After twenty-four years, Reg Barber Enterprises, a Canadian-based coffee tools company, is closing its doors for good. Reg Barber espresso tampers have become an iconic piece of third wave coffee culture—used by enthusiasts and coffee professionals alike. Barber's trophies for global coffee competitions adorn cafe counters and cabinets around the world.
In a post on Instagram, Julia Lotecki, the daughter of the founder, cites the Trump steel tariffs among other obstacles. “My dad has dedicated 30 years to the coffee industry, locally, nationally, and globally. He's fallen into a tough time. The U.S. tariffs on steel amongst other obstacles have made running his little company impossible. After 30 plus years of creating custom coffee tools, he is being forced to close his doors.”
From June 1, 2018 to May 17, 2019 the United States imposed tariffs of 25% on imports of Canadian steel and 10% on imports of Canadian aluminum.
“Sadly, this chapter is over,” Lotecki writes. She has set up a GoFundMe campaign “to raise funds to give him some time to move his crafting supplies and get back on his feet again.”
Coffee pros have taken to Twitter to share their thoughts:
Just saw the news that Reg Barber is going out of business. My first tamper was a reg tamper. Dude supported so many baristas and I’m beyond sad to see their doors close.
— Andrew Sinclair (@AndrewSinc) October 30, 2019
Reg has been making the trophies for the World Barista Championship since 2008, and for national coffee competitions around the world.
The end of his tamper company is a true tragedy for the industry and barista craft. Our community owes him a true debt. pic.twitter.com/aYdpC5iE6Z
— Nick Fun Size Cho-colate 🎃 (@NickCho) October 30, 2019
We've reached out to Reg Barber Enterprises for comment and will update when we hear back. Reg Barber posted an image of colorful tamper handles with a link to the GoFundMe in its caption:
Check out the GoFundMe page here.
This story is developing.