P'Chelle Archives

Lavazza Coffee Museum in Turin, Italy


Courtesy of the Lavazza Group


Luigi Luvazza was born on April 24, 1859 in the Italian community of Murisengo, 22 miles east of Turin. His parents were peasant farmers, struggling to carve out a living from the mountainous countryside. In 1885 at 26 years of age Luigi, like many a lad from the Piedmont region of Italy, migrated to the big city of Turin in search of opportunity. He worked during the day and attended trade school at night, where he earned a diploma in chemistry.

In 1895 he made an investment that changed his life and the Italian coffee industry forever. With his own savings and a loan from a former employer, Luigi opened a small grocery store in Via San Tommaso, the historic district of Turin. The store specialized in spices, soap, spirits, oil and coffee. It was coffee that captured his imagination and fueled his ambition. He purchased raw coffee beans from a supplier in Genoa and roasted them in the back of his store. He became a “coffee scholar,” studying the origins and characteristics of coffee plants, the art of blending beans from throughout the world and traveling to Brazil to learn from the experts. Lavazza is given credit for inventing the concept of blending from different geographic areas, considered a distinctive marketing feature today. He created the perfect combination, a blend loved by the people and the key to a growing coffee empire.

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