Founded in 2015 in southern California by two entrepreneurs with over thirty years of beverage industry experience (FMCG)
Pulling from a background in the beverage industry with extensive experience with the development of the energy drink category in North America, Asia-Pacific and EMEA regions and awareness of the current market trends towards heathier alternatives the company vision was to develop a healthier and natural alternative to energy drinks for consumers with a focus on corporate social responsibility
The clear opportunity was found in the emerging cold brew coffee category bringing new excitement to RTD coffee and representing a return to natural sources of caffeine ie the coffee bean – full of rich history, complex taste and established functional properties and consumer demand
To create a truly healthy and functional beverage of the highest quality requires a strong focus on sourcing the best ingredients – the key ingredient of course being the coffee bean. Coffee is now grown in various regions of the world, however the origin of coffee can be traced back to Ethiopia in Africa through historical trade out of the Port of Moka in the Arabian Peninsula – and till today Arabica coffee bean remains the highest quality with Ethiopian and Yemeni origins still commanding the highest prices and receiving the highest praise of coffee connoisseurs; namely the varietals “Moka Harar” and “Moka Sanani” whose names inspired the word “Mocha” to be used for coffee and then chocolate in Europe
After spending extensive time living and travelling across the Arabian peninsula and Africa (prior to the inception of the company), searching for the best coffee varietal, visiting coffee farms to establish and build direct trade relationships with local farmers and learning about the rich history of the coffee trade, the HARAR region of Ethiopia was found to still produce the highest quality coffee in the world with the classic taste profile of dark chocolate and blueberry notes perfect for developing a smooth cold brew coffee; however due to a number of political and economic factors crops were not reaching international markets.
As the highest quality grade one Moka Harar was not available on commodity markets, the only way to source this specialty coffee was by establishing a direct trade supply chain, with programs to reinvest profits in to social development in the Harar coffee growing region and continued improvements to farming best practices and quality control. In 2015, Acacia Tree Farms began sourcing and importing the highest quality, specialty grade one Moka
Harar coffee from farms in the Harar region of Ethiopia (the brithplace of coffee).
Working directly with farmers in the Harar region from inception the company vision was to empower small family farms to cultivate the highest quality heirloom coffee while increasing their annual earnings and improving qulaity of living in the region; by bringing together coffee growers with coffee lovers we can build a healthier global community.
Next step was to establish a roasting operation to roast the imported green beans locally in southern California, and working with local specialty coffee veteran Martin Dietrich (Dietrich coffee, Keans coffee) to develop the perfect roast profile to honor the return of this iconic “Moka Harar” coffee bean to the global specialty coffee scene.
Only after perfecting the whole bean coffee trade, could the beans then be used as the primary ingredient in developing the smoothest pristine quality cold brew coffee with natural sweetness from the roast process and notes of chocolate and blueberries from the bean and a clean finish in the cup from the proprietary cold brew extraction process. Working with the Strother Simpson whose father Tod Simpson invented and patented the “Toddy” cold brew system, the formula was perfected and the product was developed in various cold brew coffee concentrates and ready to drink formats.
A bag-in-box format was developed in partnership with Bunn’s Nitron dispenser to answer consumer demand for “Nitro” cold brew coffee and vendors request to offer this to customers “on tap” without the mess and hassle of kegs and brewing in house.
Then, Acacia Tree Farms developed various flavors and recipes for cold brew concentrates using only the finest quality and fresh ingredients that proved to be an exciting offering for consumers at home, specialty grocers, cafes, restaurants and bars – tapping into the growing demand in the non-alc category for more complex offerings and alternatives to “drink when you are not drinking”
Finally, Acacia Tree Farms was then able to utilize its beverage industry experience and develop a unique and exciting new ready to drink sparkling line of cold brew coffee "OKE" with various complex flavor profiles and a new innovative manufacturing process extending shelf life and stability of the product fulfilling the needs of consumers on the go, tapping into traditional retail and distribution channels.
Now the goal was achieved and there was a truly a new healthier alternative to energy drinks while also creating excitement in the cold brew RTD coffee category with something truly unique and innovative with a complex formulation and flavor profile filling the gaping whole in the non-alc category with something more complex than a “soft” drink (CSD) and with added functionality of the an energy drink and appeal but without “hard” alcohol. This exciting new line is waking consumers up and driving sales .