Tasting Lavazza Caffè Decaffeinato decaf coffee

by Nigel Ong

Decaf coffee usually gets a bad rep – people either consider decaf coffee drinkers’ wimps’ or simply dismiss it for its weaker flavor. 

However, things have improved significantly with the improvements in the decaffeination process and blending. Some roasters successfully blended decaf coffee to taste just as good as the original. 

Will this be the same case for the Lavazza Caffè Decaffeinato Roast? I picked up a can to find out. 

In this review, I will sample the Lavazza Caffè Decaffeinato. I’ll brew the coffee several ways and then sample it with popular flavorings. I’ll also compare the roast with relevant coffees to see if you should try it.

About Lavazza Caffè Decaffeinato Roast

Lavazza is a leading European coffee brand renowned for its high-quality European-style coffee. You may have seen Lavazza as coffee roasts on your grocery shelves or it’s signage plastered on coffee shops near you. 

Lavazza was first established in 1895 in Turin, Italy, by Luigi Lavazza. At the time, it was a modest grocery shop. Fast forward to today, it is now a global conglomerate. 

Aside from roasting and selling coffee, Lavazza also runs numerous espresso bars and cafés, and you might recognize Lavazza signage in coffee shops in your area. 

Lavazza is also quite a leader in coffee tech, pioneering the capsule system for espresso, which gave rise to the overall trends of coffee pods – think of your K-Cups, Nespresso, and so on. 

Caffè Decaffeinato simply means decaf coffee in Italian. You can get them in beans, ground coffee, or pods. 

First Impression

I must admit I did not set out to look for my can of Caffè Decaffeinato. I was looking for Crema E Gusto, and the Caffè Decaffeinato is beside it. That made me pick one up to take home. 

My can of Caffè Decaffeinato comes in a metal tin. However, you can get yours in vacuum-sealed packs or regular coffee bags. There are also coffee pods and capsules if you are into those.

The coloring is easily distinguishable from other Lavazza roasts. Caffe Decaffeinato uses a light blue and white combination, giving it a lighter appearance. I think it also helps to visually give a cue that this is a lighter roast.

I can confirm this, as the coffee has a mild intensity of 3 out of 10 on the can. I can also read that the coffee is a medium roast, and the caffeine was removed using a ‘natural method.’ 

There are no further details about the caffeine removal process. I assume they use the Swiss Water process, as it balances cost and flavor. The roast is, however, 100% Arabica. 

Once I removed the plastic lid, a sheet of aluminum foil protects the coffee inside. Lift the tab and pull away to reveal the content. Once I do that, my nose immediately picks up the fragrance of coffee. 

My nose picked up fruity sweetness, something close to dried fruits, perhaps raisins. There’s also a bit of nuttiness, perhaps similar to peanuts. 

I cannot examine the beans directly because my coffee comes pre-ground. Still, the grounds are lighter dark brown, consistent with a medium roast.

How Does Lavazza Caffè Decaffeinato Roast Taste?

I’ll brew the Lavazza Caffè Decaffeinato with three brewing methods – one immersion, one filtration, and one as espresso.

French Press: This technique should get me dense, robust coffee with particles and sediments. I anticipate a ‘dirty’ and full-bodied coffee here.

Pour Over with Filter Paper: This method should produce a ‘cleaner’ coffee devoid of excess oils and particles. This should allow the more delicate flavors to shine through.

Espresso: Although typically associated with darker roasts, I find espresso great in condensing flavors. I want to see how the Caffe Decaffeinato behaves as an Espresso.

French Press

For the French press, I used my Bodum Caffettiera French press. Keeping to my usual 1:12 coffee-to-water ratio, I brought together 15 grams of coffee and 180ml of hot water at around 185°F (about 85°C). 

I then stir the ground coffee and let the concoction brew for 4 minutes before pouring.

