The brand “Specialità Caffè Hausbrandt” was founded in 1892 in Trieste, establishing itself as the first Italian coffee roasting company. Hermann Hausbrandt, a captain of the Austrian Merchant Marine, started a business that roasted and sold coffee in Trieste. Captain Hermann Hausbrandt's entrepreneurial genius solved one of the greatest obstacles relating to coffee: transport and storage. Hermann made Hausbrandt the first company to offer products that were processed and packaged in sealed metal containers at the production plant.
The company has offered high quality coffee since its inception, and the first Hausbrandt slogan, “Specialità Caffè Hausbrandt”, highlights their coffee's ongoing status as a premium beverage. The slogan was added to the coffee packages and placed on the first company vehicles, implementing an advertising campaign that was unheard of in that era and that soon made the name Hausbrandt synonymous with coffee.
In the last decade of the 1800s, Trieste came under Habsburg rule once again and, due in part to the opening of the Vienna-Trieste railway line, the city was elevated to the rank of capital of the Austrian Littoral, quickly becoming the Austro-Hungarian Empire's third city. Coffee importation and trade continued to be one of Trieste's primary activities, and such was its importance that the "Associazione degli Interessi nel Commercio del Caffè" (Coffee Traders Association), an organization that still exists today, was founded on 17 September, 1891.
During the 1910s, Caffè Hausbrandt, the first Italian coffee roasting company, launched an innovative advertising programme at the height of the Belle Époque that made use of the period’s primary means of communication. The romantic subjects chosen for the first campaign were “the little old people”, characters that are still among the most recognizable symbols of the company today. “The little old people” thus established a new advertising philosophy for Hausbrandt that featured the artwork of the great Dudovich and focused on “i momenti del caffè”, interpreted in their everyday nature. The slogan was added to the coffee packages and placed on the first company vehicles, implementing an advertising campaign that was unheard of in that era.
At the forefront of image and product innovation, Caffè Hausbrandt was the first to create a line of cups that had a unique design and displayed the company’s logo, which were released in 1935.The slogan was the same one that appeared in their advertisements and on their products for more than half a century: "Specialità Caffè Hausbrandt". In keeping with this company tradition, Hausbrandt Trieste 1892 S.p.A. currently offers a line of cups with a design inspired by the 1935 progenitor to complement the prestigious 100% Arabica Gourmet blend.
The 1940s brought challenging times to most businesses, including Caffè Hausbrandt. Despite the tragedies of World War II, the company survived and maintained its identity as the largest coffee roasting company in Italy, retaining its historic premises throughout the country. The Italian coffee industry experienced renewed growth immediately after World War II, due primarily to the efforts of Virginio Zanetti, who pioneered and financed new business activities beginning in 1945. During the post-war boom, Virginio Zanetti personally promoted the creation of important coffee roasting plants in various cities, many of which are still operating today. With clients that included the majority of the companies in the Italian coffee industry, Zanetti was able to guarantee a continual turnover of approximately 100,000 sacks of raw material and constant product availability in their warehouses at the Port of Trieste.
The familiar Caffè Hausbrandt logo, "Moka" the coffee maker pot, first came about in the 1960s. "Moka" was born out of the creative genius of Luciano Biban, a Venice native whose ability to combine advertising and art made him an exceptional representative of Fiulian graphics. "Moka" has been updated over the years, but he is still the beloved logo of Caffè Hausbrandt. While the logo has continually evolved several times over the history of the company to respond to ever-changing market demand and popular taste, the company's slogan; “Specialità Caffè Hausbrandt”; has remained the same throughout this time. These three simple words have been used during all the different periods, carrying with it the powerful value of tradition, which is now even stronger after a century of history.
Beginning in 1968, Martino Zanetti started laying the foundation for what would become one of the most symbolic companies in the coffee world. After serving his country as an officer in the Alpini (mountain troops), Martino Zanetti decided to start his own business rather than joining his father's company. This independent business initiative aimed to increase the value of gourmet coffee selections by placing a greater emphasis on aesthetics and taste than on mere market share. As the realm of elite consumers who sought sophisticated, high-quality products had never before been explored, the company's interest in capturing this market signalled a sort of break from the past. The young entrepreneur Martino Zanetti was able to rent a small, but well-equipped, roasting business in the March of Treviso.
Martino Zanetti relied on the close connection between tradition and modernity – values that have always distinguished the history of the "Caffè Hausbrandt" brand. Following a series of acquisitions that brought a decade-long development plan to a close, the historic brand "Caffè Hausbrandt" was incorporated into the company's holdings, adding value to this group of businesses as a quality company with both a Central European and transnational nature. Under Martino Zanetti's diligent management, the product research and analysis laboratories, as well as the consolidated roasting plant at Nervesa della Battaglia, were updated with the most recent technology, thereby allowing the entire coffee processing process to be monitored with the utmost care and professionalism. Respecting the spirit in which the company was established, its founding year is highlighted in the current company name: Hausbrandt Trieste 1892 S.p.A.
In 1997 a collaboration arose between Centro Studi Ricerche Ligabue (Ligabue Research Centre) and Martino Zanetti, with Hausbrandt Trieste 1892 S.p.A. This collaboration resulted in the discovery of the Sipan pyramids in Peru and the excavation of an impressive Moche architectural complex, known as Pampa Grande, located approximately 30 km from Sipan. This majestic pyramid with overlapping bodies and monumental entrance ramps, the largest sides of which measure more than 230 meters and have an approximate height of 35 meters, revealed aspects of the religious and political life of the Moche.
Hausbrandt Trieste 1892 S.p.A. is not only an historical coffee comapny, it is also an award-winning coffee producer. Over the course of the company's history, it has won various awards and accolades for the quality of its efforts. Among the most recent of these is the Gold Award – Certificate of Excellence from the prestigious Brand Design Association in New York for the restyling of the Hausbrandt logo (the historical "Moka") and a Gold Medal awarded by the l'Accademia Maestri Pasticceri Italiani "for the best Italian cup of espresso coffee" at the XI Symposium. In 2003 for the centennial celebration of the founding of the Associazione Industriali di Trieste (Industrial Association of Trieste), held in Verdi Theatre, Hausbrandt Trieste 1892 S.p.A., along with Assicurazioni Generali, received a gold medal to commemorate the two companies that founded the association a century before.
Today, the company has headquarters in Nervesa della Battaglia and direct distribution companies in Slovenia and Austria, as well as a series of authorized partners operating in various countries. This pursuit of excellence, the result of a continued commitment to high quality, has led Hausbrandt Trieste 1892 S.p.A. to hold an important position in the world of coffee, both in Italy and internationally. Hausbrandt label is available in more than 70 countries around the world and is recognized and valued not only for the excellent quality of its products, but also for the relationship the company has established with customers thanks to its reliable partners.