A wide-ranging coffee project on the cusp of innovation and entrepreneurship

An engrossing holistic work for all coffee lovers 

Understand to innovate is the philosophy running through Coffee Sapiens, the book that Lavazza has contributed to Ferran Adrià’s grand Bullipedia encyclopedia project about fine dining in the West. 

The leading role in Coffee Sapiens is played by the extended universe of coffee, which becomes a place of knowledge and debate in a book that doesn’t approach coffee only as a product, but also considers the ecosystem out of which it springs and develops, from production to end consumer. The content of Coffee Sapiens covers history, consumption, production and coffee varieties, but also industry and business, offering a 360-degree panorama analysing all the contexts in which it is found, as well as illustrating the notions needed to understand the secrets of the world of coffee, with an approach that is interconnected but orderly.

With Coffee Sapiens, Lavazza and Ferran Adrià continue to explore coffee in all its forms and methods of expression. Using the fascinating “Sapiens” multidisciplinary approach, involving the taxonomic cataloguing and analysis of food products in the world of coffee in order to provide a way to share knowledge about it, the book acts as a gateway to study the evolution of the world’s cultures, people’s habits and customs, and ongoing technological innovation. 

“The journey we’ve embarked on with Lavazza has encouraged me to push the limits of experimentation. The idea of being able to take coffee out of its centuries-old convictions aroused my curiosity,” said Ferran Adrià. “It is a philosophy that is shared by the elBulli team and its natural outlet is the Bullipedia project, to show how coffee too can be unusual and surprising, and stimulate research into borders we still can’t imagine”.

Coffee Sapiens is a product of the partnership, dating back almost 20 years, between Lavazza and Ferran Adrià, built on a shared commitment to study and innovation that over the years has encouraged them to explore and experiment with the art of coffee. This has involved new techniques, concepts and tasting methods, but always with the essential prerequisite of absolute quality, leading in 2000 to the development at the Training Center of the concept of Coffee Design, or food design applied to coffee. With this approach, coffee officially enters the world of high gastronomy and takes on new forms, like a sphere, a lens or a foam, going beyond the sensory, gustatory and olfactory experience.

“Right from our very first meeting, Ferran Adrià stimulated us with new insights to go beyond and see coffee through new eyes, embracing contamination and experimentation,” said Marcello Arcangeli, Head of Training Centre Lavazza Group. “With him, we have focused on the hidden voices of coffee, those belonging to all the people who work to grow, process, distribute and bring it into our everyday lives. The Sapiens methodological approach has revealed new pathways, enabling us to extend our knowledge across the entire coffee matrix. We are convinced that ‘Coffee Sapiens’ can become an innovation accelerator for all coffee lovers like us”. 

A guide to understanding coffee in its entirety, an integral part of our daily lives and a handbook for catering professionals looking for all-round expertise on the subject, but also a book with stunning artwork for enthusiasts and the curious.

The multimedia platform gives a much wider public access to the Sapiens approach and content, turning it in practice into an open project from which everyone can benefit and that can potentially be applied to other areas of research. This is the philosophy that permeates both Lavazza and Bullifoundation: the desire to share knowledge, not least through the use of digital tools that make it immediately accessible to everyone.

The project also draws on Lavazza’s historic partnership with the Pollenzo University of Gastronomic Sciences, the dynamic and highly international education and research institute which has grown up around the Slow Food movement and is founded on culinary excellence.

Coffee Sapiens is published by Phaidon Press and is available at www.elbullistore.com and www.phaidon.com and, from April 15th in the main bookstores for £100.


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