ICT aims to be the leading authority in supporting roasters to achieve success! The team at International Coffee Traders is led by 2 of Australia’s leading coffee experts, Phillip Di Bella and Raihaan Esat. Each has their own area of expertise, and they are united by the passion for providing unique coffee experiences.
Photo opposite: The ICT team with other business associates at Aquiares Coffee Plantation in Costa Rica.
Knowledge, like a good coffee, should be shared, so we established International Coffee Traders: primarily to provide roasters with direct access to our extensive network of green bean producers around the globe; but to also offer customers access to our years of experience in operating and marketing successful coffee roasting businesses.
Phillip di Bella
Phillip Di Bella’s love for business and entrepreneurship stemmed from an early age. His natural people skills led to a career in hospitality and nine years at Brisbane landmark Cosmopolitan Cafe where he earned a reputation for his coffee skills and outstanding customer service. During this time he completed a Bachelor of Commerce at Griffith University, piquing an interest in business and marketing.
In 2002, Phillip’s entrepreneurial spirit and passion for coffee led him to start up a small coffee-roasting operation in the suburb of Bowen Hills, Brisbane. He named this company Di Bella Coffee. Over the following 10 years the company continued to thrive and expand. The speed of this growth was recognized in the 2006, 2007 and 2009 Business Review Weekly Fast 100.
Phillip Di Bella’s entrepreneurship has been celebrated many times over the years. He was a finalist in the Ernst & Young’s Young Entrepreneur of the Year Award for 2005 and went on to win the award in 2008. In 2012, he won the Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year Northern Region award in the category of Industry. He was also the winner of Brisbane Young Entrepreneur Award in 2010 and Highly Commended Award in 2011. As a fellow of the Australian Institute of Management, Phillip was a finalist for Owner Manager of the Year in 2007, and won Young Manager of the year in 2008. He is actively involved in the Young Presidents Organisation.
Phillip’s professional life goes beyond the scope of his own business. Fiercely proud of his hometown, he is actively involved in the Brisbane community. His numerous community-building roles have included Director of Brisbane Marketing and Chair of the CBD Economic Development Board. Phillip’s significant local involvement was recognised in 2009, and then again in 2014, when he received the Lord Mayor’s Corporate Citizenship Award.
In 2010, Phillip Di Bella became the world’s youngest recipient of an Italian knighthood, bestowed with the ‘Order of the Star of Italian Solidarity’ for contribution to the Italian Community.
In March 2011, Phillip was appointed Adjunct Professor of Entrepreneurship in the Department of International Business and Asian Studies at Griffith University, proceeding to then be recognised as one of the University’s Outstanding Alumnus, based on his exceptional success in his field and outstanding contribution to the profession and community.
Dedicated to building relationships and encouraging improvement in those around him, Phillip is passionate about inspiring passion in others. He contributes to and is involved with numerous charitable organisations; most notably is his affiliation with the Pyjama Foundation, where he organises a recreational camp for children and carers of disadvantaged children in the local community.
In recent times Phillip’s focus has been on the international expansion of the Di Bella Coffee brand. This started with ground-breaking partnerships in India and China. In 2015 Phillip entered the Philippines and Thailand café market with 2 new innovative retail partnerships, in Bangkok with his personal Designed by Phillip Di Bella brand for D’Ark and in Manila in close cooperation with the Cravings Group, acclaimed for their social responsibility programmes.
In 2015, Phillip’s vision was recognised by Retail Food Group with the acquisition of Di Bella Coffee to accelerate the next growth phase. Under the leadership of Phillip this came to quick fruition with the launch of Di Bella Coffee in the North American market and the activation of the roasting facility in Los Angeles. Phillip’s focus remains on coffee industry innovations, international expansion and inspiring fellow entrepreneurs.
Raihaan Esat is an economics and finance graduate from QUT and has been in the Coffee industry for over 10 years.
Raihaan has chosen the coffee industry because of the immense reach it has in people’s lives and the opportunity that comes with it to help others.
He brings to the ICT team an in depth knowledge of roast profiling, quality control systems, blending, competition preparations and barista training.
Over the years, he has achieved great success in both barista and roasting competitions, twice finishing 3rd in the ASCA Qld state championships, captained the Di Bella Coffee team to 2nd place in the “World’s richest barista competition”, and roasting the coffees for best espresso at the golden bean 2016. The highlight of his career was being part of the team that won the overall golden bean for 2016!
Raihaan is proud to join the ICT team and is looking to work with coffee roasters of all shapes and sizes to make them unique!