over 140 years of passion for coffee

We are proud to announce the opening of our latest location here in Hillcrest in beautiful San Diego, California.

The Founder

Messina, 1870. The bracing air of early morning is enriched with intense fragrances from via Garibaldi where the little shop of colonial products and tobacco radiates light and aromas onto the street.

On the pavement, Domenico Barbera is roasting coffee in a small roaster. He does this every day with the meticulousness of the Piemontese, which still lives inside him, and with the cheerfulness of the Mediterranean people, who, by this time he felt he had become.

Domenico, "the Magician", as his affectionate customers nicknamed him, saw for himself the growth of his children and his small business alike.

The new coal-fired roaster, with the mythical name "Tornado", could roast as much as thirty kilos of coffee at one time, was the pride and joy of the Barbera family.

Oh yes, it is indeed a business, but one day in 1903, Domenico "the Coffee Magician", who was not yet seventy, died of a sudden illness. Then during the earthquake of 1908, one of his two sons lost his life.


Second Generation

The whirlwind of emotions surrounding these events, which occurred in cruel succession, enriched and strengthened Domenico's son Antonio. Left alone, to carry on, Antonio continued to develop the business, building on it’s quality and reputation.

Under his careful management, attention to quality and concern for maintaining image, Antonio built on the early success of his father. In the period between the two World Wars, the Magician's coffee was the coffee most drunk in Southern Italy.

The severe destruction caused by bombing during second World War did not destroy the iron will of Antonio to revive the business and rebuilt it he did.

Third Generation

In 1947, Antonio with his son Letterio, opened a new factory in Naples. This factory in the Naples area represents a risk taken and won against all odds, being successful where coffee is history and culture, where coffee was literature in the liberty-style cafes and of which the memory has not been forgotten, is indeed a near impossible act. At the end of the day this bet was a winning bet.

In 1951 Letterio created the Milan branch; the distribution force was enlarged by a network of dealers all over Italy, and soon the famous Barbera coffee could be enjoyed everywhere.


Fourth Generation

In 1953 the research and development era began in the Barbera company; The transition from handicraft to industry required a new approach; how to control product quality, to improve processes and to develop new products.

Carmelo, on returning from the U.S.A., where he had taken a Masters in Chemical Engineering at Columbia University (NY), established a chemical laboratory alongside the factory.

The aim was to update the productive processes of the company on a scientific level. This simple perception demonstrated very quickly how the origin of scientific activity diversified, including basic research and application of this in productive technology field. In the effort to cooperate with the international coffee community, impressive results were published in scientific magazines.

This was the first coffee laboratory in Italy.


Fifth Generation

In 1999 Barbera acquired the Tris Caffè brand to gain a larger share of the national market. In 2002 Barbera created its first coffee menu: the winning idea was to use espresso coffee as a basic ingredient to be served in eighteen flavorsome ways. In 2003 it launched a new challenge: a unique concept called the Café Barbera and opened the first Café Barbera in Dubai. During these years Barbera Café expanded the business at the global level.



The coffee magician Barbera, a joint-stock company since 1978, distributes its products all over Italy as well as to 30 countries over 5 continents. Most recently, in America, Barbera will begin selling to those that have tasted history in their visits to Italy and other parts of the world.

Now OPEN our first Cafe in the USA in San Diego, please join us in May for our opening in Hillcrest!

In addition, the Company has been the recipient of several awards for its outstanding quality, the most important award achieved to date has been the unconditional approval of its customers.

in Hillcrest

3614 5th Avenue San Diego, CA 92103

619.683.CAFE (2233)

in Hillcrest

3614 5th Avenue

San Diego, CA 92103

619.683.CAFE (2233)