Bacha Coffee's story is steeped in history and aroma. Since its establishment in 1910 within the Dar el Bacha palace in Marrakech, to its recent revival in 2019 and its celebrated global presence with 38 locations across 11 countries, the coffee brand not only offers a taste of history but also a testament to the enduring allure of quality Arabica coffee.
Meet Taha Bouqdib, the mastermind behind the revolutionary revival of Bacha Coffee. He is the President & CEO of V3 Gourmet and the co-founder of TWG Tea. With an impressive resume adorned with the title of Officer of the Order of National Recompense from King Mohammed VI of Morocco in 2015 and a DFA Design Leadership Award in 2015, Bouqdib's story is not just about creating brands, but about reviving and leading them to global acclaim.
Once a haven for luminaries of its original era, Bacha Coffee is now the Eden of coffee connoisseurs and Arabica coffee enthusiasts. Its extensive collection boasts over 200 100% Arabica coffees harvested from over 35 dedicated coffee-producing countries, distinctively selected to be meticulously curated for traditional slow and hand-roast methods. Here, Taha Bouqdib unveils the intricate process and visionary thinking that resurrected Bacha Coffee, elevating it to its prestigious international stature today. Join us as we delve into the world of Bacha Coffee, where legacy meets thoughtfulness and honesty in every cup.
1. Can you tell us about yourself and how you came to start Bacha Coffee?
I am the President and CEO of V3 Gourmet, a global luxury gourmet lifestyle group with legendary food, beverage, and retail brands and destinations — including TWG Tea and Bacha Coffee. I have now been based in Singapore for over 16 years but was born in Morocco and spent my early years studying and then working in Paris.
I was very honoured to receive the prestigious title of Officer of the Order of National Recompense from King Mohammed VI of Morocco in 2015. Following this recognition, I was inspired to pay homage to my roots and revive the golden age of Moroccan coffee appreciation in a way that would appeal to a growing sector of gourmet consumers around the world.
2. What is the influence behind the creation of Bacha Coffee?
Bacha Coffee today is inspired by the first Bacha Coffee established in 1910 in the spectacular Dar el Bacha palace in Marrakech. The interiors of every Bacha Coffee location today reflect elements of the original coffee room in Morocco — from the jewel tones, latticework, black-and-white marble floors of its interiors, to the extensive list of freshly roasted coffees.
The golden age of Moroccan coffee appreciation has been reimagined for today’s global audiences. Whether you drink coffee for its energising effects or because you are a coffee aficionado, Bacha Coffee offers a little bit of everything to appeal to anyone who walks through our doors. We are able to do this because we have so many different touchpoints, as well as unique varieties and flavours of coffee that can be enjoyed in many ways.
"The golden age of Moroccan coffee appreciation has been reimagined for today’s global audiences."
- Taha Bouqdib, President & CEO of V3 Gourmet
3. What inspired you to get into the coffee industry?
I saw an opportunity in the market. Specialty coffee appreciation has grown dramatically in the region, along with a sophisticated understanding of coffee quality and roasting, as well as a recognition of excellence in coffee preparation and taste. Younger consumers are travelling again. This has opened them up to sampling a greater variety of coffee as well as different methods of preparing coffee around the world. Because of this, they have become more demanding when they order coffee in their home cities.
While not everyone has the time to prepare coffee for themselves all the time, a growing percentage of coffee lovers are now preparing coffee for themselves at home — something that was uncommon a decade or two ago.
Our coffee boutiques, coffee rooms, takeaway concepts and eCommerce experiences come together to offer a little bit of everything that might meet the many needs of a growing prestige market that is embracing gourmet products and lifestyles.
"Our coffee boutiques, coffee rooms, takeaway concepts and eCommerce experiences come together to offer a little bit of everything that might meet the many needs of a growing prestige market that is embracing gourmet products and lifestyles."
- Taha Bouqdib, President & CEO of V3 Gourmet
4. Bacha has just recently opened in Hong Kong. How have the preparation and the opening process been?
East Asia has always been a significant market for Bacha Coffee. Hong Kong is a global hub of business and tourism, attracting a diverse and affluent customer base who appreciate high-end experiences. The city's cosmopolitan culture and international influence make it an ideal market for luxury gourmet lifestyle groups seeking global recognition.
Hong Kong has a strong coffee culture, with a large and diverse consumer base that appreciates specialty coffee. The demand for high-quality coffee experiences continues to grow, creating opportunities for well-positioned coffee companies.
Hong Kong's status as an international city and a hub for business and tourism attracts a constant flow of customers, including both residents and visitors, providing a steady customer base for coffee retailers. This, coupled with the city’s dynamic and fast-paced lifestyle, along with a growing interest in specialty coffee, drives innovation and fosters a competitive coffee market, which makes it an exciting place to be in.
5. Are there any exciting launches from Bacha Coffee that we can look forward to?
In addition to our existing Tmall Global official store, we have just launched our Online Boutique for Hong Kong for convenient purchasing, gifting and even curating bespoke hampers anytime, anywhere. It mirrors the full suite of products – all in HKD – available in-store, and the Traditional Chinese version will be ready by Q1 of 2024.
We also opened the first Bacha Coffee store in Malaysia last month at KLCC. The KLCC store is the largest location outside of Singapore, spanning 7,000 square feet and features a coffee room, boutique and takeaway concept. It is the first Bacha Coffee location with alfresco dining, with an outdoor terrace on the esplanade overlooking Lake Symphony. The location is also the first concept to feature private rooms, two which are connected by a sliding panel door that can be opened to enlarge the space.
All imagery is provided by The Breakfast Press.