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Tuesday, 21 May 2019 04:35 am

Ethiopian coffee and vegan food proves popular in Newtown

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Mother of Coffee cafe in Newtown, Wellington.

The smell of freshly roasting coffee beans is not unusual in Ethiopia, but is turning heads in Newtown.

The Mother of Coffee café is becoming popular with Newtown locals, not only for its vegan Ethiopian food but also for traditional Ethiopian coffee which is roasted in store every morning.

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Joel Teka ensures coffee doesn’t burn.

The café which opened earlier this year is owned by Ethiopian immigrant Joel Teka.

Joel prepares the coffee using traditional Ethiopian ceremonial methods.

The coffee ceremony starts by roasting green coffee beans in a pan and stirring them regularly so they don’t burn.

“It creates an atmosphere with the smoke and people like that, it’s different and it (the coffee) tastes different because it’s fresh,” he says.

Joel says the traditional coffee ceremony is such a hit with customers because it changes how the coffee tastes and people enjoy watching it.

Joel was born in Ethiopia and came to New Zealand to be with family and study.


Joel Teka roasting coffee using traditional Ethiopian ceremonial methods.

He went to secondary school here, and then went on to study communications, english and media studies at Weltec.

He then started selling his food and coffee at the Newtown fair.

He found people really liked his food even though the menu was small, because it was healthier than anything else available.

“It’s still a small menu, but it is very healthy and people like that,” he says.

He says his success at this year’s Newtown Festival was the reason he opened the Mother of Coffee café.

It was very popular, attracting big crowds and had people lined up outside his stall.

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