Our Heritage

How it all started

Egbert Douwes and his wife Akke Thysses laid the foundations for Douwe Egberts in 1753 when they began selling coffee, tea and tobacco in their small shop, "De Witte Os" (literally "The White Ox"), in Joure, The Netherlands.

Akke's mission was to sell products for "the pleasure of daily living" and up until the First World War, coffee, tobacco and tea were their main products. Originally Egbert Douwes only sold to the local villagers and although he became well known in Joure, it was Douwe Egberts (his son) who from 1780 expanded the company into other regional markets.

The expansion

Douwe Egberts died at the age of 51. His wife continued to run the business under the name, "Firm of the widow Douwe Egberts"! In 1812, as a result of the French occupation, everyone had to take on a new family name. The Douwe Egbert family took on the name De Jong. During the 1800s, several generations of the family continued to grow the business locally and from 1889, the visionary Cornelis de Jong came on board as a 5th generation descendant and expanded sales to all of the country.

The story of JACOBS started in 1859 in Bremen, Germany, where 26-year-old Johan Jacobs opened a specialty coffee shop and introduced his own special brand of coffee. Today the brand is sold around the world.

After 260 years

Through 260 years of innovation and invention by this pioneering family, JACOBS DOUWE EGBERTS is now one of the leading coffee roasters in the world. Wayne Archer, Master Roaster: "With the knowledge of the product and processes accumulated over the past 260 years, we have a vast repository of understanding of coffee that cannot be replicated anywhere. Being a Coffee Expert at JACOBS DOUWE EGBERTS is something that I am proud of – to continue the traditions of buying, blending, roasting, creating coffee experiences for Australians and New Zealanders is personally very rewarding."