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The history of coffee, the history of Bontadi

The history of Bontadi runs parallel to the history of coffee. We are the oldest coffee roasting company in Italy, founded in 1790 and handed down from father to son to the present day, following the generations of the Bontadi family, from Carlo to Remo.

In the 18th century, the Bontadi family were large landowners in the Po Valley. In 1790, Carlo Bontadi left the family agricultural business to become a businessman and founded the company carrying his name in Rovereto. An entrepreneur with a keen eye for business, Carlo Bontadi sold, among other things, a product that was reserved for special moments: coffee.
This is how the history of Bontadi coffee began, in an era in which the raw material was purchased raw and then roasted in the home hearth with the same roaster that was used to prepare the raw material for barley coffee. In our museum, visitors can see some of the first of these tools used for household roasting. These are unique and valuable pieces that show how the espresso coffee we drink today on a daily basis at the coffee bar is just the last chapter in a story that began a long time ago.

Commercial coffee roasting: a turning point in the history of coffee

Starting in 1850, Oddone Bontadi expanded the sales network created by his father Carlo and signed the first international contracts for importing coffee, which was also thanks to the development of the railway network in Europe.
In 1890, Iperide began roasting coffee with the first ad hoc equipment, manually run machinery with a capacity of 5 kg per roast. This was a major change in the history of Bontadi coffee. In fact, roasting was transformed into an internal production process in what began to be a company and no longer just a business.
At the beginning of the 20th century, Leo began using the first electrically powered machine with a capacity of 30 kg per roast, thus making the company solidly productive.
With Remo Bontadi, the current representative of the historic family, production reached new peaks in 1954, with equipment able to produce 500 kg of roasted coffee per hour.