As the global consumption of coffee continues to surge upwards, a new brand of Ethiopian coffee is seeking to provide coffee drinkers with a more exciting, genuine, and rewarding experience by embracing authentic, traditional Ethiopian coffee-roasting practices that will restore the real magical tastes of Ethiopian coffees.
Garden of Coffee is a new venture by Bethlehem Tilahun Alemu, a distinguished Ethiopian businesswoman who founded Africa’s fastest growing footwear company, soleRebels.
According to Alemu, Garden of Coffee represents a new beginning in the art of turning a good coffee into a great coffee. It heralds a new, fourth wave in the coffee industry, which is about taking control of the means of production and adding value to the already-popular Ethiopian coffee. With this new venture, she hopes to change people’s perspective of hand-roasted coffee.
“I began Garden of Coffee so that people everywhere can experience the magic of hand-roasted Ethiopian coffees, roasted at their source by Ethiopia’s finest coffee artisans,” Alemu told Face2Face Africa.
“My driving passions as an entrepreneur are always about sharing Ethiopian cultures with the world and finding exciting ways to keep these cultures vibrant and fully relevant,” she added.
How Different Is Garden of Coffee?
Apart from exposing coffee drinkers to the finest coffee on the planet, Garden of Coffee aims to connect them with the world’s finest artisinal coffee roasters.
To achieve this, the company employs multi-generational coffee artisans with skills that are usually passed down from parent to child and have been part of Ethiopian culture for millennia.
Alemu also hopes that by embracing this new brand of coffee, coffee lovers will help preserve the rich legacy of Ethiopian coffee and play a key role in creating jobs in an emerging economy like Ethiopia.
“By skillfully leveraging our coffee-roasting heritage with our amazing high-quality coffees and marrying them with technology, we are proud to have been able to create a platform for many high-quality jobs,” Alemu indicates.
Perhaps due to its fresh and unique approach to coffee roasting, Garden of Coffee became the first-ever Ethiopian coffee roaster to be admitted to the Specialty Coffee Association of America last month.
What’s Your Motivation?
Born in Zenabwork, Ethiopia, 36-year-old Alemu says her motivation comes from the desire to dispel the myth that for an African to succeed, he or she must seek greener pastures abroad, especially in the West.
She says she has lived her whole life in Ethiopia, where she continues to run her business ventures.
“I completed all my education here in Ethiopia, and I have NEVER lived anywhere else but Ethiopia,” she told us.
Her desire to show her fellow Ethiopians and Africans by extension that one can venture locally to succeed globally pushed her to start her first business, soleRebels, which is now recognized the world over.
Growing up, Bethlehem admired her mother’s mastery of the coffee brewing artistry, which motivated her to want to share their unique and dynamic experience with the rest of the world. Hence, the birth of Garden of Coffee.
She says she chose the name “Garden of Coffee” in order to create an image that evoked the birth of real coffee, resembling the Biblical Garden of Eden, and to present an image of a magical garden into which coffee lovers can enter and literally experience the legendary coffees of Ethiopia in totally new and magical ways.