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As it's thought that coffee originated in Ethiopia, it's also believed it made its way north, across the Red Sea into Yemen in the 15th Century. It then started to be grown in the Yemeni district of Arabia.


By the 16th century, it was known in Persia, Egypt, Syria, and Turkey that coffee reached the shores of the Ottoman Empire (present-day Turkey). It quickly gained popularity, leading to the establishment of the world's first coffeehouses in Istanbul.


17th century; Coffee made its way to Europe through Venetian traders and explorers, who brought coffee to Italy. The first European coffeehouse opened in Venice in 1645. Coffee was also introduced to Indonesia in the 17th century during the Dutch colonial period. The Dutch East India Company, known as the VOC, brought coffee plants from Yemen and started cultivating them in the Dutch colony of Java. This marked the beginning of coffee production in Indonesia. Today, Indonesia is famous for its unique coffee varieties, such as Sumatra, Java, and Bali, which are highly regarded by coffee enthusiasts around the world. To cut a long story short, coffee is now the largest consumable trading commodity in the world. 

2023 Top 10 Most Traded Commodities in the World

1. Brent Crude Oil, 2. West Texas Intermediate Crude Oil 3. Steel 4. Copper

5. Iron Ore 6. Gold 7. Silver 8. Coffee 9. Soybeans 10. Coco


The Specialty Coffee today talks about coffee origins, the seeds from different regions, the species of each tree, and the coffee processing and brewing methods. The complexity of coffee trading and processing went through many hands and it took many experts to put a beautiful cup of coffee on the table. Due to the distance and complexity, many of our coffee farmers work so hard but they are still living in poor conditions and probably the poorest people in the world.


Being a photographer and operating a coffee roastery in China, I wished to initials Solar Coffee Project to help our coffee farmers in Ethiopia and even all over the world.

I am Alex Soh, World Travel & Landscape Photographer

ILFORD Brand Ambassador, Epson Ambassador, Nikon Ambassador 2010-2015 

Founder of NFT SolarCoffeeProject | Website:


There are 1.2 Billion people living without electricity in this world. Light is an important element to start with. When there is light, there is hope. We want to invite MBS to embark on this meaningful solar coffee project with us.  Being a partner, you can make a difference by offering Ethiopia Specialty Coffee to your customers with a meaningful story behind the cups. A certain percentage of the coffee profit will go to buying solar lights for our coffee farmers in Ethiopia. We want to give light and bring hope. With MBS Sustainability help we aim to give 1000 solar lights, for a start to 1000 families in Ethiopia.


Ethiopia Airlines has agreed to give their support to bring the light to their country and participate in the distribution of solar lights as part of their Corporate Social Responsibility efforts.


TianLu+ Specialty Coffee Labo & Roastery (Xiamen, China) by Alex Soh (Solar Coffee Project initiator) creating a win-win situation for all partners. We will make sure the quality of roasted coffee and its presentation together with a compelling story. Alex as a photographer will document the journey and all images that he captures can be used for our partner's publications.


Addis Secofet Trading PLC | Coffee green beans supplier


Discovery House Distributor Singapore | Solar light supplier




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Drip Coffee Bag | Coffee Bean | Coffee Gift Pack

OEM Coffee Products

Bringing photography imageries to tell the stories of our coffee farmers.
Specialty Coffee is no longer the name on the gunnysack. 
When you drink our coffee, you are able to see our farmers. 


TianLu Specialty Coffee Labo & Roastery connecting you with the best specialty coffee from all over the world. We travel deep into coffee plantations, capturing local scenes and stories to provide you with information on the traceability and transparency of coffee. We hope that when you drink our coffee, you can see our coffee farmers. We select high-grade 100% Arabica coffee beans with a cupping score of 85 and above from around the world. With a refined roasting process and strict quality control, our customers can enjoy the unique flavour of coffee from different regions and taste all the delicious coffee from around the world.

天路精品咖啡烘焙实验室带你 遇见全世界好咖啡。深入咖啡 种植园,拍摄咖啡产地源头,捕捉当地的画面与故事,记录可溯源的咖啡生态信息。希望当你喝到我们的咖啡时,可以看见我们的咖啡农民。我们严选世界各个产区同等级别杯测得分在85分以上、高品质、100% 阿拉比卡精品豆。精致烘焙,严控烘焙品质,让顾客可以喝到不同产区的咖啡带来的独特风味,尝尽世界美味的好咖啡。

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Uraga Owner with Alex.jpg

ALEX SOH BrandDirector 

Coffee Hunter | World Travel & Landscape Photographer | ILFORDMaster 


The key element is people, we invest time in each other with great respect. Not afraid to challenge tradition and explore new ideas all the time. We embrace team effort, high-responsibility and we love our customers. The team is always there to share with you our coffee stories and skill so that you could be in love with coffee just as we do. Come and visit our Coffee Labo in Xiamen, China!

TianLu Specialty Coffee Labo & Roastery
Tianlu cafe, #2 floor, B2 building, #132-5 Huachang Rd. Huli District, Xiamen, China (361000)  


TEL: 18876406702


Timothy Zhou
Cafe Manager | Barista


Jamie Soh 
LEADDigital Marketing

Designer | Barista
Customer Relation

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