#TXBites: Calling All Coffee Drinkers – Collaborative Trade Coffee is a Thing & It’s in Houston

by Gabi De la Rosa on December 4, 2019 in Food+Drink, Houston,
00 Rwanda LTH Ruli Mountain e1575402828831

Delicious coffee and scratch made bakery goods – what else could you ask for? How about drinking quality coffee with a conscience?

We have all seen or heard of fair trade coffee, but do you know what it really means? Fair trade is a certification, much like the organic certification, that lets consumers know more about the origins of their coffee. Fair trade coffee helps farmers earn a sustainable living and also takes into account things like environmental and community needs. We all agree that we can feel good about purchasing anything with rigorous standards, but what if your purchasing power could help take those standards one step further?

Land of a Thousand Hills Coffee & Bakery works hand-in-hand with the African farmers who grow the coffee beans used at the Houston coffee shop. Courtesy photo

Land of a Thousand Hills Coffee & Bakery, located in The Boardwalk at Towne Lake, decided to take the already stringent fair trade coffee standards to the next level, and that’s when collaborative trade coffee made its Houston debut.

“Our mission is to craft beautiful coffee, create purposeful work, and cultivate flourishing communities,” says Land of a Thousand Hills owner Melinda Bodukoglu. “We work hand-in-hand with our farmers from beginning to end, and then give more.” Not only does Land of a Thousand Hills pay the farmer more per pound for green coffee beans, they continue to work with them directly on their individual needs. As Bodukoglu explains: “From helping farmers grow stronger crops each year and building water wells in their villages to supporting their schools and buying farm animals that help with their nutritional needs – these are just a few of the projects we, as a company, are involved with.”

Rwandan farmers sort the coffee beans which travel from Africa to Houston. Photo courtesy Land of a Thousand Hills Coffee & Bakery

Land of a Thousand Hills Coffee and Bakery gets its name and its coffee supply from Rwanda, Africa, which is known for its high altitude and high-quality coffee.

“We have gotten to know many of the farmers and their families in Rwanda. We Skype with them and keep up with what is going on in their communities,” says Bodukoglu. “It was great to finally visit Rwanda and actually meet the people we had been talking to for so long.”

If you need more than delicious coffee that makes a difference in the world to entice you out of the Starbucks drive-through, how about a scratch-made seasonal bakery menu? Yes, Land of a Thousand Hills has a robust bakery menu that boasts not only delicious cookies, brownies and quiches, but also beautiful custom cakes and seasonal treats.

“When we started about four years ago, we wanted to be the “Cheers” of coffee shops, and that is really what we have turned into. We have gotten to know our regulars,” says Bodukoglu. “Our coffee shop is community-based so that people can come together, and we are really proud of that.”

Cover photo courtesy Land of a Thousand Hills Coffee & Bakery

Gabi De la Rosa lives in Houston with her husband and three children. You can usually find her at a great local restaurant or out exploring HTX with her family. Visit her on Instagram @gabioftheroses_htx