Coffee Study Program

Pouring heart into coffee

The Coffee Study Program students embark on a journey that will lead them to the coffee plantations of the Dominican Republic. For Kanika and her friends, that voyage starts in Turin, the home of Lavazza. 

At 24, Kanika Joshi had never made coffee using an espresso machine. Certainly not in the capital of Italian coffee – Turin.

She got the opportunity to try, while preparing to embark on an eye-opening journey that would lead her, and three fellow Coffee Study Program students, to the beating heart of the Dominican Republic’s coffee plantations and their communities.

This journey was to be one that flowed ’backwards’: from the enjoyment of coffee in the streets of Turin, to its origins in the plantations of the Caribbean.

There in Lavazza’s hometown, Kanika says, the experience of coffee has a quality of its own.

“The coffee culture in Turin is special. Here, people live coffee ’in the moment’, rather than using it as a simple energy boost.”

Before it is poured into the iconic Italian espresso cups, or in bars across the globe, coffee is the object of tireless creative work and craftsmanship, as Kanika learnt in the Lavazza Training Centre, a veritable coffee university (and, incidentally, the place where Kanika made her first espresso machine-brewed coffee!).

But coffee is, and should be, more that just a product. Along every step of its cycle, from production to consumption, coffee touches the lives of individuals and communities the world over.

That’s why CSR (corporate social responsibility) is a key value all coffee brands must focus on. Gender equality, dignified work conditions, fair pay, sustainability: all this and more is necessary to boost the resilience of coffee-growing communities.

Kanika was surprised to discover that, through its Foundation, Lavazza supports coffee farmers with tools, investments and training, regardless of whether they will become business partners. This, she believes, is the approach the world needs.

“Lavazza don’t simply invest money. They also invest heart in what they do.”

The students’ time in Turin has quickly come to an end. Next stop – the Caribbean.