Land of a Thousand Hills cafe provides a platform for local artists while doing good
To drink coffee. Do good. This is the modus operandi of Deep Ellum’s new café, Land of a Thousand Hills Coffee (LTH), which opened its doors last December. Originally based in Roswell, GA, LTH aims to serve delicious caffeinated beverages while giving back to the Rwandan communities where they get their coffee beans.
LTH founder Jonathan Golden built the company’s first washing station – where growers take the coffee cherries after harvesting them – in the farming region of Ruli in Rwanda. It was a period following the collapse of agriculture after the Rwandan civil war in 1994. Golden built the washing station to help create job opportunities and unify the people of Rwanda. It all started with a 12-pound primo roaster, and Golden hired a consultant to teach him how to roast beans.
Today, LTH works with over 10,000 Rwandan farmers, with a mission to support development initiatives and pay farmers fair wages.
Randee Flores is the community manager for LTH Deep Ellum. Flores and her husband, Bryce, founded a mobile coffee bar called Slang with the aim of providing access to fair trade, high quality coffee drinks. They were both drawn to LTH’s mission to give back to farmers in Rwanda.
“[LTH] aligned with a lot of the values we had with Slang,” says Randee. “The story behind the beans is really great. It’s all from Rwanda, all of our farmers own their farms and we pay them five times fair trade. It’s just a really wonderful thing.
LTH, which is inside the Novel Deep Ellum residence building on Canton, offers spaces to work together or simply relax. They serve pastries, smoothie bowls, and kolaches in addition to coffees and teas.
The cinna-honey latte is a signature drink that, as the name suggests, is a traditional latte drink with hints of cinnamon and honey ($5.50); try this one with oat milk. Another good choice is the Dirty Chai Latte, a tangy combination of black tea infused with cinnamon, cloves, and other warming spices combined with a double shot of espresso and steamed milk ($7).
Sweeter options include LTH’s line of “chills,” frappuccino-esque drinks like matcha and vanilla chai. Signature mixed drinks include the Bombo Chill, made with chocolate, caramel and espresso ($6.50). Equally good is the Vanilla, Caramel and Espresso Rwandan Chill ($6.50).
In addition to supporting farmers and communities in Rwanda, LTH Deep Ellum aims to support the local arts community. During our visit, local photographer and gallery curator Imani Black was setting up the café’s first art gallery aptly titled ‘Drink Coffee. Do Art,” which is set to run through April 15.
“I love LTH’s simple statement: ‘Drink coffee’. Do good,” says Black. “It really shows what the company does beyond just being a cafe. When we thought of the name [for the gallery]we asked ourselves ‘What can we do to present this new café as a center where people can come and be themselves?’
To find artists, Black shared calls for submissions on Instagram and sourced canvas paintings and photos from local artists. Among the works of “Drink Coffee. Do Art,” are pop culture musings, city imagery, and a Dallas map sticker on the wall.
“I’ve been coming to Deep Ellum for years because I love everything it has to offer,” says Black. “The food, the arts – there’s so much to do here, and it’s amazing.”
In addition to great coffee and exceptional artwork, residents and employees of Deep Ellum can enjoy a 10% discount at LTH Deep Ellum.
Coffee in the land of a thousand hills. 2900 Canton St. (Deep Ellum). Open 6:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday to Thursday; 6:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. Friday and Saturday; 6:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Sunday.