The roots of Excelsior

The roots of the coffee roasting plant Excelsior date back to the early 20th century when the brothers Luigi and Umberto Gianfrè started up their first project: an import-export business, the headquarters was situated in Valdirivo street, they were dealing with groceries and in particular onions.

Since the 19th century, when Trieste used to be the prime port of call for the Austro-Hungarian Empire, the city has been an important landing place for the trade and especially for the import and commerce of coffee, even nowadays it is still one of the most busy ports in the Mediterranean area and that is why Trieste has been called the “Coffee Capital”.


A new beginning

The profitable onion trade of the Gianfrè brothers suffered big difficulties with the beginning of the 1st World War: Luigi was forced to seek exile in Austria and the business activities were suspended. Though Austria is the place where he met his future wife Mizzi Roetzer, who gave him two children: Lisetta (1922) and Armando (1926) Gianfrè.


From the onions to the coffee

The story of Excelsior continues after the end of the 2nd World War when the Gianfrè brothers decided to specialize in the coffee trade: Luigi charged his son Armando with the search of a coffee roasting plant in the Veneto region.


Between Veneto and Venezia Giulia

The search was concluded with the roasting plant in Conegliano. However, Armando was far too in love with Trieste and his fiancee Nella (who he married in the 1954), so he decided to leave the renowned plant to his sister and go back to Trieste in order to found his coffee industry Excelsior.


The first kilogram

Armando acquired the first equipment for coffee processing and on 13th December 1954 he sold the first kilogram of roasted coffee, with the Excelsior packaging. The same day Armando’s son (Roberto) was born, together with his sister he is managing till nowadays the family company Excelsior.


The new headquarters

In the 1959 the offices in the Cumano street were launched and in the 1969 another branch was opened in Gorizia, which however, closed down in 1984.


The new generation

Armando Gianfrè remained the holder till the 2006 when he passed the baton to his children.



Since the very begging the company was family managed: “a company made by persons who work together daily for years with the common aim to guarantee the best service to our clients” Roberto Gianfrè states and remembers his father’s words “our product is our advertisement”. It seems that he was right: the reliability and the commitment which the company demonstrates to each client in every occasion, have contributed to the successful story of Excelsior. Due to the passion and the experience of its roasting masters Excelsior have been accurately and carefully selecting the coffee varieties for 60 years, acquiring only green coffee in order to create the blends according to the Trieste tradition. Unlike many others, Excelsior coffee is not being stored in a warehouse, this is a guarantee to obtain a product which is always freshly roasted. This is a producing aspect preserved by the family in order to respect the traditional ways of preparation and to maintain the original identity of the brand. To discover this ancient art of coffee roasting the Excelsior family invites you to visit its headquarters in the Cumano street. It is simple to find it: when you reach the Trieste hippodrome just close your eyes and the beautiful fragrance of freshly roasted coffee would guide you. In the past few years the company renewed its image and expanded its client portfolio not only in Trieste and Friuli Venezia Giulia but also exporting to Germany, Austria, Hungary, Czech Republic, Poland and other countries. Further more the company is specialized in the producing and the marketing of coffee capsules, distinguishing itself with the high quality and the excellence of its products. In the 2014 Excelsior launched the branches in Croatia and Slovenia affirming its presence abroad.