The annual Lavazza calendar - one of the most genuinely anticipated events of the beverage year - has made its appearance. It is always shot by a ritzy photographer, always lavishly produced, often brought out in a very big wall-calendar size (but sometimes available as a desk version)… and often extremely hard to get hold of.
To have a Lavazza calendar on the wall is, in some parts of the coffee trade, a sign of one-upmanship.
The latest one is the 17th edition, and the theme is Italianity, a word which Lavazza has recently coined as a promotional term to promote its image as ‘Italy's favourite coffee'.
The pictures are by the celebrity photographer Annie Leibovitz, and the images feature some of Italy's most well-known icons and landmarks … and indeed an Italian ‘supermodel', Electtra Rossellini Wiedemann, the grand-daughter of Ingrid Bergman and co-founder of the charity www.justonefrickinday.com (say it slowly!) which exists to work on a small number of projects for the disadvantaged in various parts of the world.
According to a Lavazza spokesman, the favourite shot among women is the recreation of the Trevi fountain, as seen in the film by Felliniâ¦ and the favourite among men is the Barbarella-like image of the model in a dish of spaghetti.
At the same time as the launch of the calendar, Lavazza has introduced the Modo Mio coffee machine, which will be a direct competitor to the 'capsule' format pioneered by Nespresso.
Lavazza has had such a format itself for several years, but the new machine offers the chance for capsule-based espresso drinks to be made in the home, or boutique restaurants which only have a requirement of a few espresso-based drinks a night.
By Ian Boughton