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Cafés Trottet:
Half A Century of High Standards

By Lyn Leverett

Theóphile Trottet had been actively trading green coffee since 1932 when he started up his own company, Cafés Trottet, in 1947. In the last 54 years, this Swiss-based company has grown into an international coffee company, yet still manages to remain a family-owned business - Gabriel and Francois Trottet, son and grandson of Theophile, are part of the management board - made up of around 50 employees. Today, Cafés Trottet is headquartered in Geneva, Switzerland. Due to their location near a major transportation hub, the Geneva International Airport, they are able to roast and distribute around 1,500 tons of coffee every year to hotels, restaurants and private businesses.

Trottet, a multifaceted international company, provides a complete package. Not only do they export packed coffee, but they also build commercial, home and vending espresso machines; train personnel and offer 24 hour technical support to clients.

Their coffee - roasted on Probat roasters - is available either in whole bean, ground, or pod form. Before export, the coffees that become Trottet blends are stored on premises and kept at constant temperature and humidity levels. Products include: Savuer Noire, a blend of Costa Rican and Jamaican Arabicas; Mocca Luxe, a blend of Arabicas from Malabar, Honduras, Colombia, and Brazil; Espresso Italien, a mix of Arabicas from Central America and the Santos region of Brazil; Café Viennois, which includes Arabicas from El Salvador and Jamaica and Indonesian Robustas; and Déca Pacific, which is a decaffeinated product. The company prefers to stick to traditional coffees and are not interested in flavorings. Because the entire production is automated, they consistently guarantee the quality of their products. Trottet is always looking to optimize production of all its coffees, whether in beans, ground or in individual pods, and in doing so applies the most demanding criteria. For instance, they use the latest vacuum packaging techniques, assuring the client of freshness and excellence. Tastings and checks are done daily in the laboratory.

Ara Minassian, Cafés Trottet’s export manager, says, “We export to Europe, the Middle East and the Far-East to include, Germany, France, Greece, Lebanon, Saudi Arabia, Hong Kong, Japan, Australia, the West Indies, and will soon expand to cover Nigeria, Pakistan and Singapore.” Cafés Trottet intends to add the U.S. as an export partner.

Great coffee is one thing; however, great machines really make the difference. Cafés Trottet’s are aware of this, so they build their own espresso machines - marketed under the name Leirbag - to brew their coffee. In the company's words, “At Cafés Trottet, the machine is an essential element to prepare an excellent quality coffee, because we believe that the best of coffee can be disappointing if prepared with an ordinary machine.” Ranging in size, their machines run the gamut from espresso pod machines, called CAPS’Café, to professional automatic and semi-automatic machines, percolators and coffee vending machines. Depending on the needs of the client - whether it be a small café or a conference center, Cafés Trottet offers the appropriate machines for the specific types and amounts of coffees and customers. In addition, they offer training for the staff that will be using the machines. In fact, they handle technical follow up, including installation, servicing and maintenance. Minassian states 24-hour technical assistance is always available, as the company believe in creating long-term relationships and assisting customers brew the best possible cup of coffee. In fact about 75% percent of their customers choose the complete package of coffee, machinery, training, and technical service.

To complement their coffee and their machines, accessories for storing and serving their product are also available. Amenities include: sugar on a stick, cups and saucers, plastic cups, stirrers, and metal storage containers.

Environmental packaging
Being a Swiss company, of course they are concerned about the environmental impact of their products, stresses Minassian. They have designed their pods so that there is no waste and the packaging is biodegradable. Each pod contains an exact dose, wrapped in natural filter paper. The ecologically friendly packaging of each pod allows for freshness and gives for a very creamy espresso with a superb caramel-colored crema.

Cafés Trottet and the Internet
As part of their continuing commitment to their customers, Cafés Trottet provides its clients and representatives with constantly updated reports and data about their products and services on the internet. Not only are the company profile and products found on their site, but also a program which deals with all aspects and activities related to coffee for all their commercial partners. Cafés Trottet has developed a program, which allows them to manage information regarding their clients and suppliers, from anywhere in the world. It allows representatives access to customer’s files for details such as contracts or recent orders that have been placed. This work can be handled from the office by Intranet, or from outside by Extranet. With this program, orders can be placed directly for coffee and coffee machines, as well as spare parts for machines. All that is required is an Internet navigator. So even a company that is 54 years old can be technologically advanced, chuckles Minassian.

Cafés Trottet, Tel: (41) (22) 719-00-12, Fax: (41) (22) 782-54-65, E-mail: ara.minassian@trottet.ch, Web site: www.trottet.ch.

Tea & Coffee - November/December 2001


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