As a city, we love local, and this week, a new local coffee shop opens in Hoover…Baba Java Roaster & Cafe!
While the grand opening is this Saturday, March 30, from 8 a.m. – 8 p.m., you can swing by this week and get a cup of coffee from 7 a.m. – 7 p.m. during their soft opening. As part of their grand opening on Saturday, they’ll also be having an Ethiopian Coffee Ceremony at 11 a.m. that you won’t want to miss as well as face painting from 10 a.m. – 1 p.m. if you want to bring the kiddos.
What’s Up With The Name?
The owners, Nathan & Wendi Parvin, worked in Jordan for several years, and while there, their children picked up some Arabic – to the point that one of their girls still calls Nathan “baba,” the Arabic word for “dad.” Since java is synonymous coffee and the name of a city in Indonesia (one of the world’s coffee hubs), they decided “Baba Java” has a nice ring to it. Plus, it’s a play on the Middle Eastern influence they have with their coffee and the design of the shop (like the majilis, the Arabic sofa seating in the shop made with fabric brought back from the Middle East).
Coffee Roasting & Their Single Origin Beans
While Birmingham has several coffee roasters, Baba Java offers two directly sourced beans that distinguishes them from the rest – coffee from Yemen and from China.
Make sure you try a cup of the Yemen when you go (most of the staff recommend getting it as a pour-over). Brad Haynes, Baba Java’s manager, claims the Yemeni coffee is what got him started drinking his coffee black because it’s “complex, very smooth, and creamy in your mouth – unlike anything you’ve ever had.” Because of the high elevation of the terrain and the lack of rainfall in Yemen, the coffee cherries from here have to struggle to survive, which means it stores all the sugars and nutrients, giving the coffee a more robust flavor and tasting like dried berries with a sweet acidity.
Their Chinese coffee comes from the Yunnan province, and this coffee is for those who like chocolate and raspberries. There’s also the Ridge Blend, which is a unique blend of Baba Java’s Honduran, Rwandan, and Ethiopian coffees, and it’s named after Nathan & Wendi’s home, which is where Baba Java got its start. Also, Baba Java intentionally works with coffee companies engaged in community development, helping farmers get a fair price and develop sustainable agricultural practices.
What to Order When You Go
Baba Java offers signature lattes: a Honey Cinnamon Latte, a Vanilla Chai Latte (with Madagascar vanilla bean syrup), and the Honey Habanero Latte (Wendi’s favorite), which contains habanero-infused local honey from Happy Hollow in Trussville. I’m a fan of the honey habanero latte, but be warned, it brings some heat going down the back of your throat!
You’ll also be able to order Turkish Coffee at Baba Java, which no other coffee shop in Birmingham currently offers. And come to find out, Turkish coffee isn’t made out of coffee beans from Turkey; it’s so named because it’s brewed in the Turkish style. Baba Java also offers Nitro coffee as well as specialty teas from Sachai, a local tea company.
All of Baba Java’s food vendors are also local to Alabama. Highland Gourmet provides the scones (the cherry amaretto and the coconut are my faves), Forest Bear Bakery supplies the cookies, Customs Cafe across the street brings the lemon bars and brownies, and there’s Emily’s Heirloom Pound Cakes. Their food and hours make it an ideal place to go after a date to enjoy coffee and a dessert.
Something else that sets Baba Java apart is the atmosphere of community that they foster. It’s a place where everyone feels welcome and where you can sit at the bar, watching the coffee roast, and talking to the roasters to learn more about the process. Even if you know nothing about coffee, it’s a place where you’ll feel comfortable to walk in, order, and freely ask questions about coffee. So be sure to stop by and show Baba Java some love in their opening week!
Location: 4730 Chase Circle (Suite 124), Hoover
- Monday – Thursday: 6:30 a.m. – 9 p.m.
- Friday: 6:30 a.m. – 10 p.m.
- Saturday: 8 a.m. – 10 p.m.
- Closed on Sundays (But available for private events.)