Since 1870Six generations. The oldest working roastery in all of Italy. A long tradition that for almost 150 years has painstakingly guaranteed the highest quality coffee, by following ancient family recipes reverently passed down from one generation to the next. Each cup of Barbera coffee attests to the entire history of one family, and their unique love of coffee. That’s why our exceptional coffee blends possess an unrivalled aroma and taste. Did you know that Caffè Barbera still follows a 150-year-old tradition every New Year? During the first annual coffee bean roast a bottle of champagne is poured into the blend, and the resulting coffee is shared between all workers and colleagues. This is meant bring good luck to everyone for the rest of the year. Now that’s tradition!
At the plant To guarantee our high quality blends Caffè Barbera carefully selects the most prized varieties of coffee beans from producers in Brazil, India, Ethiopia, Indonesia, Colombia, Costa Rica, Nicaragua, and Honduras. For over three generations all our coffee beans have been directly sourced, and we are proud to have built successful long-term relationships with local producers. Additionally, before being roasted, all varieties of coffee bean are individually analysed and assessed in a meticulous process to make sure they match our specific criteria. Caffè Barbera’s 150 years of experience allows us to recognise the unique characteristics of each type of coffee bean and select only the very best, an essential skill when it comes to creating the perfect blend.
The art of roasting The attention that Caffè Barbera pays to the roasting process is indicative of the uncommon craft required to produce a product of the highest quality. First each individual variety of coffee bean is separately slow roasted for 12 to 16 minutes, which exalts and protects its unique natural characteristics. All roasting takes place in Naples, the mythical land of the espresso, where our two vintage roasting machines from 1967 and 1969 are still used. A third generation master-roaster attentively oversees the whole process. After the roasting is finished, the beans are air-cooled (never with water) causing internal aromatic substances present in the coffee beans to condense. Caffè Barbera does not store or package the coffee beans immediately after cooling, but rather gives them time to mature in controlled temperatures, so as to balance the natural layers of oils and fats that form the rich aroma and flavour of coffee. Each individual step requires the dedicated attention and expertise that can only come from almost 150 years of tradition.
The Superior Blends No single variety of coffee bean can create, by itself, the perfect espresso. So in order to bestow our blends with a precise balance of taste, aroma, and texture we take different varieties of Arabica and Robusta, separately slow roast them, and then blend them using an ancient family recipe. Our master blenders follow a method that has been passed down from one generation of the Barbera family to the next since 1870. In fact the precise way we create our special Barbera blend remains a highly protected secret, and as of today only three people in the entire world know it.
Contributions to the coffee industryAs a recognized expert in coffee science, Carmelo Barbera published a definitive book on coffee roasting: “From the Bean to the Consumer”. His research was also published in various English food science journals. Moreover Carmelo Barbera published articles such as: “Gas-Volumetric Method for the Determination of the Internal Non-Odorous Atmosphere of Coffee Beans and Identification of Cystine, Methionine and Proline in Raw and Roasted Coffee” in peer reviewed journals. In 1994, Enrico Barbera spoke, as one of the keynote speakers at Costa Rica’s Sintercafé VIII, on how to overcome a problem that has long troubled the coffee industry: how to overcome the decline of sales during summer? This was a high-profile acknowledgement of Caffè Barbera’s success, beginning in the 1960s, developing summer-focused coffee blends and coffee products. Caffè Barbera continues to be an industry leader of this market segment today.