Yesterday’s Independent (London) interviewed Giuseppe Lavazza, the “crown prince of the world’s biggest independent coffee company” — a.k.a. Lavazza: The family that grew rich on the other black stuff – Business Analysis & Features, Business – The Independent.

The coffee story from Lavazza is that, at least in Italy, espresso is not a commodity but rather a true pleasure. “It’s like running a clothes boutique, where you choose certain clothes to give a look, philosophy and style. We do something similar with coffee,” said Mr. Lavazza. High concept indeed.

Like Starbucks, Lavazza has focused on building their brand through ownership more than partnership. Except in Lavazza’s case, they have funded these efforts by reinvesting profits rather than turning to the public stock market.

As noted in the article, Lavazza most recently acquired the Barista and Fresh & Honest coffee chains in India. Within a couple of weeks, yours truly will be in India to check out the local coffee scene for himself. We will be sure to report back.