Torrefazione Italia

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Torrefazione Italia is a former coffee roaster and café franchise, now a high-end brand of Starbucks coffee beans sold in grocery stores.

History[edit]

The first Torrefazione Italia café opened in Seattle, Washington in 1986. Espresso, coffee and baked goods were served in their cafés.

Umberto Bizzarri, Torrefazione's founder, teamed up with Stewart Brother's Coffee (later renamed Seattle's Best Coffee) founder, Jim Stewart, in the mid 1980s to create Seattle Coffee Holdings. This new company built a more modern roasterie on Vashon Island, Washington in 1995 and manufactured Seattle's Best Coffee and Torrefazione Italia Coffee. Seattle Coffee Holdings was purchased in 1998 by AFC Enterprises and renamed Seattle Coffee Company.

Torrefazione Italia expanded to other cities in North America, notably, Vancouver BC, the San Francisco Bay Area, Portland, Boston, Chicago, and Dallas. Their coffees are also wholesaled to restaurants, hotels, bakeries and cafés.

Starbucks, another Seattle-based coffee company, purchased Torrefazione Italia along with Seattle's Best Coffee in 2003. Starbucks announced in 2005 that all 17 Torrefazione Italia cafés would be closed before the end of the year,[1] and all of the San Francisco retail locations were closed on 27 October 2005. The coffee brand has been retained, however, and the coffee is available throughout the United States in coffee shops, hotels, resorts, offices, schools, hospitals, and elsewhere.

Caffè Umbria[edit]

Main article: Caffè Umbria

The Bizzarri family has since started another roaster and coffee chain, Caffè Umbria, which was started by third-generation roaster Emanuele Bizzarri, son of Umberto.[2] Umbria has been roasting since 2002, and opened its first retail branch in Seattle in 2005, following Starbucks' decision to shutter the Torrefazione cafés. The first Umbria branch is in fact the first Torrefazione branch, at 320 Occidental Avenue in Pioneer Square. As of late 2009, there are two branches: the Seattle Branch and a Portland branch in the Pearl District, while the wholesale coffee is sold more widely in cafés.

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