About Us

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OUR STORY

Our name, Gobena, originates in the story of a 70 year-old plantain farmer in Ethiopia. In 2007, Gobena (pronounced •bĭn•ŭh) stumbled upon a newborn baby girl abandoned under a tree near his home. Gobena and his wife, Mulunesh, decided to care for the newborn “because she is God’s soul”. After about a month, the couple realized they would not be able to provide for the baby. They traveled 150 miles to a police station to seek help, where they decided that putting the little girl in an orphanage to be adopted was the best option for her.

Steve, Danae, Mulunesh and Gobena

That summer, a couple named Steve and Danae traveled to Ethiopia from central Illinois to adopt a little girl, Eva – the baby whom Gobena saved. They were greatly moved upon learning the incredible story of Eva’s rescue and were able to meet Gobena and Mulunesh. The selflessness, compassion, and rich sense of community they experienced in the Ethiopian culture inspired Steve and Danae to start a coffee ministry where 100% of the net profits would be reinvested in the lives of orphaned children around the world through Lifesong for Orphans.

In 2012, Steve and Danae gave Gobena Coffee to Lifesong for Orphans, who ran the business through volunteers. The first full-time employee of Gobena was hired in 2014 and the company continued to grow and expand. Today, Gobena is a for-profit business partnering with Lifesong for Orphans to carry on the original mission: 100% of profits go to enrich the lives of orphans and vulnerable children. Our goal is to provide you with high quality, delicious coffee for an excellent value so that you can not only make a difference with your purchase, but also enjoy outstanding coffee.

OUR COFFEE

The raw coffee beans we import from 13-15 different countries represent the world’s best. We purchase the top 10% of specialty Arabica green coffee beans from around the world when they’ve been freshly harvested. A selection of our coffee is USDA Organic Certified by Ecocert SA, and we partner with Fair Trade USA, a 501 non-profit organization that sets standards, certifies, and labels products that promote sustainable livelihoods for farmers and workers and protect the environment.

Our beans are imported directly after the drying process, brought to our warehouse, and roasted in our facility. To give you the freshest coffee possible, we small batch roast our beans daily in our high quality Joper® roaster. Each coffee origin is carefully roasted at precise times & temperatures to bring out its unique flavor notes. The roasted coffee is then packaged for maximum freshness and on its way to your doorstep within 24 hours.

At Gobena, we highly value operating under a pull system. Unlike a push system, in which coffee is roasted ahead of time and orders are filled by pulling from inventory, we receive your orders and only roast what is needed to fulfill them. This ensures you receive only fresh coffee, roasted to order.

Ethically Sourced

We believe there are a number of critical factors contributing to the growth of a truly exceptional coffee, and that farmers are one of the key factors. Therefore we believe those who do great work should get a great price; we do not believe in coffee subsidies. 

We understand that working with producers to deliver the highest quality coffee for our customers requires that we listen and give feedback in their creation. 

We believe that an artisan coffee farmer who grows an award-winning coffee should be given all the credit. Recognition develops dedication to craftsmanship, skill for production, and passion for the harvest quality. 

We know that great coffee can be produced through sustainable methods. We only work with farmers who think long and hard about economic, social, and environmental conditions of their farms and their communities. Sustainable does not have to mean organic, but it certainly could.

We seek to deliver the highest possible return to farmers and pay a fair price for all of our green coffee.

We believe our goals are more effectively achieved when the number of individuals or organizations between the coffee farmer and Gobena Coffee are minimized to allow for better communication.

Our Roaster

Joper® Roasters

We are proud to small-batch roast our coffee on Joper® roasters. In 2015 we purchased our Joper® 15 BPR and in October of 2022 we added their BPR-25 Auto to our roastery. This is Joper’s newest model, one of the best roasters of its category in the market, and we are honored to be the first roastery in the U.S. to use it. Its state-of-the-art roasting profile system and advanced technology, along with our roast masters who make manual adjustments when necessary, ensure that we can produce delicious, high quality coffee roasted to bring out the unique flavors of each bean type.

Joper® has been manufacturing roasters in Portugal since 1962 and is proud to combine the genuine quality of the European Old World with the most recent technology. Their roasters are known for their cast iron roasting drum, which ensures that the coffee is roasted evenly with no hotspots. Joper® symbolizes performance, quality, and value, giving roasters like Gobena a competitive advantage.

Equipment and Servicing

Gobena Coffee is a wholesaler and certified installer for the following equipment manufacturers:

Rancilio | La Marzoco | Modbar | Bunn | Baratza | Mazzer | Malhkonig | Chemex | Toddy

We love partnering with cafés, churches, and businesses to offer sales and installation services, consults to help get you the correct equipment to fit your coffee needs, and servicing on espresso machines, grinders, and brewers. We strive to meet the needs of our customers with integrity, transparency, and quality service. Whether you need preventative maintenance done, an emergency fix on an espresso machine, or help with a water filtration system, we are here to help.

Contact Kyle Reinhard at kylereinhard@gobena.org or at 309-205-9392 for equipment and service questions and inquiries.

Giving Back: The Gobena Difference

The story of Eva’s rescue is a reflection of the greatest rescue story – Jesus Christ coming to earth to save His people through His life, death, and resurrection. We desire to share this good news in our company through giving 100% of our profits to Lifesong for Orphans, where every penny is reinvested in the lives of orphans and children in need around the world.

You can “Go Make a Difference” by joining us – every purchase you make is helping change a life. Thank you for helping us support Lifesong for Orphans’ mission to bring joy and purpose to orphaned and vulnerable children. Through your support and prayers, children are being shown they are seen, known, and loved by God and His people.