The coffee looks regular once brewed, with a lighter brown color and a bit of transparency. The aroma is slightly sweet and fruity, with not much smoke. 

All seem to point to a medium or light roast, which the Caffe Decaffeinato is.

On the first sip, I immediately noticed how easy the coffee was to drink. This coffee has little harshness or big ‘smashes’ on my palate. It is definitely not very smoky or woody.

Instead, the coffee has a mellow, bittersweet flavor. I also picked up some nutty notes and sweetness that is fruity in taste. 

A quick check at the coffee can confirm this; Lavazza claims that the Caffe Decaffeinato has dried fruit notes. 

As I sipped the coffee, I also noticed how light the finish of this coffee was. The flavors disappear quickly once you swallow, making you want to chase it with another sip. After I swallowed the coffee, a soft aftertaste lingered on my tongue; chocolate or cocoa, maybe?

Pour Over With Filter Paper

My pour-over brew setup includes the following:

I applied Starbucks’s same pour-over brewing method, keeping a 1:18 water ratio to coffee. I also used hot, slightly off-boiling water at around 185°F (about 85°C). 

As expected, the pour-over version looks lighter in color compared to the French press brew. I visually confirmed this, too – when I look at the coffee from the bottom of my transparent glass cup, I see fewer coffee sediments.

This means the filter paper has done its job – removing finer coffee particles that the steel mesh of my French press cannot. 

This cuts into the already light Lavazza Caffè Decaffeinato, making it even less smoky and woody. If you find the French press coffee too strong, this is an option for you to try. 

However, the filter paper also absorbed some of the coffee oils, meaning the coffee does have a lighter flavor than the French press ones. 

The fruity and chocolate notes blend well here and complement each other instead of fighting each other. However, my palate prefers the French press version.


I’m sure Lavazza did not blend the Caffè Decaffeinato to be brewed as an espresso. However, I was curious to see how the coffee would taste when I packed all the flavors into one small cup. Will I taste something new? 

I pulled out my trusty Wacaco Minipresso GR, a cool little gadget that’s way easier on the wallet than a full-blown espresso machine, and gave it a go. It is a hand-held, manually operated, and portable espresso maker.

The result? I get a shot of rich, thick espresso with beautiful, velvety crema on top. Visually, the crema was a bit lighter, which makes sense since the Caffe Decaffeinato is a medium roast. This means the beans are not dark, meaning the crema is lighter-colored.

Flavor-wise, the espresso is light, with some smoke and wood flavors. Some chocolatey and fruity notes also make the espresso very easy to sip. Definitely not the type you gulp down.

The only thing that bothers me is the slightly acidic note, especially with the crema. This is, however, a personal preference. If you like a bit of tang in your coffee, you may just like this.

Lavazza Caffè Decaffeinato Roast vs Popular Light Roasts

Next, I thought I’d put the Lavazza Caffè Decaffeinato with other light roasts in my collection. They are:

I brewed all five coffees black with my French press, then sampled them one after the other. 

These are nice light roasts blended to be rounded in texture, body, and flavor. They all seem to have light, bright, and slightly acidic notes. 

Perhaps the only difference between these roasts is the underlying flavors, which could be from the origin of the beans. From here, depending on the flavors you enjoy, you may think one roast may taste better than the other.

From here, I would go with the McCafe Breakfast Blend. It has that softness similar to a cup of English Breakfast Tea and a sweetness that reminds me of fresh bread melting on my tongue. 

I would put the Caffe Decaffeinato behind the McCafe, Green Mountain, and the Starbucks Roast. 

Is Lavazza Caffè Decaffeinato Roast For You?

Caffè Decaffeinato is a decent medium roast with a pleasant combination of chocolate and dried fruit notes. Best of all, it is decaffeinated, meaning you should be able to drink them without the jitters later.

I can easily see this as a regular, easy, reliable coffee you go to drink every day. It is also quite versatile, working quite well with sweeteners or fat.

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