes the coffee smoother and should appeal to many sweet drinkers. 

With Sweetener

Finally, I made another cup, and this time, I tasted it with some sweeteners. In this case, I use Equal, an artificial sweetener made from Aspartame. I added two drops to my coffee and stirred them in. 

The coffee tastes sweet, of course. However, the sweetness is slightly different from regular sugar. It seems to come later, with every initial sip bitter and earthy. The finish is also longer. After I swallow the coffee, the sweet tastes remain on my tongue longer.

With Ice

I quite enjoy sipping on iced coffee, especially on a hot day. Naturally, I thought I should try this coffee with some ice cubes.

The ice cubes surprisingly muted some flavors in the coffee while strengthening some. I noticed the ice muted bittersweet and earthy tastes, which made the coffee smoother. 

I also particularly enjoy how the ice seems to make the coffee more bitter in taste. I like the bitterness in coffee, so this works for me. But I can easily see this strong bitterness as a turn-off in some drinkers.

Lavazza Prontissimo Classico and Intenso coffees side by side

Lavazza Prontissimo Classico vs Intenso

Since I am sampling the Lavazza Prontissimo Classico, I thought I’ll brew another cup of Intenso and taste them side by side to compare them better. 

It is quite obvious that Lavazza created Intenso to be a stronger cup of instant coffee. There is more smoke and earthiness in the coffee. The flavor is also more intense and ‘punchier.’

My tongue prefers medium and light roasts, so I naturally prefer to sip on the Classico rather than the Intenso. However, the Prontissimo Intenso should be a better bet if you like bolder coffee.

Lavazza Prontissimo Classico vs Other Instant Coffee

Compared to other instant coffees, I think the Lavazza Prontissimo Classico belongs in the middle of the pack. 

This is because if you compare this with regular instant coffees like those from Folgers or Nescafe, the Prontissimo Classico has more depth and flavors. 

I also think it tastes better than the Prontissimo Intenso;. However, you may not want to compare them head-to-head. They use coffee beans roasted at different levels. However, against other premium instant coffee, I do not think it is any better. 

The Nescafe Gold and the Starbucks Premium Instant Medium Roast taste better than the Prontissimo Classico. It certainly cannot compete against the Illy Classico, which remains one of the best instant coffees I have ever tasted.

Lavazza Prontissimo Classico vs Regular Coffee

If you are to compare the Prontissimo Classico with regular coffee, I think it may be better than some of them, but not all. With regular coffee, I mean coffee you can get from convenience stores, kiosks, or gas stations. 

Lower-quality regular coffee usually tastes flat, watery, and lacks depth. This is something the Lavazza Prontissimo Classico can compete against. It may lack a strong aroma, but the coffee can be a more satisfactory replacement than drinking your cheap gas station coffee.

However, Some regular coffee can be pretty well brewed, such as those from McCafe or Dunkin. This coffee will beat the Lavazza Prontissimo Classico anytime.

Who Should Enjoy The Lavazza Prontissimo Classico?

Suppose you are tired of drinking regular instant coffee, such as Folgers or Nescafe, and are seeking some kind of upgrade to your regular coffee experience. 

In this case, the Lavazza Prontissimo Classico is an option. This upgrade should elevate your coffee experience without blowing a hole in your pocket. 

It also helps you to save money because it is instant coffee. You do not need to invest in coffee gear like drippers or French presses. 

This coffee should work well if you enjoy lighter or medium roasts. It is a mellow, easy-to-sip coffee. It does not have a bold flavor that delivers a loud punch to your palate the moment you sip them in. This roast may not work if you like your coffee strong and bold. In this case, you may be better off with the Lavazza Prontissimo Intenso or the Starbucks Premium Instant Dark Roast.

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