The owners of The Bersten Antique Coffee Collection & Museum Auction, Annie and Rob Webber have been roasting coffee in Mareeba for over over 25 years. Their well established and reputable company is Arabicas Coffee Australia P/L but is known locally, and trades as Coffee Works. Together they have built an exciting business selling delicious coffees, luscious liqueurs and fine handcrafted chocolates from their operation trading as the Coffee Works. Their business has grown from humble beginnings, starting as a single market stall at Rusty's Markets in Cairns in 1988. They have now expanded to become one of the leading roasters, supporters and promoters of Australian grown coffee.
Ian's book "Coffee Floats, Tea Sinks" had always been a well-thumbed reference book for Rob's own private collection of tea and coffee antiques since the early 1990s. When he heard that Ian was selling this unique collection he flew Ian and Helen to Mareeba to discuss the collection and formulate a purchase plan. Ian and Helen were impressed with the uniqueness of the Coffee Works and had just finished the dedicated job of photographing and cataloguing the entire collection. Once Rob and Annie had viewed the catalogue of items in its entirety they purchased the collection from the Bersten's outright.
The collection was then transported to Far North Queensland where it had to be placed in storage for 18 months whilst enough capital was raised to build what is now known to thousands of visitors as "Coffee World". Coffee Works is visited by over 180,000 people every year and is now well recognised as a unique and ecclectic experience, showcasing the Australian coffee industry, chocolate and Coffee World which houses the Bersten Antique Coffee and Tea Collection and Museum. The new Coffee World experience was opened to the public in 2007.