Hoover’s new artisan coffee company is set to have its grand opening this weekend.
Baba Java Roaster & Cafe, located in the Chace Lake shopping center, will serve specialty coffees sourced from around the world, including Yemen, Africa, and Central and South America.
The cafe will host a grand opening celebration this weekend, complete with a traditional Ethiopian Coffee Ceremony hosted by Kedija Teyeb, co-owner of Red Sea Ethiopian and Mediterranean Restaurant.
Helmed by Wendy and Nathan Parvin, Baba Java is the husband and wife team’s first venture into the food and beverage industry. Wendy says the pair was inspired to start the cafe after their son spent a summer overseas learning about coffee distribution. Initially, the idea was to start a subscription-based coffee service. The Parvins decided to expand the idea into a brick and mortar location when they realized that there weren’t a lot of speciality coffee shops on the side of Hoover near the Shelby County line.
Baba Java will offer espresso-based drinks, pour over and drip coffee, and Turkish coffee. It will also offer specialty tea by Birmingham-based Sachai Tea Company . All of of Baba Java’s specialty coffees are single sourced from locales including Honduras and Guatemala. The cafe will also feature a high-end specialty coffee from Yemen, as well as coffee from China’s Yunan Province, which has a fledgling culture of cultivated coffee.
And two of Baba Java’s coffees, says Wendy, are directly sourced from farmers. Baba Java roasts their beans on the premises.
“We really want to focus on having a good cup of coffee from the farm, all the way here,” said Wendy Parvin.
Those interested in world coffee culture had the opportunity to have a first taste of Baba Java’s specialty roasts in February at the Alabama Coffee Festival, the Alabama Multicultural Organization’s annual immersive coffee experience.
The Parvins and Brad Hayes, Baba Java’s vice president of operations, want to keep that momentum of sharing the origins and cultures of the coffee they source, including ensuring that the growers are getting a fair price for the beans that they farm.
“Coffee is a global product,” said Hayes. “So because it’s a global product, we should know about where these products come from.”
That’s where experiences like Kedija Teyeb’s Ethiopian coffee ceremony come into play. Teyeb, a native of Ethiopia and a good friend of Hayes’ wife, also hosts the ceremonies at her restaurant.
Hayes says in the future, they plan to hold public cuppings, formal tastings to examine the coffee’s tastes and aromas, to teach patrons about how factors such as the growing region, soil and elevation affect coffee beans.
“We want to invite people in to taste coffees and lean how to train their palates to pick up certain flavors.”
The educational component is incorporated into Baba Java’s minimalist design. On one wall is a map with countries marked in green.
“The countries in green are where our coffee comes from. We’re just trying use this as an opportunity to explain more,” said Parvin.
On another wall is a photo of a coffee farm in Yemen. In the midst of civil unrest, the Middle Eastern country is quickly on its way to reclaiming its title one of the world’s coffee titans.
“This photo just shows the terrain and how difficult it is to farm there. So (the farmers) work very hard. The coffee beans from there also are really unique and have really unique flavors. So that’s what makes it more of a specialty coffee,” explained Wendy. “When we roast it, we take our time to figure out the best roast for each bean that we have. And then from there, we make the espresso or drip coffee. We want to do it in the best way that brings out the best flavors.”
The cafe’s curved bar is designed for customers to engage in conversation with the baristas. Patrons also have an unobstructed view of the Baba Java’s coffee roaster.
“So it’s kind of cool, because people will come in and see them roasting and talk,” said Parvin. “Again, we want it to be where they could come up here and ask questions about how it all works. Just to kind help with the education and the competency.”
Baba Java also has an assortment of baked goods from neighboring shops, including Hoover’s Forest Bear Bakery, Pelham’s Highland Gourmet Scones, and strudels from Customs Cafe. The cafe also features truffles from Michelle’s Chocolate Lab and pound cake from Heirloom Pound Cakes in Birmingham.
Parvin says the shop will eventually offer karaoke and live music on the weekends. While the shop is closed on Sundays, it will be available for special events.
This week, the cafe is doing a soft opening from 7a.m. to 7 p.m. When the normal hours start next week, Baba Java will be open from 6:30am to 9:00pm during the week. It will be open until 10:00 p.m. on Saturdays and Sundays.
Parvin says she is open to extending those weekend hours if there is enough interest.
“We want it to be about the community. So if there’s a need for us to stay open later, we would be willing to do that.”
Baba Java’s grand opening is March 30, 2019 at 8 a.m, with face-painting children from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. The traditional Ethiopian coffee ceremony will begin at 11 a.m.
Starting next week, business hours are:
6:30 a.m. until 9 p.m. Monday through Thursday,
6:30 until 10 on Fridays
8 a.m. until 10 p.m. on Saturdays.
Baba Java Roaster and Cafe is located at 4730 Chace Circle #124, Hoover, AL 35244
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