For Johnathan Ghebreamlak, coffee represents an essential part of his family’s lifestyle and culture.
They drank so much coffee that opening a cafe was a no-brainer.
“We drink coffee like water,” Ghebreamlak, 25, told The Dallas Morning News.
Ghebreamlak is of East African descent, and he worked as an operations analyst for Goldman Sachs until he was inspired to open his own coffee shop.
Growing up, he did not yet have his family’s taste for coffee or the East-African culture centered around it. It was not until he went to college at Texas Tech University that late-night study sessions led him to enjoy coffee and learn about the various brewing methods.
Ghebreamlak’s earlier education in coffee came from his aunts, who served three rounds of an espresso-like drink, poured from an East African pot called a “jebena,” for the family every week after church.
“It takes a long time to go through those three rounds of coffee,” said Ghebreamlak, who stated that the ritual serves as a simple universal message:
“Hey, come over, I want to hang out with you — and coffee is the reason.”
In his parents’ homeland of Eritrea, a small country north of Ethiopia in East Africa, most people in the coffee industry are involved in farming. Ghebreamlak decided to take on the challenge of making waves on the retail side.
He started by roasting his own beans in his spare time while working for Goldman Sachs.
Once during a family trip, Ghebreamlak’s father took him to his favorite place for coffee in East Africa, “Tre Stelle.”
“When I got to see the coffee shop, I thought, wow, I really like this place,” said Ghebreamlak.
After saving his money, he opened his shop on Preston Road in North Dallas. He named it after his father’s favorite coffee joint in Eritrea after visiting it on a trip to East Africa.
Tre Stelle Coffee Co. now operates as a roastery and cafe, catering to all types of coffee drinkers. The company also sells its beans wholesale to retailers.
The shop features coffee beans from Rwanda, Brazil, and Colombia, alongside the Ethiopian beans used for the house drip. South American beans are used for cold-brew and espresso drinks.
Now the owner-proprietor of his own coffee shop, Ghebreamlak has learned to embrace his love of coffee and, in his case, the Eritrean culture behind it.